“It’s been a long time since we’ve had
something new in the Village of this size,”
says Restaurant Director Darin Newton.
“Some people, especially those who have
been coming here since the ’80s, see it as a
Il Caminetto, which really does mean
fireplace in Italian, is one of Whistler’s
most famous restaurants. And while it
didn’t exactly rise from the ashes, the 150-
seat restaurant, now under new ownership,
was stripped back to bare boards and
concrete during an extensive renovation
that transformed the cozily tufted dining
room into a sleek, airy, city-style hot
spot — complete with its first fireplace, a
custom Montigo that occupies a place of
pride in the swanky lounge.
The original Il Caminetto was founded
in 1981 by Umberto Menghi, a legendary
Tuscan chef who set the bar for fine Italian
dining in Canada and once presided
over a small empire of restaurants that
stretched all the way to Pisa. He still owns
Il Giardino in Vancouver and Trattoria di
Umberto in Whistler.
After years of courting offers from
prospective buyers, Menghi finally handed
Il Caminetto over to the Toptable Group,
which belongs to another rather famous
Italian-Canadian family (the Aquilinis,
best known for their ownership of the
Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena).
It was baptism by fire — or, more precisely, the warm glow of a modern, marble-clad, gas-burning fireplace.
The new Il Caminetto opened on Dec.
28, 2017, in the middle of the Christmas
rush, Whistler’s busiest time of year.
By midnight on New Year’s Eve, diners
were dancing in a conga line around the
Experience a Taste of La Dolce Vita!
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