Time flies. It’s hard for me to believe that 10 years have passed since I had the good fortune to spend the better part of a day and enjoy dinner with world renowned restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, upon the opening of his J&G Grill at the St. Regis Deer Valley. At that time, Matthew Harris was serving as Chef de Cuisine at J&G, having worked for Jean-Georges previously at Market in Atlanta.
Fast forward a decade and Chef Harris has more or less come full circle. Having opened – with his wife Maggie Alvarez – Tupelo Park City, RIME Raw Bar at Deer Valley Resort, and more recently, Afterword restaurant in Heber, Harris is also serving as culinary director for the new St. Regis’ RIME Seafood & Steak restaurant as well as Terrace Cafe and Brasserie 7452. RIME Seafood & Steak replaced J&G Grill, bringing “land and sea” classics to the slopes of Deer Valley Resort and offering breakfast, lunch and dinner to St. Regis guests, property owners and visitors alike. RIME and the St. Regis recently reopened having temporarily closed due to COVID 19 restrictions.
The breakfast menu at RIME Seafood & Steak ranges from classics like Eggs Benedict ($21), Buttermilk Pancakes ($16) and and an American Breakfast ($19) to more modern fare such as Grilled Avocado Toast ($16) and a Maine Lobster Scramble with creme fraiche and sourdough ($32).
At lunchtime diners can enjoy the best Lobster Roll ($34) around, first-rate Fish Tacos ($27), Black Truffle Pizza ($28), Steak Frites ($42), Desert Mountain Ranch Cheeseburger ($24), and other tempting items.
We dropped into RIME for dinner recently, following the always enjoyable Champagne sabering exhibition which takes place nightly on the Terrace at the St. Regis at 6:30 p.m. General Manager Zack Lippincott gave us the lowdown on the new culinary program at the St. Regis and escorted us to our sunny table on the patio, where employees were masked up and social distancing was in effect.
We sipped the remnants of our Champagne while perusing the RIME dinner menu and slurping down oysters on the half-shell ($4/each). The menu, not surprisingly, is loaded with steak and seafood options, including Prime cuts such as Niman Ranch Filet and New York Strip. Main seafood entrees include Idaho Trout with creamed summer corn ($34), Maine Halibut (from Stonington) with summer squash ($42), and Ahi Tuna Steak ($38), fresh from Honolulu.
I actually learned something about my wife, Faith, while dining at RIME: She loves a classic shrimp cocktail. I don’t know why I was unaware of that all these years. The Shrimp Cocktail ($18) at RIME features humongous chilled, meaty shrimp with lemon and homemade cocktail sauce. Faith loved the shrimp cocktail and so did I.
We also shared an outstanding starter of Garlic Crab Toast ($20). It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a slab of grilled sourdough topped with a garlicky, cheesy warm jumbo blue crab spread with pickled jalapeño chile pepper slices and fresh dill. By the way, as a sanitary measure the St. Regis provides guests with single-use printed menus which are sealed shut upon arrival at table. It saves the staff from having to disinfect reusable menus and also provides a souvenir for guests to take home, not to mention peace of mind.
In addition to disposable menus, RIME also offers an online wine list and menus – a very extensive 37-page wine list – which guests can scan using their cell phone and then access online. It’s pretty cool. Wines are available by the glass or bottle and range by-the-bottle from $45 for something like David Rias Albariño from Spain to 1949 Leroy Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru priced at $9500. There is literally something to sip for every budget. We settled on a lovely French Chardonnay – Pouilly-Vinzelles Cave des Grands Crus Blancs ($75).
Having already enjoyed crab, oysters and shrimp, we weren’t quite finished with seafood yet and so we ordered Sliced Hamachi ($18) served sashimi-style with strawberries, pickled rhubarb and seaweed broth. It was a beautiful dish for an equally beautiful summer night dining under the stars at RIME.
In fact, as tempting as the Prime steaks, Porterhouse Tomahawk for 2, and entrees like Crispy Kombu Chicken ($36) and Snake River Farms Pork Chop ($48) are, my wife and I were really enjoying the fresh seafood dishes at RIME and so we forged on with more of them.
I ordered the Lobster Pan Roast ($42) for my main dish, which was wonderful. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, having never had a lobster pan roast before. What I got was a generous melange of juicy, tender lobster chunks with chorizo, corn and fingerling potatoes bathed in a luscious broth/stew with aged sherry – all served in a cast iron platter with toast points alongside. It was a huge amount of food that was hugely delicious.
Meanwhile, Faith enjoyed her entree just as much. It was perfectly cooked, skin-on Idaho Trout ($34) on a bed of creamed summer corn with heirloom grape tomatoes, lime and fresh parsley leaves.
Under the direction of Chef Matthew Harris – and with top-notch Chef de Cuisine Austin Hamilton running the kitchen – RIME is a restaurant to be reckoned with in every way. The service from longtime staffers such as Kylie Sloan is as good as it gets. And the food … Well, although he’s no longer involved, let’s just say Jean-Georges would be quite proud of what he helped to create the St. Regis.
Culinary quote of the week:
“The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn’t have eyeballs or fins.” — Dave Barry
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.