By Pam's Plate \ November 11 2016
Every year, I turn my gaze south toward the Last Chair Saloon. Brian Head's owner, John Grissinger, puts love into every brisket or rack of ribs. “BBQ is my favorite subject, next to skiing of course!” Down at Utah’s southernmost resort, you’ll find BBQ made the Kansas City style (where Grissinger hails from), meat smoked low and slow overnight, served every Saturday night during ski season. It’s one meat item only—ribs, brisket, pulled pork or chicken—while it lasts. There’s no sauce on the meat, but it’s on the table. According to Grissinger, “studies have proven that good BBQ makes you a better skier.”
Picture a snowy afternoon post ski-day, with a warm mug of rich, silky hot chocolate cradled in your cozy mittens. The folks at Ritual make delicious chocolate and offer fans a chance to see behind the scenes and get an overview of the operations which ends with a tasting of each of their chocolate bars. Tours typically last an hour. $14/person
The folks at High West keep rollin’. After opening the world’s first ski-in, ski-out distillery in Park City, they opened The Nelson Cottage, where a prix-fixe menu is served in a communal dining setting with optional whiskey pairings. Every Friday and Saturday night, try dishes such as white onion and watercress soup with confit potato and soft-poached pheasant egg paired with one of High West’s whiskeys or grilled 90-day dry-aged prime New York steak with a roasted shallot-Barolo reduction. $75/person. Hand-selected pairings, $35. High West’s most recent addition, the distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, I’m saving for another post. Stay tuned…
When I hear Viking or Nordic, I’m all in. A four-hour mountain dining adventure that begins with a sleigh ride through the forest above Park City to the warm glow of the Viking Yurt, where long wooden tables set with candles and hefty pewter dinnerware awaits. On arrival, guests are served glogg (although it’s non-alcoholic, which I don’t get. Glogg is a Scandinavian spiced wine), then dive into a 6-course meal that may feature shrimp bisque, braised short ribs and Valrohna chocolate bread pudding. By the end of the night, we’ll be praising Ullr and recanting days of skiing glory. To get pumped up, check out the new movie "The Last King," and see Vikings on skis! $135/person. Alcoholic beverages separate.
Okay, okay…this goal of mine may be a little more about the skiing than the food BUT the dining promises to be amazing. My ideal adventure: After a full day of finding my own lines among the 60,000 (!!!) acres of un-touched powder in Northern Utah, I’ll return to my stylish luxurious yurt at Whisper Ridge and enjoy an exquisitely prepared meal by Chef John Simpson featuring local, seasonal foods. For $875/night, the package includes yurt lodging and cat skiing, breakfast, lunch, dinner and beverages.
Every season I strive to hit one of Snowbasin's special dining events because they do an amazing job. The Dining Discovery series is a winner, so keep your eye on the calendar for those (yet unscheduled). Meanwhile, book a seat at the Uinta Beer pairing dinner. Among a boisterous crowd in the opulent Earl’s Lodge, we’ll be served grilled Knackwurst with pickled onion jam on a toasted pretzel crostini; lamb samosas with mint chutney; macadamia crusted Ono with a papaya starfruit relish; apple brie bisque garnished with crispy pancetta; chicken paprikash---one of my favorite winter comfort foods; and cherry cinnamon dark chocolate fudge brownie with house-made vanilla ice cream. Beer pairings to come.
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