Gone are the days when eating at a ski resort meant huddling around a cafeteria table with a cold ham and cheese sandwich and a stale bag of chips. From pho to raclette and fresh oysters to schnitzel, Park City’s resorts dish up remarkable on-mountain eats.
Chez Deer Valley Resort
Looking for a somewhat exotic lunch option in the midst of a log-hewn lodge? Located in bustling Silver Lake Lodge, Bald Mountain Pho occupies a walk-up counter and serves up seemingly endless customization options. Pho lovers start by selecting either slow-cooked, rich beef broth or vegetarian ginger-mushroom broth. To the broth is added an array of tasty ingredients, such as thin rice noodles, Wagyu beef slices, Thai basil and mint, sliced chilies, lime wedges, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, and even house-made sriracha, hot chili oil, and hoisin sauce.
Just off Viking chairlift, tuck into lunch at Stein Eriksen Lodge—a luxurious affair. The chicken schnitzel at Troll Hallen Lounge is a sure winner, and we also love to sink our teeth into the Utah Pork Melt with spiced pulled pork, fontina cheese, cotto ham, and pickled peppadew mustard on a sesame seed roll. Of note: Don’t miss the delightful decorations and larger-than-life gingerbread creation during the holidays.
Devote an evening to the phenomenal all-you-can-eat smorgasbord known as Fireside Dining at Empire Lodge. Sure, you can’t ski there after the lifts close, but you can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride to dinner, where meals are cooked at the four-stone fireplaces. Menu items change from week to week, but there’s always roasted leg of lamb; a fondue fireplace (gooey straight-out-of-the-flames raclette); and loads of Alpine-style favorites, including charcuterie, veal and mushroom stew, a carving station, Deer Valley’s marvelous Mountain Macaroni, and more.
Take Empire or Lady Morgan chairlifts to Montage, home to Burgers & Bourbon, where—you guessed it—burgers and bourbon are the main attractions. Kick off your meal sharing Wagyu beef nachos before getting into one of the bodacious burgers. Traditionalists might opt for the Classic, while more hifalutin diners will enjoy the burger with foie gras, bourbon onions, truffle cheese, and arugula, called the Lux. There are also veggie, turkey, bison, and tuna burgers to try, all in a classy pub-type atmosphere. Oh, did I mention that there are also over 200 bourbons and whiskeys for your sipping pleasure?
Named for the Old Norse word for “the layer of frost that develops on an object when bitter wind freezes fog or clouds,” RIME is—as far as we know—the world’s first ski-in/ski-out raw bar. The creation of the dynamic Tupelo restaurant team of Matt Harris and Maggie Alvarez, RIME is a cabin located at the top of the Jordanelle gondola. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters on the half shell while settling into the cozy eatery, perhaps followed by what is arguably the finest Connecticut-style lobster roll this side of the Hudson River. Other delights from Chef Harris’s kitchen include clam chowder, ahi tartare, crudo, fish tacos, and one of the best French dip sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.
Chez Park City Mountain
As much as I loved Mid Mountain Lodge in the old days, when it had the ambience of a school cafeteria, it didn’t take me long to get used to last season’s posh makeover. Accessed via Pioneer chairlift, the historic eatery’s redo includes one of Utah’s only ski-in/ski-out, on-mountain, full-service cocktail bars, The Public House, and a sprawling deck festooned with custom-designed firepits and comfy sheepskin-draped chairs. The menu got a makeover as well and now features temptations ranging from tuna poke and a roasted chickpea and quinoa bowl to the rotisserie creation du jour.
The panoramic 9,000-foot-high views at Lookout Cabin are nothing short of stunning. But then, so is Chef Chris Durfee’s mountain cuisine. His unique Southwestern take on poutine, for example, is quite clever, featuring ancho chile beef gravy, Heber Valley jalapeño cheese curds, cilantro crème, and house-pickled jalapeño. And it’s hard to beat a hearty lunch of bison Bolognese with fresh-made pappardelle on a blustery ski day. It’s also hard to beat the friendly and professional service at Lookout Cabin—not something I necessarily expect from a ski-in/ski-out lunch.
Located at the top of DreamCatcher Express and DreamScape Express chairlifts, Cloud Dine is a modern (even futuristic-looking) mountain bistro with an eclectic selection of food that runs the gamut from the justifiably famous Cloud Dine doughnuts to the equally enjoyable Kobe beef hot dog wrapped in house-made pretzel dough. The Niçoise salad is a thing of beauty, too.