If you’ve ever spent an evening at Riverhorse on Main (540 Main St, 435.649.3536), then it’s likely you already know Seth Adams. Though the executive chef and co-owner of one of Park City’s most beloved eateries is at home in the kitchen, his favorite part of the job is spending time at the front of the house. “I’m a people person, and I spend a good portion of every night in the dining room getting to know our guests and listening to what they have to say, not only about our food and restaurant but about skiing and the area,” he says.
It was skiing, in fact, that first drew the Pennsylvania native to Utah for a seasonal position at Deer Valley Resort in 1998. A stint at Canyons’ Grand Summit Hotel followed. And then in 2002, Adams was hired as executive chef at Riverhorse on the Green at the Hotel Park City. When that restaurant was converted into a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in 2004, Adams moved to Riverhorse on Main as executive chef.
In 2011, Adams and business partner Dave Spence purchased Riverhorse from its original owner, Jerry Gilomen. Soon after, Adams teamed up with his wife, interior designer Casey Adams, to complete a stunning dining room remodel, giving the airy second-floor space a more luxe, cosmopolitan vibe. “People who come here to eat can do so anywhere, but they choose the Riverhorse because the food is consistently good and the service top-notch,” Adams says. “My goal is to walk the line between maintaining that consistency and always offering something current and new.” Popular items like the wild game trio, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and macadamia-encrusted Alaskan halibut (visit parkcitymagazine.com for the halibut recipe) always remain on the menu. “I think we’d have people picketing in front of the place if we got rid of the halibut,” he says.
Adams doesn’t let the status quo hinder his sense of creativity, however, and experiments frequently with flavors and ingredients reflecting the seasons and his own inspiration. It’s an approach that’s clearly been a success. Riverhorse on Main has maintained its DiRoNa Award designation every year since 1995 and has garnered a Forbes Four-Star (formerly Mobil Travel Guide) ranking annually since 2000. In 2013, Adams hosted the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour.
With the recent expansion of Riverhorse on Main’s private chef services, the next dining room where you’ll run into Adams may be your own. “People can expect a four-star dining experience when they come to Riverhorse on Main,” Adams says. “But when we come to them, we are able to offer a five-star evening they won’t soon forget.”