When I was in Whistler a few months ago for my stagette, one of the places that we thought about going to was Basalt Wine + Salumeria. Perfect for any cheese lover, this place has a wide variety of wine and cheese, plus a full menu for both lunch and dinner. I was really looking forward to this place, especially given that it had some really good reviews! We didn’t go during my stagette, but a few of us decided to check it out on our most recent trip to Whistler.
So many items on the menu sounded so good, and we were having such a hard time deciding what we wanted! Do we just gorge on wine and cheese? Or do we order a few appies and mains to share? Or do we go all out and just order everything?! Our server raved about what some of the fan favorites were from the menu, and a few things that she really liked, so we decided to skip out on the cheese (gasp!) and order from the dinner menu. We started a few appies: truffle fries, the prawn and scallop ceviche, and a grilled peach with ricotta and heirloom tomato salad ($16 each), and shared 2 mains: the westcoast seafood paella ($31), and an oxtail ragu with pappardelle ($26). And MAN – did I wish we ordered a cheese and charcuterie plate instead. Seriously, I think this was my most disappointing meal of 2016.
I really wanted to like this place, and we all had higher hopes, but most of the things we had were pretty disappointing. The running theme with our dishes seemed to be that it was either bland, or the arrangement of the dish is confusing, like some things were thrown together without much thought. In general, there are lots of rave reviews about this place, but it seems we’re the ones who didn’t enjoy the food. Maybe Basalt is more of a wine / cheese / happy hour place? I’m not sure, but all I know is that none of us enjoyed the food. The prawn and scallop ceviche was arranged on an avocado puree, and sprinkled with diced tomato, with a few wedges of waffle chips. This was a super bland dish, though the only thing that had flavor was really the avocado puree – and even that didn’t have much acid to it. Now I was really looking forward to the peach and heirloom tomato salad, but this dish was a bit of a failure. It was quite the chunky dish – large tomato wedges, large peach wedges, served with more wedges of bread and drizzled with balsamic and oil. The peach looked like it was just quickly thrown on the grill for a few seconds to get a bit of color, and it wasn’t even sweet. I tried to eat everything together – the ricotta, with the tomato and peach, and the bread, but it either incredibly bland – tasted like nothing, unless there was balsamic on it. Did they lose the salt grinder back there? These dishes definitely sounded better than it tasted.
As for the mains, they weren’t any better. The oxtail ragu was a really dry dish – there was hardly any sauce, and everything was coagulated into a brick. It was just hard to eat, and none of us touched it. The seafood paella was served lukewarm, but the flavor was okay. There were a few different pieces of seafood there, and the shrimp was nice and crunchy, so I’ll give them that. But the confusing part of this dish was the garnish – the dish was topped with a few big leafy greens, and a slice of carrot. Carrot?! It felt like they ran out of garnish and just decided to throw something on top. I looked around at other diners who had ordered the same thing, and their greens / carrot was also pushed to the side. Anyhow, neither of the dishes were great, and we actually left them both behind – and we never usually do that.
Throughout the dinner, no one really complained to each other about the food until the end, when one of us commented that the ragu was disappointing. Then thats when everyone else started giving their input on how disappointing the whole meal was. I think we were all hoping that the next dish that came out would be better, but nope. It was one bad thing after another. We asked our server if she could take the ragu back, since we hardly touched it, and she was nice enough to offer to take it off the bill. But we felt really bad about saying anything about the rest of the meal, because while she was super nice, the food just wasn’t any good.
Anyhow, that meal ran us about $100 including our drinks, taxes in. Definitely one of the least memorable meals I’ve had this year. I may come here next time for some wine and cheese, but when it comes to a full sit down meal? No thanks!
Basalt Wine & Salumeria
#13-4154 Village Green