Park City: A Western Destination for Dining, Skiing, & Sundance
Park City was a sleepy, nameless Rocky Mountains hamlet until silver was discovered in 1868. Then, this nameless hamlet became a local destination for silver miners and their ladies to have fun eating, drinking, and gambling.
Park City and neighboring Deer Valley are still known as a place to have fun:
- To ski tall slopes (the Winter Olympics were held here in 2002)
- To indulge in great hotels and spas
- And to be cool at the Sundance Film Festival
Park City Has Become a Standout Dining & Drinking Destination
Today, Park City tempts with some of the best dining west of the Rockies.
- Park City's chefs are gifted, and their restaurants cutting-edge yet casual
- Restaurants and resorts feature breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus
- And in winter, tempting Apres-Ski menus, served between lunch and dinner
I spent a week in Park City and Deer Valley to check out quite a few of its best, high-end restaurants. On the following pages are my dining choices in Park City, starting with…
Riverhorse on Main Restaurant in Park City, Utah
Why You Can’t Miss it: The way for visitors to feel like locals is: go to Riverhorse on Main.
- Everyone in Park City knows Riverhorse on Main
- It has garnered four stars from Forbes Travel Guide for over 15 years
- The restaurant occupies a landmark: Park City's Masonic Hall, built in 1908
- The restaurant is upstairs, with a boutique feeling and very personal service
Riverhorse on Main Chef Seth Adams
Everyone in Park City knows Riverhorse on Main's chef, too.
- Seth Adams, the restaurant's Executive Chef and co-owner, is a popular Park City private chef and caterer too
The Food at Riverhorse on Main
Chef Adams cooks full-throttle Colorado fare. Whether it’s a meat dish, a fish, a pasta or salad, his flavors are bold and satisfying. This is not bunny-slope food.
What’s Special: A Few Favorite Riverhorse on Main Dishes
- Ahi Tuna Sashimi
- Buffalo Tartare
- Kale and Dandelion Salad with Pine Nuts
- Buffalo Short Ribs with Pappardelle and Wild Mushrooms
- Trio of Wild Game: Elk, Buffalo and Venison with port wine reduction and Montana huckleberries
The Brass Tag Restaurant in Deer Valley near Park City, Utah
The Brass Tag Tips its Hat to Utah's Miners
The Brass Tag is set in The Lodges at Deer Valley. This is a hotel and residential complex in a choice spot near Deer Valley Resort near Park City.
The name pays homage to Utah's silver miners, who identified themselves with brass tags hung on pegboards in the mines. The restaurant walls display photographs of Park City mines and original miners' maps are set under the bar counter.
The Brass Tag's "Brick Oven Cuisine"
Chef Ryan Swarts's menu is casual and full-flavored.
- His menu offers bar bites and appetizers for grazers -- and hearty entrees for starved skiers
- There are vegetarian and gluten-free menus, too
What’s Special at The Brass Tag: A Few Favorites
The Brass Tag's Apres-Ski Menu
Apres-ski -- between lunch and dinner -- is a beloved dining tradition in Park City. The Brass Tag's apres-ski belly-warmers are just what you want after shussing down Deer Valley's slopes. I loved these dishes:
- Miners' Oven-Roasted Mix (tandoori cashews and pretzel bites )
- Brick Oven Skillet Shrimp (with your choice of three sauces)
- Deer Valley Meadowlark Double Cream Brie
- Oven-Fired Chimichurri Chips
The dinner menu is exceptional as well. My picks:
- House-Cured Duck and Parma Prosciutto Flatbread
- Blueberry, Romaine, and Kale Salad with fresh, housemade lemon-herb ricotta
- Brass Tag Burger: eight ounces of Niman Ranch beef plus pancetta, Gruyere, more
- Chop Of The Day: A butcher's cut of local beef, pork or wild game
- Cheddar-Truffle-Chive Spåtzle
The Brass Tag's bar creations are unique.
- You'll feel as powerful as Citizen Kane with a Rosebud, combining Tito’s gluten-free Texas vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime, and cranberry
- The Brass Tag website
Next: A CIA-degreed chef cooks the best of the West -- and Norway, too >>
Stein Eriksen Lodge's Glitretind Restaurant in Park City, Utah
Stein Eriksen Lodge's Glitretind Restaurant: At the Top of Its Game
Stein Eriksen Lodge is a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel, a rarity anywhere.
