Kettle Valley Steak House: What to eat (and drink)
Kettle Valley Steakhouse is not the average kind of restaurant you’ll find at a ski resort. That’s something you realise as soon as you walk in.
Maybe it’s the wall of wine that sits above their bar. Maybe it’s the 100-year-old Harvest Table that sits in the middle of the room and seats 22 people. Maybe it’s the fact that they hand out complimentary amuse bouche to every customer before dinner.
Or maybe it’s the menu. Everything is just so good, thanks to the fact that Kettle Valley sources the very best of ingredients and chefs. Combined, the two make for an incredible culinary experience that is set to impress even the pickiest of foodies.
Looking at the menu, it may be difficult to decide what to order. So we had a chat to the Food and Beverage Director at Big White Ski Resort, Trevor Hanna, to determine exactly what food (and drink) choices are best-suited to each person.
IF YOU… want to satisfy your inner pyromaniac
Kick off your dinner with the Passion Fruit Vanilla Cosmopolitan. It contains vodka, grand marnier, fresh passion fruit, vanilla syrup, cranberry, lime juice and chartreuse. The passion fruit adds complexity to the fruit flavour, while vanilla syrup warms the acidity of the lime. Oh, and it’s all lit on fire before it comes to your table.
IF YOU… want to sample the local produce
Reach for the wine list and go crazy. Hanna and his team are passionate about supporting local produce – including the wineries and distilleries. As a result, Kettle Valley boasts an extensive local wine list, featuring wines that you won’t find on anyone else’s wine list.
If you’re not in the mood for wine, there’s also plenty of opportunity to sample the local spirits. Trevor stocks spirits from Legends Distillery in Naramata, a distillery which names their products after legends of the Okanagan. Their vodka, for one, is called Shadow in the Lake, and it’s all about the legend of Kelowna’s Ogopogo.
IF YOU… want a lighter meal
Go for the Octopus Nicoise. At $13, it’s a lighter option for anyone who’s not such a meat lover – but don’t worry, it’s still a substantial serving of braised baby octopus, blood orange gastrique, black olive oiled baby potatoes, spiced edamame, preserved lemons , organic lettuce and lemon vinaigrette.
“Steakhouses are notoriously good at doing seafood, and we’re continuing with that theme here,” says Trevor. “This salad offers a bit of oomph with the gastrique and vinaigrette – it’s a richer taste, further up the scale.”
IF YOU… have food commitment issues and want to try a bit of everything
The charcuterie plate is your best bet. At $22, it serves up a selection of house-made pate and mustard, fermented vegetables, smoked olives, local cheeses and some cured meats. In my case, it was beef cheek, pork and bison carpaccio. It’s all served up with house-made artisan breads, so you can munch away to your heart’s content while working your way through the flavours.
“Our chef has been working on the cured meats since July,” Trevor says. “It makes for a great introduction to the menu if you’re looking for a share plate for the table. Alternatively, if you want to have one for dinner, go right ahead – people do it all the time.”
IF YOU… are a seafood fan
You can’t go past the $32 pacific halibut. It’s a pan-seared halibut with truffle celery root puree, herbed fingerling pomme fourchette, Okanagan chardonnay and pink pepper corn beurre monte.
“This is the best possible product we can source, but we keep it at a reasonable price point, so that people can go ahead and try it,” Trevor says. “The sauce is also decadently creamy and rich, but it’s gluten free so even those with gluten allergies can enjoy it.”
IF YOU… came for steak and steak only
Go for literally any of the steaks listed on the menu. They’re all sourced entirely from certified Angus beef, exceeding all USDA Prime and AAA Canadian standards. And they all come with pomme puree and a selection of garden vegetables, lightly napped with jus and garnished with maitre d’hotel butter.
If you absolutely can’t pick, Trevor has a recommendation for you. “Our 10 ounce prime rib is classic and wonderful,” he says.
Get it with a side of truffle mac’n cheese and you will be in heaven.
IF YOU… are a coffee connoisseur
Kettle Valley Steakhouse goes by a different method of brewing coffee – the V60 Pourover. It allows for a cleaner coffee that’s more customised, as you can control just about everything in the process: the grind, the freshness of the beans, the temperature of the water and the amount of water added.
“It’s great to go for this kind of coffee at the end of a meal,” Trevor says. “Your palette’s had a workout with so many flavours, so satisfy yourself with a dark, rich, delicious coffee.”
It’s the perfect end to a perfect meal. Bon appétit.
Kettle Valley Steakhouse is located in Happy Valley Day Lodge in Big White Ski Resort. It’s open seven days per week, 5 – 9pm. Call 250-491-0130 to make a reservation, or book online here.You can also view the full menu here.
Words by Natalia Jastrzab. Photos by Paul Schumann.