Similar to Canmore and Banff, Jasper’s lively downtown is surrounded by snow-capped, jagged peaks.
On my visit, I meandered through the town, then hopped in my car and headed up the winding hill to Patricia and Pyramid Lakes, meeting a herd of slow-moving elk on the way (a common occurrence on my weekend adventure).
After the sun set behind the mountain range, my stomach loudly reminded me that it was time to eat. Conveniently, The Pines restaurant in the Pyramid Lake Resort was mere minutes from where I stood on the chilly beach of Pyramid Lake.
Though the restaurant was dimly lit, wine glasses glittered on the tables and windows offered stunning views of the lake and Pyramid Mountain in the fading evening light.
I sat by the view and ordered a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the crispy-skinned BC salmon entrée I ordered as an entrée. While I waited for my meal, a waiter brought a basket of warm bread and whipped butter, accompanied with an amuse-bouche.
He told me what the little bite consisted of: fresh strawberry slices on a wedge of Brie, covered with roasted oats and a drizzle of honey. It was a perfect way to whet my appetite.
As I enjoyed the bread and wine, the restaurant started to fill up with groups and couples (The Pines is the perfect place for a romantic date night). I watched as a man led his date to their table that was adorned with a dozen long-stemmed roses, while a waiter told them the pre-ordered champagne was on its way. I could see the woman was thrilled with the effort of her date and the staff to make the evening special. (Men, take note!)
My entrée was just as fantastic as the dreamy ambience. The texture of the crispy skin on top balanced the moist, perfectly cooked piece of salmon. It rested on a bed of buttermilk dill mashed potatoes that was circled with grilled asparagus. Crunchy slices of fried garlic were tossed in for contrast, and roasted shallots also adorned the plate. Their sweetness complemented the tanginess of the grainy maple Dijon sauce, bringing the dish together beautifully.