- The property is named after Norwegian Olympic Gold Medal skier Stein Eriksen
- "Stein's" (as locals call it) was honored as Best Ski Hotel in the World by the World Ski Awards
The restaurant's reputation is as lofty as its namesake. It is rated Four Stars by Forbes Travel Guide.
Chef Zane Holmquist
Stein’s restaurant is run by Chef Zane Holmquist.
- This talented chef is a Utah native and a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America
- The restaurant is renowned for its wine cellar, one of the West's most extensive
- Glitretind serves a late lunch and dinner
- Chef Zane cooks with Utah ingredients and global flavors (you'll taste Thai peanut sauce, lemon chutney, tzatziki dip)
What’s Special: Some Menu Favorites
- Wild Game Chili
- Potato Chip Salad
- Molasses-and-Walnut Poulet Rouge Chicken
- Wagyu Sirloin
- Rocky Mountain Elk Tenderloin with Viking Potatoes
- Chocolates and truffles made in-house
- At lunch, a custom pasta station creates ingenious noodle dishes to order
Glitretind's Greatness with Dessert
Meal-enders here are sensational.
- I like them all: New Orleans beignet doughnuts, modern French-style Dark Chocolate Sesame Composition
- The lunch buffet's dessert table is a Park City legend, offering just-baked cakes, tarts, pies, éclairs, puddings, cheesecake, and handmade chocolates
Get in Touch
Next: the food is hearty and haute, and the chef's just too handsome >>
Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant in Park City, Utah
Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant: A Famed Name in Park City
This renowned restaurant is the dining room of Goldener Hirsch Inn.
- This is a family-run inn in Deer Valley, just south of Park City.
Both the inn and its dining room are proud institutions. The restaurant has been named "Best Restaurant in Park City"by Salt Lake magazine.
A Touch of Austria in Deer Valley
The restaurant's namesake is in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart's hometown. The Deer Valley eatery describes its cuisine as "contemporary Alpine cuisine with a seasonal American spin."
The dining room is decidedy Old World, with crystal, china, carved wood chairs, and a white fireplace mantel painted with leaping deer.
Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant's Chef, Ryan Burnham
Chef Ryan Burnham was raised in Virginia and fell in love with the Wasatch Mountains lifestyle as a University of Utah student. He was trained at the California Culinary Academy and has spent most of his career in Park City.
Chef Burnham's modern orientation is farm-to-table, seasonal cuisine.
- His kitchen at Goldener Hirsch serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Apres Ski.
- The Goldener Hirsch menu is studded with classic Austrian dishes like signature cheese fondue, Weiner schnitzel, and apple strudel
- Presentations are dazzling
What’s Special: A Few Favorites
- Lamb Chili
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Buffalo Short Ribs with Blue Corn Grits
- Mill reek Chocolate Fondue
My Willets Ranch Lamb was the best I've ever tasted. It came from an artisanal farm in Laketown, Utah.
Supreme Service at Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant
The staff here is exceptionally well trained and attuned to diners.
- My server knew the history of each dish and the origin of every ingredient
Get in Touch with Goldener Hirsch Inn Restaurant
- Its web page
J&G Grill by Jean-Georges Vongerichten at St. Regis Deer Valley, Utah
J&G Grill in The St. Regis Deer Valley
J&G Grill is the signature Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant at the St. Regis Deer Valley, one of the Park City's most deluxe hotels. (There's a J&G Grill in the St. Regis Mexico City.)
Jean-Georges' ace staff makes sure that dining in the modern, copper-burnished dining room is a total pleasure.
J&G Grill offers a straightforward menu of grilled and roasted food. If you're hankering for a simple, ultra-fresh salmon filet, lamb chop, or dry-aged steak, this is the place.
The Tasting Menu at J&G Grill
The best way to sample J&G Grill's seductive menu is to order the house's five-course tasting menu.
- Sample dishes: tuna tartare, black pepper shrimp, Berkshire pork belly, Clarks Farm lamb rack, and warm chocolate cake
- You're a luxury traveler...so order the wine pairings, too
What Else Is Special...
