Who says eating out is about the food? These three dining destinations—all located within an hour’s drive of Park City—prove that ambience is as important as what’s on the plate.
While skiing at Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon and ready for lunch, head into Watson Shelter, located at mid-mountain near the Collins lift angle station. Instead of getting in the cafeteria line, however, head upstairs to Collins Grill (801.799.2297, reservations are recommended). There, take off your ski boots, don slippers (in a basket by the entry), and ask for a table by the north-facing windows. Order a glass from the robust wine list and one of this European bistro’s well-executed classics: we love the garlicky escargot or the savory daily tart. Then sit back and enjoy the views of mighty Mount Superior.
You enter through the street-level Bodega (331 Main St, 801.532.4042) in Salt Lake City, a seemingly innocuous neighborhood-feeling bar where you can have a drink and a taco or play foosball. And then, you’re given a key. It opens a door at the back of the bar, behind which you’ll find two flights of stairs leading to The Rest, an exclusive and secret-feeling speakeasy with exposed brick walls, bookshelves, taxidermy, and antique furniture. The menu is standard elevated comfort food, and the cocktail menu covers the classics using locally sourced booze like Beehive Distilling’s Jack Rabbit Gin and Squatter’s draft beers.
The evening starts with a lantern- or moon-lit, guided snowshoe tour through fragrant pines. Soon you’ll see your destination through the trees: the Solitude Yurt (12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, 801.536.5765, Thu–Sun evenings), a large, glowing circular platform tent-like structure. Inside, servers tend to the communal tables set with crisp, white tablecloths, candles, and shiny cutlery while the chefs prepare a memorable four-course dinner. Wine, beer, and cocktails are not included, so be sure to stop at the liquor store on your way to Solitude.