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Park City remains one of America’s most popular ski destinations for a bevy of reasons. Once a famous silver mining town and host to the 2002 Winter Games, the picturesque, charming town is unlike any other ski town in the world—with Park City Mountain remaining the largest ski resort in the country. Plus, you can ski directly to historic Main Street, filled with bustling après ski bars, shops, and restaurants—including Handle, led by Briar Handly, recently nominated for Best Chef: Mountain for the 2020 James Beard Awards (perhaps for the General Tso’s cauliflower alone).
While fresh powder is the draw, Park City’s food scene is gaining momentum. And while there are a bounty of good meals to be had, the small town proves that dining gets as wild as skiing. Scratch the surface with a stop into Hearth and Hill, an eatery dreamed up by Brooks Kirchheimer, with an eclectic menu that wet your palate in all the right ways. Flank steak gyoza and a bowl of chef-driven ramen will fuel you up on the way into town and set the tone for a delicious next few days.
From here, dining gets elevated.
Whiskey enthusiasts will appreciate High West Saloon, the world's only ski-in, ski-out gastro distillery—also Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870. Not only can you get your hands on High West’s new release, High Country American Single Malt, but the food and cocktails are next level. A whiskey neat is a definite win but don’t sleep on Little Big Man—a winter cocktail crafted with American Prairie Bourbon, mezcal, passion fruit, yellow chartreuse, yuzu, and lime. As for grub, the house-made pretzel with Rendezvous Rye beer cheese, deviled eggs, and bourbon chicken wings are the best après snacks around. For an epic tour and tasting, venture 20 minutes north to Wanship to check out High West’s bright and shiny distillery and tasting room, where science, history, and booze collide. Stay for lunch afterward or book Sunday brunch in advance, where whiskey flights are the norm alongside eggs.
For non-traditional lunch, pop into Rime Seafood and Raw Bar on top of the Mayflower lift at Deer Valley Resort. As Park City’s only slopeside raw bar, expect the vibe of a seaside fishery in a cabin-like setting. Wash down a dozen oysters, ahi tartare, and a Connecticut-style lobster roll drenched in warm butter and lemon with a bubbly glass of Schramsberg rosé. Or solely commit to après oyster happy hour from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m, where oysters are $2.50 a piece.
For winter 2020, Waldorf Astoria Park City—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—brings a playful new dining experience to the mix with Frostoria, an igloo-like structure situated poolside, decked out in chic furniture and a chandelier, cozy blankets and board games. Powder’s Executive Chef, Hermann Schaefer, developed Frostoria’s prix fixe menu with an emphasis on Austrian food—a nod to his roots. Watch the snow fall as if you’re in a real life snow globe and warm up with buttery spaetzle, Viennese goulash and mulled wine.
It remains the most hyped “outdoor living room” reservation of the season. Stumble back to a newly refreshed suite (but hit the s'mores fire pit first), slip into a plush robe and relax by the fireplace. If time allows, foodtox (food detox) in the spa starting with a 90-minute Bellabaci cupping massage.
For dinner, snag a reservation to Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, one of Deer Valley’s most coveted winter-only restaurants that will transport you straight to the Alps. Picture this: fireside wheels of melty, oozy, gooey raclette dripping onto white plates. Each winter, the restaurant plows through roughly 14 wheels of cheese a night—or 700 wheels per season to put it in perspective. After you’ve scraped cheese onto virtually all forms of carbohydrates and cured meats, move on to the other noteworthy stations of Swiss veal and mushroom stew, osso buco, elk tenderloin, and roasted leg of lamb. Pro tip: save room for the fondue fireplace where chocolate, caramel, and white chocolate Grand Marnier fondues exist in the form of dessert.
Strategy is one word that comes to mind for Deer Valley’s hyped Seafood Buffet. They use the term buffet lightly as it’s quite the opposite. Think elegant stations filled with the freshest sea snacks out there, on the side of a mountain. Since Salt Lake City International Airport is half an hour away, the chefs have access to fresh fish, therefore bringing something different to Park City’s fine dining scene. By the numbers think 7,000 pounds of King Crab, 5,000 pounds of Opilio, 54,000 oysters, 3,000 pounds of peel n' eat shrimp, 5,000 pounds of tuna, 3,500 pounds of salmon, 2,000 pounds of clams and 3,000 pounds of mussels each winter season. A new chowder bar allows guests to choose from a New England, Manhattan or saffron cream base and add seafood fundamentals and garnishes to their liking—plus a luxe sashimi and poke stand where chef dresses up raw fish with vibrant garnishes and sauces. Pro tip: skip the carbs as you won’t make it past the raw bar portion of the spread—and saving room for Farr’s Huckleberry ice cream is a must.
Take a sleigh ride or Sno-Cat up to the Viking Yurt for a cozy, heartwarming dinner at 8,700 feet in elevation. The four-hour dinner, in an actual yurt, is quite the experience as guests get an extraordinary view of Park City’s twinkling lights by night while embarking on a six-course tasting menu. Sip on a glass of Glogg, a non-boozy but warm and spicy berry drink while you make your way to the table. The menu is a nod to the chef’s Norweigan roots so get excited for dishes like lobster and salmon bisque, braised short ribs with cheesy Jarlsberg mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce and Marzipan and Valrhona chocolate cake with cardamom ice cream. This isn't a dress to impress night, FYI. Dress warm and cozy as you never know when a snowstorm will appear.
Set amidst the aspen trees at Stein Eriksen Lodge, Glitretind is a real treat for dinner, especially for serious wine drinkers and collectors alike. While there are many other non-meat items, the chefs perfectly execute interesting, carnivorous dishes such as rabbit and white bean cassoulet, roasted quail salad, rocky mountain elk tenderloin, and duck confit beignets. Back to the wine cellar, as there’s no shortage of finding a perfect pairing—or wine you’ve been searching for. Stein Eriksen’s wine cellar is home to 18,000 bottles and 1,500 selections, totaling roughly $1.5 million of liquid gold in one space. It’s arguably one of the largest and most exceptional collections in the entire state. If you can’t decide, a dedicated sommelier will help guide you through the wine book (list).
Located in the heart of Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, The Farm is a tried and true, farm-to-table style establishment in the heart of the mountains. In the dead of winter sit outside under a covered, heated outdoor tent and enjoy inventive dishes with ingredients sourced from farms within 200 miles of Park City. Indulge in seasonal delights, which come and go based on what’s available, such as cassoulet with duck confit and bone marrow and market fish and grits. But always start with their mainstay, a beautiful charcuterie board chock full of local cheeses, Creminelli meats and chef’s house-made accoutrements.