- Koosharem Valley Trout Amandine
- Niman Ranch Poulet Rouge
- Braised Niman Ranch Short Ribs
Start with a Cocktail at J&G Grill
The restaurant's bar libations were exceptional as well. I tasted a few and can recommend:
- The Sego Lily, a Champagne cocktail made with orange-flavored Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and Charles De Fère Brut Champagne
- Grapefruit Gimlet with Belvedere Grapefruit Vodka, Agave Nectar, Lime
- The Autumn Giant with Tanqueray Ten Gin, Green Chartreuse, St. Germain, Verjus, a touch of apple and tarragon
And Along Came the 7452 Mary
The what? Every Regis hotel smakes a signature version of the Bloody Mary, invented at the original St. Regis in Manhattan.
The St .Regis Deer Valley's Bloody Mary -- the 7452 Mary -- is named for the hotel's altitude.
- It calls upon local vodka from High West Distillery, wasabi-celery foam, and a black salt rim resembling coal, an homage to Park City miners
Get in Touch
Next: a restaurant at the top, in more ways than one >>
APEX Restaurant at Montage Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah
APEX Restaurant at Montage Deer Valley: At the Top of Its Game
Montage Deer Valley, a luxury resort, boasts five eateries. APEX is the top of the line.
- It is the summit in altitude: Montage sits atop Empire Pass, at about 9000 feet above sea level, with breathtaking views...
- ...and supreme ski-in/ski-out access
- APEX is the peak of quality dining, too: this is where Chef Christian Ojeda presides
What’s Special at APEX: A Few Favorites
- Oregon Steelhead Trout
- Wild Mushroom Risotto
- Mary’s Free Range Chicken Breast
- Prime Beef Tenderloin, delectably dressed with Cauliflower Mousse, Marcona Almond, Serrano Ham, King Trumpet Mushroom, Truffle Jus
At APEX, Don't Deny Yourself Dessert
APEX's meal-enders are a must. You'll be fine with anything from the kitchen's talented pastry team. But I dream of:
- D’Anjou Pear Mousse with Caramelized Milk, Olive Oil Chiffon Cake, Pecan Brittle
- Pistachio Dacquoise with Dark Chocolate Cream, Apricot Cremeux, Cherry Sorbet
Connect with APEX
Next: Utah's first distillery in 150 years, with good chow too >>
High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City, Utah (Yes, Utah)
High West Distillery & Saloon: Park City's First Legal Distillery Since 1870
High West Distillery is Utah’s first legal distillery in nearly 150 years.
- Its flavorful historic setting: Old Town Park City's vintage heart
- It was voted "Best Restaurant in Park City" by City Weekly from 2011 through 2014
- High West draws locals and visitors, many on skis. And here's why...
High West Is the World’s Only Ski-In Gastro-Distillery
You can ski in, eat, drink, and ski out.
The Dining Room's a Saloon
What the High West folks call a saloon is an intimate restaurant.
- The chow: contemporary Western food in small plates
- The drinks: built around High West-produced spirits
What to Eat Along with Your High West Distillery Drinks
The saloon's small plates have an Apres-ki quality to them: compact, flavorful, calories be damned. I liked:
- Caribou Sausage Roll
- High West Fondue: a five-cheese blend with house baguettes, fingerling potatoes, Granny Smith apples
- Cheese Board: a trio of artisanal fromages with whiskey-spiked pecans and candied pumpkin
Skier's-appetite-sized dishes well worth trying:
- Veal Schnitzel with capers
- High Country Pot Pie with chicken and pheasant
- Bison Cottage Pie
Indulgent Desserts at High West Distillery
You can't distill liquor without a fermenting agent. Sugar is a great one. Maybe that's why High West Distillery's desserts are so good. They share a tossing calories to the winds feeling.
- An irresistible example: the High West Manhattan Cheesecake, laced with more than a few drops of the High West Manhattan cocktail (made with vermouth and High West Rye)
Tours & Tastings at High West Distillery & Saloon
Tours of the back areas show how spirits are actually produced, in handsome, hand-made copper stills.
- Right here, High West distills several kinds of whiskey, vodka, rye, "bourye" (bourbon and rye), and more
- Post-tour, you can taste them all in a cozy High West tastings room
Check out High West Distillery
Next: how to get to know Park City better >>