One thing you can say about the folks at the St. Regis Deer Valley is that they aren’t content to rest on their laurels. Last year, they rebranded J&G Grill as RIME Seafood & Steak – a welcome improvement of a restaurant that had gotten a bit stale, now with talented Chef Matthew Harris at the helm. I reviewed RIME this summer in Utah Bites.
More recently, Brasserie 7452 opened at the St. Regis – with a menu of French bistro-style comfort classics designed by Chef Harris and Executive Sous Chef Austin Hamilton.
And even more recently – earlier this week, in fact – the Yurt Village at St. Regis Deer Valley opened to the public, providing the option for up to eight guests to dine privately in one of three individually themed yurts. On Monday of this week my wife and I toured the Yurt Village and enjoyed a wonderful lunch seated on the sunny deck at Brasserie 7452 on an unusually balmy day at Deer Valley Resort.
The Yurt Village at the St. Regis is a trio of yurts designed for private dining and can be rented for lunch, apres ski, dinner or all three. The theme of each yurt is based on the Olympic events held at Deer Valley Resort during the 2002 XIX Winter games: Slalom, Moguls, and Aerials. Each yurt – which seats up to eight people – has a JBL wi-fi sound system, radiant heat, windows, and a stargazing dome for enjoying starlit nights.
The yurt menus change weekly, but a sample menu for lunch – served daily at 11:00 a.m. – might start with an Amuse Bouche of Ahi Tuna Tartare served with Sherry Vinaigrette, Capers and Sourdough; a First Course of Oyster and Diver Scallop Soup, served with Crème Fraiche, Seafood Veloute and Roe; or Honey-Thyme Labneh, served with Watercress, Frisee, Roasted Baby Carrots and Honey Sesame Vinaigrette; and a Main Course of Chili Maple Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, served with Butter Poached Lobster Tail. Accompaniments might include Grilled Asparagus with Crispy Capers, Ricotta, and Lemon; and Potato Au Gratin, served with Comte Cheese and Thyme; followed by Dessert of Pear Cranberry Cobbler served with Mascarpone Vanilla Cream.
Apres ski is served daily from 3:00 p.m. and features food boards with items such as Smoked La Belle Foie Gras Torchon with Mission Fig Compote, Calvados Braised Apples, Pickled Vegetables, Craft Mustards, French Sourdough and Pain d’Epice; and House Smoked Salmon with Dill Fromage Blanc, Mini Bagels, Caper Berries, Grain Mustard, Pickled Onion, Hot House Cucumbers and Winter Greens. For an additional charge, guests could order add-ons like Iranian Pearl Osetra Caviar with Butter, Eggs, Creme Fraiche, Lemon Wedges, Russian Blinis and Toast Points; and Market Shellfish Tower with Maine Lobster, Jumbo Shrimp, Oysters, Scallop Ceviche and PeekyToe Crab.
St. Regis Yurt Village dinners begin at 6:00 p.m. and might include an Amuse Bouche of Morel Tartlet with Brie and Raspberry Tartare; First Course of Smoked Utah Trout Chowder served with Potato Gallate; Second Course of Smoked Beet Salad served with Herb Crusted Goat Cheese, Aged Balsamic, Watercress and Pickled Shallots; Main Course include Forty-Eight Hour Short Ribs served with Potato Gratin, Smoked Hon Shimeji Mushrooms, Carrot Puree and Roasted Garlic Jam; or King Salmon Osso Bucco, served with Potato and Leek Brandade and Beurre Rouge; and Dessert of Chocolate Almond Tart, Coconut Cream, Candied Pistachios and Dark Chocolate Curls. I have to admit, that is a mighty impressive menu!
The price breakdown for St. Regis yurt rentals and meals are as follows: There’s a rental fee of $250 per yurt (sort of like renting a cabana at the beach or pool) each for lunch, apres ski or dinner. I was told that some guests rent the yurts for apres ski and pay for a dinner rental as well, which allows them the use of the private yurt for the late afternoon and evening. Heck for that matter one could splurge and take over a yurt for lunch, apres and dinner! Food and beverage minimums per yurt are $600 for lunch; $700 for apres ski; and $1250 for dinner. The price of Dinner is $175 per person, with optional Tier One and Tier Two wine pairings for an additional $75 or $150 per person, respectively. While that might sound pricey, keep in mind that we’re talking about a table for eight hungry guests in a safe, private, self-contained, opulent dining environment. Sign me up!
