The Double Life of Snow Park Restaurant

Snow falling slowly to the ground is transcending and full of magic. A blanket stitched together one fat flake at a time, it smooths the sharp edges of the world offering a more tender landscape to the senses. Few things are more inviting than the best snow on earth, and few places more than Deer Valley. Under a dark Utah sky and through the lights of the Snow Park Lodge, my friend Kate and I walked toward the Seafood Buffet last night, all smiles after several days of great skiing.

I had come to lunch last week at the Snow Park Restaurant, enjoying New York Strip with béarnaise, Seared Scallop Florentine, and a piece of cheesecake that was, as Will Ferrell says, “Scrumtrulescent.” The Scallop Florentine is easily one of my new favorites. I am almost certain that it is meant to be served over pasta, but with scallops that tender and a simmering sweet sauce I couldn’t let anything get in their way.

Instructors from the Deer Valley Ski School were enjoying lunch a few tables away, hands gesturing in smooth arcs and deep angles like pilots talking about turns and maneuvers carved out of the sky. Like many Mondays at a ski mountain everyone was very relaxed and in no hurry. I browsed the food, taking note of the house made bratwurst and gourmet pizza for my next day visit. When I was asked to come back for Seafood Dinner I readily agreed.

As we were seated for dinner the restaurant was relaxed, guests mingling at the tables and serving stations. I was immediately drawn to the Natural Buffet, specifically the Opillio crab. I may live in the Wasatch now but was raised in Maryland. Hardly a crab has gotten by me over the years. After living near the southern tidewaters for the past several years Kate naturally leaned toward the fresh shucked oysters, and steamed clams and mussels. As we began to eat it occurred to me that few foods encourage sharing like seafood. Take two or more people with a passion for sustainable gathering from the sea, and the conversation will travel up and down the coasts of the country. 

Our talk was punctuated with trips to the sushi bar and carving station (Double R Ranch prime beef!) along with our server recommended sable fish and ahi tuna.

After nearly an hour of talking and eating we made a last foray, standing at the bakery trying to make the most difficult decision of the evening. Chocolate raspberry torte and coffee finished us, the mesmerizing spell of a great meal slowly receding. Several inches had fallen while we were inside, promising a great day to come and capping a wonderful evening.

Make reservations for yourself and some friends online or by phone at 435-645-6632. If you can, take a friend who has never been to Deer Valley before. The look of contentment on their face at the end of the evening is almost as rewarding as the meal itself. Thanks to Ryan and the rest of the staff of the Snow Park Restaurant for an outstanding meal.

 

I Ski For Lunch- Part 1

This is not the last time you will read that particular line in my posts. I often say that the cookies at Deer Valley, consumed at lunch on my first ski trip to Park City, were a deciding factor in our plan to move here. Letty Flatt, Deer Valley’s inspired executive pastry chef, and her team have probably heard that particular gem before.

The Vermont day lodges my youth offered fare with little allure, aside from a candy counter with a seemingly unlimited supply of Charleston Chews, which my erstwhile ski buddy and best friend Nancy and I buried in the snow banks before “lunch” (read: hot dog of indeterminate fillings) and took great joy in literally cracking open on the armrest rail (we called it a safety bar, back then), on that first post-lunch run, for the true culinary delight.

So the variety of dining options at Deer Valley (each of which I’ll tell you about, extol the virtues of, rave over, and generally create raison-du-drool, in this space in the weeks to come) never cease to impress or delight me.

But here’s what I’m loving this week. We’re getting ready for Thanksgiving—which is a fabulous holiday, and also part of the most excruciating period of the ski season: The part called, WAITING FOR DEER VALLEY TO OPEN.

That’s not exactly the love part. Patience isn’t something I possess in abundance.

But this is: My husband is a great cook. And he, blessedly, works alone. Leaving me to take the kids hiking on Thanksgiving morning (along with my in-laws, who will be visiting this year) and then set the table. In theory, I’d handle dessert. He doesn’t really bake (though he could). I do—but not in an awesome way. Just well enough, you know? Which would be fine. But I’d have to reserve time in the kitchen. Which could be an issue. But then my husband mentioned, just this morning, that he saw an ad in the paper in which Deer Valley pies were advertised. Which kills several birds with one stone. He gets to keep the kitchen to himself, and we get awesome pies for dessert. Total crowd pleasers. And, thank you, it makes the seemingly interminable eight-day wait from Thanksgiving to opening day at Deer Valley, just that much easier to bear. After all, it only takes closing one’s eyes while taking a bite of pecan pie to imagine you’re après lunch at Snow Park Lodge.

More information about the Deer Valley Bakery can be found here: http://www.deervalley.com/dining_shopping/snow-park-bakery.html