Granted, it’s not so easy to get to and there is no parking, unless you can catch a ride on a snowcat. But if you find yourself skiing at Park City resort, you should make it a point to visit Lookout Cabin for its top-notch food, drink and service. Oh, and the views at this 9,000 foot on-mountain eatery don’t suck, either.
Tucked away from urban glitz and glam at Lookout Cabin is one of Utah’s best chefs, Chris Durfee. If you’ve been around the SLC dining scene for a while, you may remember him as a chef at the much-lauded (and now much missed) Metropolitan restaurant. Up at Park City resort, Durfee is quietly and without a lot of fanfare wowing unsuspecting diners with his killer cooking. This is not your average ski resort day lodge fare.
Take the Chorizo and Mussels, for example. Spicy slices of Spanish-style chorizo lend a kick to this delicious dish of black mussels steamed in Mexican lager with Meyer lemon preserves, fresh fennel, stewed tomatillos and jalapeño. Alongside for mopping up the bodacious broth are slices of grilled baguette with a smear of pesto. Sips of Angeline Pinot Noir from the excellent wine list at Lookout Cabin paired beautifully with those tender, juicy mussels and the other dishes we enjoyed.
I didn’t expect to find freshly made pasta at 9,000 feet, but credit chef Durfee for sourcing the very best ingredients, even though they have to be transported to the restaurant via snowmobile. Perfectly cooked al dente pappardelle was the foundation of Durfee’s outstanding Bison Bolognese, a rich, deeply flavored Bolognese-style meat sauce made with ground bison and served with house-made ricotta.
Something else I don’t typically anticipate at on-mountain resort dining spots is the professional level of service that I encountered at Lookout Cabin – a very welcome surprise, indeed. Water and wine glasses were topped off regularly and I was particularly impressed by out server’s knowledge of the wines, cocktails and beers on the restaurant’s beverage list.
Fish friends will go gaga for the salmon. It’s a grilled, horseradish- and honey-glazed fillet cooked to perfection and served with a baby spinach salad. The salad is anything but an afterthought: tender baby spinach leaves dressed with white balsamic vinegar and thyme vinaigrette, toasted sunflower seeds, green apple and caramelized onion.
Other tempting menu items include impossibly tender sous vide Wagyu steak with a tart huckleberry sauce; pan-seared, apple-braised pork belly with apple cider syrup; shrimp and grits made with local Heber Valley White Cheddar cheese and andouille vinaigrette; and a real crowd favorite: Rocky Mountain Fondue, which is a silky blend of Utah Cheddar, Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses, hard apple cider, and served with boiled baby potatoes, fresh bread and sliced fruit for dipping to your heart’s content.
Really, what could be better than a day of shredding at Park City Mountain and a world-class lunch, snack or beverages at one of Utah best, and most undiscovered, restaurants? Just head over to Park City’s heated Orange Bubble chairlift and jump off at the first stop!
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