I have not yet had the opportunity to ski in Europe, where I imagine there are hundreds of mountaintop cafés accessed only by gondola, overlooking picturesque Alps and serving up Veuve and mussels. So I may come off as bit naïve, but isn’t it utterly cool that you can embark on a tram at the base of a mountain, rise to 11,000 feet in elevation while watching little skiers below while passing sheer cliffs, then disembark on a steel platform on the top of a freaking mountain, then stroll on in and order leg of lamb? I find the whole experience simply astonishing.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort tried to build a day lodge at the top of Hidden Peak for years (read all about it in Ski Utah magazine). The result is a streamlined steel-and-concrete structure perched adjacent Mineral Basin, with 360° views of that eastern valley and down Little Cottonwood Canyon. The design was by GSBS Architects and Luna Design Studio. The interior is spacious and bright yet spare; it’s a cafeteria—all function—and the artwork has been left to Mother Nature in horizons of bluebird-sky-blue and powder white.
Chef George Lackey, with Snowbird since 2000, specializes in new American cuisine and created the dining format and menus at The Summit. The staff is executing it all well. It is cafeteria style, with six stations: panini, flatbread/pizza, salads (also a yummy salad bar) rotisserie, chili/soup and the bakery. Among the various dishes at each station, there are ample options for every taste, and many are labeled Gluten Free (GF) and Dairy Free (DF). The service was friendly and exceptionally fast. Thought went into the presentation, which was surprising for a “cafeteria” and the food was hot—key when you’re coming in from the cold.
My favorite dish was the slab of leg of lamb with mac n’ cheese and roasted Brussel sprouts. A hearty portion of total comfort food for the price ($17). The chili was balanced, beefy and mildy spicy ($12). The artisan pizza was crisp with lovely ingredients—creminis and sausage, fresh marinara. ($14). I would also recommend trying the paninis—fresh pressed—and the rotisserie combos. All made to order and piping hot. Before lunch begins at 11, hungry skiers can grab pastries and hot beverages.
When weather permits and the decks are open, experience a lunch like no other at The Summit. With your gourmet meal and a stout brew, you just might feel like you’re on a European vacation.