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Image: Doug Burke

With the glow of a fiery brick oven and the gleam of copper amid shimmering, soft lighting, Deer Valley’s newest restaurant draws you immediately into the comfort zone. Tucked up on the second floor of The Lodges at Deer Valley, it’s called The Brass Tag—a term borrowed from Park City’s silver-mining history. Miners would hang their brass nametags on a wooden board as they entered the town’s intricate web of mines each day, and when they emerged at quitting time, each miner would pick up his tag. If any were left hanging, it meant it was time for a search. This intriguing nod to the past contrasts beautifully with a menu that heralds a creative new riff on traditional comfort food. Just about every item (including potato chips served nachos-style with bacon, gruyére, and chimichurri) is roasted in a 650- to 700-degree brick oven, and most are served in their cooking vessels, from iron skillets to copper cataplanas.

The menu ranges from indulgent—a mountain oak–smoked venison chop with a deeply flavored reduction and huckleberry jam (chops change daily; you might also find pork or a rib eye on the menu)—to a little less so, as in a splendid tandoori spice-rubbed, perfectly roasted quail with corn bread stuffing, lime coconut sauce on one side, and sweet potato purée on the other. Vegetarian and vegan choices make their own delectable statements rather than relying on disappointing substitutes. Case in point: a mushroom trio with potato hash, quinoa, a fresh farm egg, and roasted red pepper sauce thickened with tofu. The salad of blueberries, romaine, and kale with house-made fresh herb lemon ricotta bursts with bright flavors and textural contrasts.

Amid huge wood beams and cozy carpeting, seating includes banquettes and intimate tables, a communal high-top, and a cozy bar where you can order food and cocktails and while away some time perusing the historic mining maps embedded in the bar’s surface. Who said history was “dry”? 

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