Park City Date Night

I got my first sunburn in Park City on a date night with my husband, the first Wednesday we lived here, in 2001. Yes, I said a sunburn, at night. It was my first glimpse that life at 7,500 feet was going to be even more of a change than I had expected.

By now, I’m a pro. So when I headed out for date night with Jeff last Saturday night to Royal Street Café’s table at Savor The Summit, I was prepared. To wit: in addition to a cute dress and lipgloss, I did a generous application of sunscreen, and made sure I had a cute hat for the occasion—thank you, gold, sparkly cowgirl chapeau—and big, glam shades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savor The Summit, you see, is a dinner party for the whole town. Restaurants set up long tables that span the length of Main Street, with a band rocking out at Miner’s Plaza, across from Cows.

And, because of the “mixer” style of the evening, there’s a chance you’ll get to spend time with new friends amidst the many familiar faces. Which is, I’m happy to report, exactly what happened to us. We not only enjoyed Deer Valley’s newest cocktails, Flower and Pine and Rosemary Radler, mixed and served by the resort’s award-winning mixologist, Bonnie Ulmer, but we got to indulge in some fun new preparations of Royal Street Café culinary faves—gazpacho shooters? Yes, please. Crawfish Bisque? But, of course. Ahi Tostada? Yummmm.

I’m proud to say, our table was an enthusiastic participant in the street-long “wave” that happened several times during the evening—and, because I’m competitive in all things, I made sure to give a friendly chide, via Tweet, to the adjacent table of Chimayo diners, whose “wave” was, to my expert eye, a bit, ahem, lackluster. We can’t all be awesome, though, can we?

Thrillingly, the evening has had many, wonderful, summery social aftershocks. I swiftly planned a walk with my friend Leslie Thatcher, KPCW’s news director, who’s still rehabbing her knee after surgery, and a “rookie” bike ride with Park City Magazine Editor Kristen Case—because, yes, eleven years in, I’m still a beginner. I’ll report back on the success of these and other summer adventures. For now, I’ll leave you with this very strong suggestion for your summer vacation planning: Save the date for Savor the Summit 2013.

A New Experience: Savor the Summit

“Try fifty two new things” was last year’s New Year’s resolution.  I chose it because I noticed that as people get older, they tend to get stuck in their ways and I didn’t want that to happen to me.

When Emily Summers, communications manager at Deer Valley Resort (and fellow blogger) invited me to “Savor the Summit”, I didn’t let her know that I had absolutely no idea what it was.  I just moved here less than a year ago and previously only came to Park City for the Fourth of July and a week in August so I never even knew about “Savor the Summit”.    

Even so, I immediately replied to Emily with a “Yes …plus guest” figuring it would be another new experience.  Also with the words “savor” and “summit” in the title as well as “Royal Street Cafe” being associated with the event, I figured the night would be something special.

I was not disappointed. When my husband, Jay, and I stepped on to Main Street, we saw what must have been the world’s largest dinner table with white linen table cloths, sparkling crystal glasses, and crisp folded napkins stretching from the top of Main Street as far down as I could see.  What a sight! When we made our way to the Royal St. Cafe table, Emily greeted us with a huge smile, introduced us all around and showed us our places.

Being a transplant from California, I pay close attention to the wine. I am not a wine snob by any means but I might be mistaken for one.  You see, I love the “nose” on a wine.  To sip a wine without swirling it and putting as much of my face as possible into the glass to breathe in the aroma seems like a waste to me. I’d be missing the best part!   You can see how someone observing me might think that I am some kind of wine expert but I am far from that.  I simply enjoy the olfactory experience. Before taking my first sip, I am sure to take my time and enjoy the bouquet the vintner has prepared.

Imagine my excitement when the Royal St. Cafe served a 2009 Etude Pinot Gris from the Carneros region in the Napa Valley.  It had a wonderful fruit filled nose and a crisp taste that went well with the seared tuna tostada.  No one at our table noticed me swirling and sniffing because they were all taking photos of the presentation of this first course and then, of course, tweeting the photos to their followers.

Our meal was only interrupted by two other things – the landing of a large butterfly on our centerpiece and a crowd wave which I assume was started by the Wasatch Brewery at the top of Main St.  Even though we were seated at an elegant meal, the wave seemed completely natural and our whole table participated enthusiastically.

After that, my attention was once again drawn the wine – a 2009 Greg Norman Estates Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia.  After enjoying my wine ritual, I was brought back to reality when the Niman Ranch Beef Filet with Cabernet reduction sauce, farmer’s market vegetables, foraged royal trumpet mushrooms, and crisp potato anna was served. I noticed there was music everywhere and the balconies up and down the street were full of people enjoying their own libations as well as observing the Grande Table from above.  

 

I don’t remember who gave me the idea a year ago to try fifty two new things but it was a good one.  That openness to new experiences and celebrating life put me in touch with my spirit of adventure.  I was open to my husband’s suggestion to moving to Park City and of course to attending a very special event like no other – Savor the Summit.