Each and every year – pandemic notwithstanding – Deer Valley Resort justifiably receives piles of awards and accolades for its world-class hospitality, amenities, skiable terrain, and of course, food and drink. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a delightful day of skiing with equally delightful, delicious cuisine. Actually you don’t even have to ski to indulge in Deer Valley Resort cooking. Most of the resort’s dining venues are accessible with or without ski boots.
And, due to the space limitations that social distancing requires in restaurants these days, Deer Valley has expanded their takeout offerings to include takeaway meals from Seafood Dining (formerly Seafood Buffet) and The Brass Tag restaurant, as well as grab & go options at Silver Lake Lodge, Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe, Cushing’s Cabin, Empire Lodge, and Snow Park. In addition to grab & go foods, Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe is currently offering family carry-out meals for four. And, many of the lodges and restaurants at Deer Valley now have enclosed, heated patios on which to dine. All outdoor decks that are not tented are outfitted with fire pits and heaters to accommodate additional outdoor seating for guests who wish to eat in the open air. As usual, the folks at Deer Valley Resort leave no stones unturned when it comes to customer service and satisfaction.
To begin a day at Deer Valley Resort, I recommend stopping at Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe for hot java and breakfast items like avocado toast, housemade oat yogurt and granola, a breakfast wrap, or perhaps my favorite: the Lox Plate loaded with smoked salmon, a toasted everything bagel, whipped cream cheese, capers, arugula, pickled Spanish red onions and lemon. It’s the ideal way to begin your perfect ski day.
Since Deer Valley Resort is about nothing if it’s not about customer service, they recently launched the new Deer Valley phone app to access everything from trail maps, mountain conditions, and lift statuses, to restaurant reservations and to place food orders in advance. I found it really helpful in terms of setting up and modifying restaurant reservations at Deer Valley. And, by the way, while walk-ins are welcome during the day at some dining venues, reservations are a must for nighttime meals.
If you’re in a hurry to hit the fresh powder and don’t have time for breakfast, no worries. You can always grab espresso drinks, snacks, muffins, cookies, hot cocoa, Deer Valley turkey chili and such on Flagstaff Mountain at Cushing’s Cabin.
After a morning of skiing Deer Valley terrain from Empire to Jordanelle, I was famished and headed towards Snow Park Lodge for my lunch reservation at Snow Park Restaurant. It goes without saying now that diners at resort restaurants must be seated and table service is currently de rigueur – no more lining up at the salad buffet, for example. Which, actually is kinda nice. I don’t mind someone bringing me my food at all.
The hostess at Snow Park Restaurant seated me right next to a fireplace in the cozy and warm EBS Lounge for lunch. The lounge – Edgar’s Beer and Spirits Lounge – is named for the late, great Edgar B. Stern, founder of Deer Valley Resort. It’s a terrific spot for lunch, but also for apres ski with live music on weekends and large screens to watch televised sporting events like the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley or March Madness.
At Snow Park Restaurant, you’ll find menu items ranging from pizza by the slice and a Nathan’s all-beef hot dog with fixins, to pasta dishes, burgers, pulled pork burrito, famous Deer Valley turkey chili, loaded baked potatoes, salads, and much more, including wine and beer. Being somewhat stuck in my ways, however, I opted for my all-time favorite lunch at Deer Valley: the incredibly delicious sourdough grilled cheese sandwich, made with a combination of Swiss and cheddar cheeses on toasted sourdough bread.
I mentioned that Seafood Dining at Deer Valley now offers takeaway dinners as well as dine-in meals with a reservation. You can order online or with the Deer Valley phone app for seafood and much more to take home or to bring back to your hotel room or condo. Formerly known as Seafood Buffet, the dine-in situation has changed this season, for obvious reasons. Table service has taken the place of customers strolling from food station to food station filling up their own plates. It is still a prix fixe affair: $80 for adults and $30 for kids 6 to 11 years old; children 5 years and under eat free.
