Named after the renowned Hotel Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg, Austria, Deer Valley Resort’s Goldener Hirsch Inn opened in 1992, owned and operated by the philanthropic Eccles family in partnership with Deer Valley Resort. The Inn has a very European vibe and decor, and has garnered a slew of awards from publications such as Condé Nast Traveler, Zagat, and many others.
In last week’s Utah Bites, I introduced readers to a new fun and entertaining weekly event held at the Goldener Hirsch. I wrote about the Friday Afternoon Club which runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays at the outdoor plaza. For the weekly F.A.C. Goldener Hirsch and Traeger Grills partner to create a series of culinary experiences which are paired with (optional) Alpine Distillery libations. The F.A.C. events also feature live music with local artists such as John Flanders and the Nick Petty Duo. My focus in last week’s column was on the new, contemporary Goldener Hirsch residences that opened last December and the new F.A.C. This week, I’ll turn my attention to the timeless classic that is the Goldener Hirsch restaurant.
During any visit to Deer Valley – whether or not you’re planning to dine at the Goldener Hirsch – I highly recommend stopping in at the Alpen Stube, which is the Inn’s bar and lounge area adjacent to the restaurant. There is often live music in the Alpen Stube during apres ski hours – beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in summer – and there are always friendly, talented bartenders that add to the warm and cozy feel of the lounge.
I suggest sharing Goldener Hirsch’s famous four cheese fondue while you’re there, which is served with rustic bread cubes for dipping along with broccoli, cornichons, green apples and grapes. Meat lovers can add an order of Wagyu beef to their fondue for a surcharge. Other great Alpen Stube snacks include a Bavarian soft pretzel with smoked apple mostarda and house pickles; corn & smoked salmon hushpuppies; or chips and dip made from heirloom potatoes with house-smoked onion dip.
Dinner in the restaurant begins with an amuse bouche, which when my wife and I visited was a delicious, bite size arancini.
Seated in the beautiful Goldener Hirsch restaurant, tempting first courses include bavarian pull-apart bread; a farmers market board with seasonal veggies and a trio of dipping sauces; and my favorite: Claw & Fin. It’s a melange of delicious seafood selections on a single plate that includes peekytoe crab rillette, fresh trout roe, beet-smoked New Zealand salmon, sea grass, citrus coulis, and griddled bread.
There are a number of excellent salads to select from on the Goldener Hirsch menu, including an heirloom tomato salad with French feta, arugula, rye crouton, gelee, sherry elixir and garden tomatoes. I also love the summer garden salad with gem lettuces, gorgonzola dolce, cucumber, sunflower seeds, and charred corn vinaigrette. My wife adored her salad selection, which was the market salad, a salad that changes frequently depending on what fresh local products are available. Her market salad featured gem lettuces, local strawberries, picked herbs from the Goldener Hirsch planter box garden (dill, tarragon, chervil, parsley), pomegranate, crispy figs, French feta (a very creamy, soft sheep feta from southern France), and topped off with a lovely lime-mint vinaigrette.
Dylan Brown is the Goldener Hirsch Executive Chef and in addition to being an outstanding chef, he’s also a very kind and outgoing person that you’ll take a liking to the instant you meet him. One of the most delicious dishes I’ve tasted in a long time is his sweet corn agnolotti. It’s an outstanding second course of homemade agnolotti pasta stuffed with house-made ricotta cheese, in a bowl with sweet corn, delicate greens, fresh tarragon and a scrumptious savory jus.
Service at the Goldener Hirsch is excellent, from seasoned, articulate and polished servers such as John Dorsey and restaurant manager Parker Teske, to assistant manager Carry Lemaster, who helps keep a watchful eye on things, including guests’ restaurant reservations. Even the bussers and food runners are top notch. In addition, Goldener Hirsch’s beverage menu is second to none. There is a wide selection of classic and craft cocktails, imported and domestic beers and ciders, and an extensive wine list that ranges from $15 Spanish Cava by the glass to bottles of Domaine Faiveley Clos de Vougeot 2016 from France for $450 or Vérité Winery Le Désir from Sonoma for $750. There is truly something for every palate and every budget.
If there is one main course dish that the Goldener Hirsch is known for – and one that will probably always be on the menu – it’s Wiener schnitzel, and it’s great. Chef Brown’s sensational schnitzel comes with scrumptious dill spaetzle, young greens, and brown butter citrus. Other meaty temptations include Wagyu eye of ribeye with Romesco potato salad and black garlic chimichurri; the Golden Stag burger; and poulet rouge “panzanella.”
As for me, I really enjoyed the generously portioned lamb entree. It is Osguthorpe Farms lamb loin cooked medium rare, sliced, and served with black garlic, spring greens, toasted farro, zucchini hushpuppy (a very clever take on the hushpuppy), and luscious lavender pistou. This dish is a keeper.
Seafood entrees at the Goldener Hirsch include a nightly market-priced fish special – the chef’s preparation of seasonal ingredients – as well as Big Glory Bay Salmon, which is what my wife enjoyed. There was a lot going on in this complex dish: a beautifully cooked Big Glory Bay salmon fillet with quinoa and corn pudding, ratatouille, artichoke hearts, heirloom squash and beurre Monte. Quite an incredible dish with enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
Yes, the Goldener Hirsch Inn has been around now for nearly three decades. But I don’t remember a time when the cuisine coming out of the kitchen at the Hirsch’s restaurant was any better than it is now. Executive Chef Dylan Brown and Sous Chef Jóse Morales are firing on all cylinders and have created a menu that perfectly blends timeless classics like fondue and Wiener schnitzel with contemporary dishes such as “Claw & Fin” and sweet corn agnolotti. It’s quite a balancing act, and one that the Goldener Hirsch restaurant team pulls off flawlessly.
*Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort
Culinary quote of the week:
“Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.” — Elizabeth Berry
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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.