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Table scraps

New addition to fine dining scene

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Is anyone else curious to know what is going on with the monstrous new alpine-inspired restaurant in Creekside, best known around town as the building with the waterfall out front?

Morgan’s restaurant is soon to become famous for something else, its wood-burning mesquite grill fare and 90 per cent organic stock, once construction is complete by the end of the month.

With the opening behind schedule, Brad Godin, food and beverage manager, canceled two appointments for a showing, so I opted instead for a personal tour.

The post and beam ceilings, giant fireplace, intimate staged banquet seating wrapping around bay-window views and lounge walls growing with painted trees are all immediately taken in once you step in the main door. Painter Ezra Katz was flown in from San Francisco to create the restaurant murals, ensuring everywhere guests turn, there is feast for both the palate and eye.

To your right, a staircase leads you up to even more mountain views for tucked-away dinners perfect for two. You can almost hear the soft jazz and blues music accompanying the clink of scotch glasses in the lounge and ting of spoons scraping the remains of the homemade sorbets.

Sawdust and scaffolding was the dominant décor last week, but underneath the draped canvas a rustic, elegant and inviting new addition to Whistler’s

Fine-dining scene awaits.

Named after the co-owner, Morgan MacLeod who joined forces with co-owner executive chef Peter McGeown, the restaurateur moved her ambitions northward to Whistler after opening two other Morgan’s restaurants in Sanjose Del Cabo, Mexico.

Snow and sun differences apart, the only similarities between the open-air Mexican hideaway and the fire-place-roaring, post-and-beam chalet are the quality of ingredients and mesquite grill.

Instead of Mahi Mahi, halibut fillets will grace the robust and rustic Whistler menu, along with plentiful meats and game.

Rich and hearty stews such as Moroccan lamb stew and butternut squash and pear soup, along with sandwiches such as anchovy-cured ribeye will share the spotlight for lunch. Everything will be made from scratch, including the two-week pickled sauerkraut for the bacon sandwich.

Morgan’s will not compete with the nacho and beer swigging après of Dusty’s with a higher-altitude après menu of tapas to share with friends over a bottle of wine from an international wine list.

Chef Travis Grier, who spent his recent years at the Royal Canadian Lodge in Banff, will man the kitchen with MacLeod and McGeown, a former chef at La Rúa, focused on the development of the menu.

Approximately 90 per cent of what will come out of the kitchen for lunch and dinner will be made from certified-organic product. Cuisine will be simply prepared using only the highest quality of ingredients.

"Naturally produced, organic food is something all of us live by," Godin said. "We are catering to sophisticated comfort food. We will present things elegantly but simply. Things people can relate to, but that are unquestionably the highest quality of product. With the best ingredients, you don’t need to manipulate them very much."

Nothing says comfort food like the individual apple pies slated for the dessert menu.

With construction still in progress, Godin hopes to be open for business by the end of January.

Australia Day next week

Celebrate Australia Day with Aussie traditions outside of free-flowing beer. Ingrid’s Village Café celebrates with the traditional mile-high Aussie Burger starting this Saturday, Jan. 21 with beef patty, fried onions, cheese, pineapple, sliced beetroot, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, fried egg and tomato sauce. No vegemite?

Cover at Whistler’s biggest Australia Day bash, Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Longhorn Saloon, includes one homemade beef or chicken pie. Victoria Bitter beer will also be on hand to wash it down. Last year, the kitchen shuttled out more than a thousand pies.

Winetastic Jan. 27

The 14 th Annual Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Telus Winter Classic not only packs in a weekend of sports, but social soirees as well.

Whistler Winetastic! Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Resort toasts more than 150 fabulous wines to sample alongside cold appetizers prepared by Master Chef Hans Stierli and live jazz music. Tickets are $45. Call 604-938-7321 for tickets.

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