Those clams surely weren’t happy, but I was. I had no qualms. I ate the clams and their friends at the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet. I stuffed myself full, couldn’t help it one bit. You couldn’t have either—there is an absurd gluttony of seafood at the Snow Park Lodge during the winter season, and I was fortunate to get a taste of the ocean in a mountain town far away from the sea.
Being that the Rocky Mountains’ only seashells are fossilized atop the mountaintops, finding fresh seafood embedded in the mountainous region of the United States is rare.
As friendly staff greeted me, I looked at the food presented so perfectly in the lodge (the eating area during the daytime transforms into a high-end restaurant at night) and started to drip with drool. There was spicy tuna with ginger soy sauce, curried carrot ginger soup with spiced cream and crab, honey soy glazed sable fish with ginger sauce, beer battered barramundi with lemon remoulade sauce, plus endless amounts of clams, mussels, and oysters. And just to mix it up, the buffet also offered BBQ baby back ribs and prime rib with au jus. As I worked my way through such fine food, I definitely had seconds. I savored the sable fish twice as it melted in my mouth (it’s definitely a must have, and a staple on the menu throughout the season). The menu changes every three days with plenty of new sauces and starches, but the main dishes such as sable fish and prime rib remain.
When it came time for dessert, I tried everything from the vanilla bean crème brule to the butterscotch pudding. A kid at a nearby table decided to consume as many Phyllo fruit tartlets as conceivable.
The best part of the Seafood Buffet is that the portions are small enough that you don’t feel wasteful if a dish doesn’t whet your appetite. Plus, having to stand up and retrieve your own food keeps the calories burning as you enjoy your stay. I ate for two hours.
I was happy as a clam, and you can be, too.
Open during the winter ski season, Monday through Saturday, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Phone reservations can be made by calling 435-645-6632, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Free parking is available. Adults $62, Children $34 (11 years and younger). Deer Valley uses sustainable seafood.