Saxifrage has been open to hotel guests since late last year, but just last week it opened to the public. It's technically a soft opening, in that the menu is limited and they're trying a few things, but anyone can dine there now. It's been nice have a new dining option in town. Cambridge Bay has a Quick Stop which contains a Pizza Hut and KFC Express, as well as the cafeteria-style restaurant at the Arctic Islands Lodge, so basically our dining options just increased by a third.
My husband cooks at this restaurant, which is why I was here on Valentine's Day with my friends, eating his food, instead of eating with him.
The restaurant went out of their way to arrange a romantic ambience - classical music on the speakers, the big screen TV playing a tropical aquarium instead of the usual news feed, and roses on the table - not an easy feat for the frigid Arctic.
Of course, we're still in the Arctic, so any romantic outing is an Arctic romantic outing. You show up hugging your honey on the back of a snowmobile. You enter the restaurant, and just before your glasses fog up due to the temperature chair, you admire the restaurant ambience. And then you take off your pants. Your snowpants, that is, because otherwise you'll overheat inside the dining room. But you leave your kamiks on.
Like I said though, it was nice to be able to sit down at a table, look at a menu, and have your order taken and your meal served to you. It would be a lovely place to take a date. If your honey isn't the man in the kitchen, that is.
I actually wrote a song about not seeing your spouse on Valentine's Day, as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge I'm doing:
For more stories about Northern dating, which obviously I am no expert in as a married woman, check out this guide to surviving northern dating from Up Here magazine, and this post about online dating in Nunavut by Finding True North.