Park City + Deer Valley Trip Report 04-2013
I know there is a big thread, but as it's getting old, I thought I'd start a new one. Just ending a trip . . .
As far as the Deer Valley buffet lunch lodges, Empire was a clear winner.
The top two restaurants we ate at were Mariposa and High West Distillery.
Mariposa is in the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley. The location alone made me expect mediocre food - I had a mediocre lunch just steps away earlier in the day. But, in fact, this might have been the best meal of the trip. Food was fresh, varied, and carefully prepared, and service was really exceptional. Our waiter was knowledgeable and friendly, but also left us alone plenty. They had a variety of seafood that we liked, but we didn't focus on it. The burrata and the gruyere onion tart were standouts and we re-ordered those. The quail saltimbocca was also impressive - tons of fresh sage. This place definitely surprised me, and I'd go right back. Only (minor) issue is the ambiance - for the quality of food and service, I'd expect a view of the mountain to top it off.
High West Distillery has a restaurant attached - you can tour and eat. We hit the restaurant for lunch. While it's essentially really good bar food, it's worth it. I first learned about fry sauce here - a Utah concoction of mayo and ketchup - on the battered shishitos. The pretzel was one of the best I've had. Great burgers, drinks, salads, etc. Tour was interesting also.
Down one notch from those two but still really good were Cafe Terigo and Wahso.
Cafe Terigo is pretty easy - new American with an Italian hint. Dishes are fully of good vegetables, service is friendly. My wife found the atmosphere too kitschy, but I thought it was fine. Deserts were pretty fantastic also.
Wahso might have been half a notch lower - feels like it might have had more energy once upon a time. Service was a little strange. But the food was solid. They've stolen the open bao from Momofuku, and while it isn't as good, it's fine. I found the Old Bay on the edamame to be too much. Pork ribs, though, were really pretty stellar with buttered kimchi. Overall, I think maybe this place is too large - it's huge, and largely empty. I know this is part of a Park City chain of restaurants that have been said to be going downhill - didn't try any others although Grappa looked pretty good.
We also ate at the Wasatch Brewery (good bet with kids, but nothing out of the ordinary) and Oishi (sushi was fine and reasonably priced - serviceable meal).
Hit Stein Ericksen lodge for lunch. Fine - better lunch than most places on the mountain. Nice location and pretty decent food. Not as amazing as the time we had been there previously, but still, if you're on the slopes, this works well.
Finally, we ate at El Chubasco. After reading about it everywhere, maybe my expectations were too high. The food was overall fine and the prices are low. But the service was pretty bad - things come out over a long period of time, and no runner knows if you got everything or not. And, for a Mexican restaurant, the nachos were an embarrassment - room temp with squeeze cheese on them. Movie theater style. Terrible. Redeeming feature - they had a local beer that I liked.