If dining-in, I recommend starting dinner with freshly shucked West Coast oysters and maybe a helping of hamachi poke or the Chef’s selection of daily specialty crab. Then, perhaps moving on to a second course of something like steamed Littleneck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, Key West-style conch fritters, shrimp & crab ceviche, or cilantro-lime St. Louis-style ribs.
Cooked entrees at Seafood Dining include togarashi seared yellowfin tuna, herb-crusted Wagyu top sirloin, pan-seared scallops with truffled corn puree, blackened redfish with aged cheddar grits and lowland gravy, and my favorite: the impossibly tender and delicious honey-soy glazed baked sablefish.
For dessert, select from items such as Deer Valley’s famous Chocolate Snowball, creme brulee, cheesecake, crushed pretzel sundae, chocolate-coated cannoli, bird’s nest cookies and others. Deer Valley Seafood Dining also offers a full bar and an exceptional beer and wine selection.
Last weekend, my wife and I opted for an assortment of takeaway Seafood Dining items to enjoy at home while binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Seafood Dining operates during the ski season Thursday through Sunday and orders may be placed until 5 p.m. the day prior to pick-up. Orders can then be picked up between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Seafood Dining host stand.
We kicked off our sensational seafood meal with a pound of peel-and-eat wild Mexican shrimp poached in Old Bay Seasoning. The order included cocktail sauce, creole-style remoulade, and lemon wedges.
The shrimp course was followed by a huge helping of Hawaiian tuna poke. This was an entire half-pound of diced sushi-grade Hawaiian tuna marinated in gluten-free soy sauce with chopped macadamia nuts and scallions, served with sushi-style rice, pickled mushrooms, marinated cucumbers, and topped with crispy wonton chips. For dine-in guests, there’s also an option of hamachi yuzu koshu poke available at Seafood Dining.
There is a wide array of menu items available for takeout at Deer Valley Seafood Dining, ranging from lobster & corn chowder and honey-soy glazed King salmon, to butter & herb-crusted Wagyu sirloin roast, applewood-smoked local Salmon Creek St. Louis-style rack of ribs, butternut squash Amandine, roasted garlic and Boursin mashed potatoes, and more. One of the more spectacular versions of macaroni and cheese that I’ve ever eaten – and I’ve tried MANY – is Deer Valley Seafood Dining’s over-the-top lobster mac & cheese. The photo I took of it doesn’t really do it justice. This was a monster portion – the size of a very large lasagna pan – meant to “serve 4” but I think it could easily serve 8-10 people. It features Maine lobster chunks and perfectly cooked al dente macaroni bathed in an aged cheddar cheese sauce with a white cheddar and cracker crust. Simply put, this was magnificent mac & cheese.
Of all the temptations at Seafood Dining, the biggest one for me is crab. And so, we indulged in a big old pile of delectable Alaskan King crab legs – cooked, chilled, and ready to eat with drawn butter, cocktail sauce, grilled lemon halves and blood oranges, and lemon wedges. I was in King crab heaven.
For dessert, we enjoyed both the Deer Valley cheesecake and carrot cake with rich cream cheese frosting.
Everything about dining at Deer Valley Resort – whether dine-in or takeout – is as smooth as silk. Service for dine-in guests is impeccable, as is the ordering process and pickup for takeaway meals. It couldn’t have been easier or more glitch-free, especially with the use of the Deer Valley Resort phone app.
And, keep in mind that the dining options written about here are just a handful of what Deer Valley has to offer foodies. Other dining destinations include The Mariposa, Goldener Hirsch Restaurant, Royal Street Cafe, Fireside Dining, Silver Lake Restaurant, Empire Canyon Grill, and Goldener Hirsch Cafe. And, as a bonus: the greatest skiing on Earth.
Photos by Ted Scheffler and Courtesy of Deer Valley
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.
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