Nestled in the arms of Sproatt and Whistler mountains, offering an unbeatable lakeside setting, there is no better place to relax and enjoy a fall season special than Nita Lake Lodge.
The fall is a great time to be a foodie in Whistler, and this Creekside gem is home to the best-kept secret in town. We're talking about Aura Restaurant's three-course, $39 vegan dinner that is actually available all year round! As fall settles upon the valley and we anxiously await the first snowfall, we headed over to Aura to soak up the lakeside atmosphere and sample their increasingly popular Meatless Mondays menu.
Chef James’ Meatless Mondays began in 2018 as a way to challenge peoples’ perceptions of a vegan diet. Their incredible menu showcases just how delicious, varied and satisfying a plant-based meal can be. For just $39, diners are invited to enjoy three perfected courses with an optional (and highly recommended) wine pairing from local B.C. wineries for $29.
The goal of Meatless Mondays was to offer an approachable and affordable fine dining experience, and it has proved very popular ever since it’s launch. Not widely known, it is one of Whistler's only year-round prix fixe menus. After our visit, we are convinced that Monday nights at Aura might just be Whistler's best-kept local’s secret. Reservations are recommended!
We arrived a little before dusk and were delighted to hear tales of the neighborhood bear who strolls past the patio each night. As we watched the sky fade from blue to pink, we sipped on a couple of craft cocktails and breathed in the fresh lakeside air. Shaken and stirred by the Cure Lounge bartenders, Aura's cocktail menu is impressive. We eventually settled on a Lavender Daquiri and a Kaffir & Pisco Sour, both of which were exquisite. The perfect way to sit back, relax and enjoy the ambiance of the lakefront patio.
Our first course arrived along with our carefully selected Okanagan wine and we got stuck in.
Our appetites were whetted with a beet salad that boasted a delicious horseradish crèma and sourdough croutons. Our mains of butternut squash and leek risotto with roasted harissa cauliflower were a delight to the tastebuds and impossibly indulgent. Finally, our sweet tooth was satisfied with a coconut mango rice pudding and the spiced, banana-split-style ‘ice cream’ sundae for dessert. Paired with a fantastic sunset and a delectable dessert wine, it was the perfect end to a relaxing evening.
Throughout their menu, Aura showcases a plethora of ingredients from local farms, foragers, and fisheries as well as crops from their rooftop garden. The culinary team frequents their on-site planters any time they want to harvest fresh herbs and vegetables for the kitchen. This is just one of the many ways that Nita displays a commitment to sustainability and reduces its carbon footprint.
Due to its increasing popularity, we strongly recommend booking in advance if you choose to head over to Aura to sample their Meatless Mondays menu. Keep in mind, Nita's dining options don't end there. With their open concept kitchen, fresh décor and stunning lake views, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the spoils of the rooftop garden. Enjoy a cozy breakfast with fresh, local produce as the sun rises over the valley or warm up with an evening cocktail and appetizer in the Cure Lounge. Take a morning walk to the Fix café, serving up organic, fairtrade coffee alongside pastries, sandwiches, and delicious gluten-free & vegan options. Everything at this local's favorite is made in-house. And, if you are craving a less plant-oriented meal, Nita have just launched their regular menu fall prix fixe menu, which you can check out here.