If a yurt rental is a little out of your pocketbook range, don’t worry: You can always enjoy the St. Regis’ world-class cuisine at RIME Seafood & Steak and at Brasserie 7452, as well as cocktails and bar fare at The St. Regis Bar & Lounge and grab-and-go eats on the Mountain Terrace.
I am a great lover of French bistro and brasserie fare and so Brasserie 7452 checks all the right boxes for me, with a menu that includes steak frites, croque monsieur sandwich, pan bagnat, butter bean cassoulet, pomme frites, duck leg confit, French onion soup, chicken coq au vin, and much more, including a three-sided fireplace to gather around. I am a sucker for raw oysters and so kicking off a meal at Brasserie 7452 with fresh-shucked oysters seems like a no-brainer. Other excellent seafood choices include the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($18), tuna tartare ($18), and the sensational Market Tower ($65 per person) with steamed Maine lobster, oysters, Alaskan King crab, scallop ceviche and shrimp cocktail.
We got a kick out of listening in on a conversation a family adjacent to us at Brasserie 7452 was involved in. Dad was having his kids try to guess what escargots were. Answers ranged from “a type of vegetable” to “meat.” And yes, escargots is a type of meat: snail meat. It’s also one of my wife’s favorite things to eat (mine too). Escargots ($18) at the Brasserie is served in the classic style – with rich tasting garlic and parsley butter, but also topped with mini puff pastries. During our Brasserie lunch, service was simply impeccable under the watchful eye of General Manager of Restaurants Zachary Lippincott, and we especially enjoyed the hospitality and professional demeanor of a server nicknamed Bon.
Another favorite bistro dish of mine is steak tartare. I’ve eaten steak tartare from Paris to NYC and beyond, and I have to say that none was any better than the steak tartare ($18) at the St. Regis Deer Valley. Top quality raw beef is minced and tossed with parsley, cornichons and mustard, served with slices of grilled sourdough baguette and homemade Dijon mustard. Executive Sous Chef Austin Hamilton mentioned that he thought the addition of a raw quail egg atop the tartare would be a nice touch. I don’t disagree. We enjoyed crisp, dry glasses of Whispering Angel Rosè from Provence with the steak tartare – a very nice pairing.
Perhaps this isn’t surprising – we are in America, after all – but I was told that by far the most popular menu item is the 7452 Cheeseburger ($24), topped with gruyere cheese, crispy onions and Dijon. Someday I’ll get around to giving that burger a try. But on this visit, I had to order another of my favorite foods: steamed mussels. The Maine Mussels with Frites ($32) at Brasserie 7452 is a large, cast-iron pot full of plump Maine mussels steamed in a white wine, garlic and fresh herb sauce, including basil. I think this may have been the only time in my restaurant experience of ordering mussels that ALL of the mussels were opened and none were closed or dead or shells broken. That is what I call attention to detail in the kitchen. There’s plenty of savory broth left in the iron pot after the mussels have gone that’s perfect for dunking the frites into.
My wife sure scored a win with her lunchtime entree of Idaho Trout Almondine ($34). She’d originally ordered the Seared Tuna Salad ($32) with sherry vinaigrette, but for some reason it wasn’t available that day. However, she lucked out in opting for the Trout Almondine: It was two perfectly seared pieces of Idaho trout with luscious brown butter, sliced almonds, capers, green beans and parsley. By the time she’d finished, there wasn’t a hint that there had ever been food on my wife’s plate – she cleaned it so thoroughly. That’s high praise from someone who is a restaurateur herself.
Well, whether you get there travelling by skis or via the free funicular from the base of Deer Valley Resort, the St. Regis Deer Valley is a must-stop destination for all serious lovers of fine cuisine and drink.
Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy of the St. Regis Deer Valley
Culinary quote of the week:
“In general, my children refused to eat anything that hadn’t danced on TV.” — Erma Bombeck
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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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.