When you live in Park City, you live right in the center of paradise. To a mountain lover like me, Park City is the most beautiful place on earth. So when I am inside working on a stretch of long days in my home office, I go a little stir crazy. Last week was one of those weeks. I didn’t see the light of day with what seemed like an endless stream of projects. At the end of four intense days, I asked my husband, Jay, to get me out of the house, even if it was just for a drive. Well, he had a better idea. He drove me directly to the Deer Valley Grocery ~ Cafe for a relaxing dinner on the deck.
I’d had breakfast inside the cafe last winter and loved their strong coffee and hot oatmeal with what seems like a hundred condiments piled on top – brown sugar, sliced almonds, raisins, etc. but I had never been there for dinner so I took my time in ordering. Jay immediately went for the made-to-order cheeseburger when he saw the grill outside on the deck. I had much more of a challenge with the tapas menu.
Clayton, our waiter, explained they have about twenty different small plates -tapas- which they constantly rotate. The six I had to choose from all sounded wonderful – there were chicken lettuce wraps, smoked duck empanadas, Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots, short ribs, grilled asparagus, etc. You can see my dilemma. With some help from Clayton, I settled on the duck empanadas and added a Caesar salad.
We grabbed our silverware, two glasses of water, our little number, and headed out to the deck. In the evenings, the entire deck is shaded so every table is a prime location. We chose a table in the corner overlooking the pond and adjacent to pots overflowing with flowers. When we sat down, Jay looked at me and said, “I had no idea this place was so nice!”
We love historic Main St. but the cafe had a whole different vibe to it. Nature was at our doorstep. Fish were jumping, mallard ducks were swimming by, and egrets were on the shoreline stalking their evening meal. We were informed the pond is often frequented by moose wandering in for an early evening swim, and osprey circle and dive for fish.
To our delight, Clayton walked out with a tub of breadcrumbs and gave us quite the show as he dropped them one by one into the water. We watched fish versus ducks in what I dubbed, “The Battle of the Breadcrumb.” The ducks were often the victors but the fish gave a valiant fight as the jumped on top of each other sometimes coming completely out of the water to get closer to their treats.
When our dinner arrived, we scrambled back to our table. A waitress brought out a tray of condiments that included local mustards. She was kind enough to leave it for Jay so he could sample them to his heart’s desire. The empanadas were delicious and the salad was the kind of Caesar I like, which I can only describe as “Caesery.” Even though we were stuffed, we opted for the bread pudding with caramel sauce anyways. We knew we couldn’t eat the whole thing so we took the rest home after eating a couple of delicious bites.
Sitting on the deck after a glass of wine and a delicious meal, I felt reconnected with the paradise I love. With the fish jumping, ducks swimming, and a slight breeze kicking in, the deck started filling up with more patrons and Jay smiled as he overheard someone say, “I had no idea this place was so nice.”
The Deer Valley Grocery ~ Café is open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. and is located in the Deer Valley Plaza building at 1375 Deer Valley Drive, Park City, Utah.
For more information and a sample menu click here.