Prior to the pandemic, one of Deer Valley Resort’s most popular dining destinations was the Seafood Buffet, which offered guests an eye-popping array of fresh seafood, meats, sides, entrees, charcuterie, breads, desserts, and more. But for obvious reasons, buffets disappeared when COVID-19 hit and the Seafood Buffet, after operating for a season as a takeout eatery only, closed up shop permanently.
Well, I am happy to report that there is a brand new restaurant that now occupies the Seafood Buffet space called Cast & Cut, where menu highlights include à la carte dishes, fresh seafood towers featuring an enticing selection of oysters from around the U.S., mussels, lobster, crab legs and caviar, along with dry-aged meats, locally caught trout and the best locally sourced ingredients and accompaniments. It is the ultimate slopeside surf & turf restaurant.
Located in Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Lodge, Cast & Cut is a spacious restaurant that features a full bar and both intimate and large tables offering both small and large parties comfortable seating. If you’ve just come off the slopes, you may want to request a table adjacent to the roaring fireplace to help take the chill off. Don’t want to wear your ski parka to dinner? No problem, Cast & Cut offers a convenient coat check service.
While you peruse the extensive menu, you may want to indulge in Cast & Cut’s absinthe drip experience, where a French absinthe “fountain” is brought right to your table for a unique absinthe experience. Or, enjoy specialty cocktails like the visually exciting Orange Smoke, Bubbles & Bitter, or Flower of the Sea, along with traditional cocktails, beer, and wine. Prior to our dinner, my wife and I sipped gorgeous Soter Vineyards “Mineral Springs Estate” Brut Rosé, the perfect start to an enchanting evening.
I love dining in restaurants that offer guests a chilled seafood tower, a trend that began a couple decades ago in this country, I think, at NYC’s Balthazar. Well, seafood tower lovers like me will be in heaven at Cast & Cut, where not one or two, but five different chilled seafood tower options are available. Most of them feature oysters on the half shell, shrimp, lobster and crab in some form. The East Meets West tower offers guests hamachi, tuna poke, escolar sashimi, wonton chips, lemon wedges, sesame soy, and wasabi, while the Pacific Northwest tower is a three-story array of crab claws, octopus salad, oysters on the half shell, salmon crudo, mignonette, lemon wedges, signature cocktail sauce, and drawn butter. There is also a Classic seafood tower, one called The Park City, and the one we enjoyed called the East Coast: oysters on the half shell, a whole east coast lobster, jumbo shrimp, remoulade, lemon wedges, signature cocktail sauce, mignonette, and drawn butter, priced at $45 per person. It was divine, from the freshly-shucked oysters on the bottom tower tier, to the whole chilled lobster on the top.
Appetizer-size selections at Cast & Cut fall into three categories: Small Plates from the Garden, Small Plates from the Sea, and Small Plates from the Ranch. Garden plates include Grilled Asparagus with citrus butter ($12), Cast Iron Brussels Sprouts with bacon, aged Gouda, crisp sunchokes, and creamy garlic dressing ($22); Sugar Roasted Carrots with ras el hanout, tzatziki, and toasted almond streusel; salads, and more. Small Plates from the Sea choice include Grilled Octopus ($22); Seared Scallop with bacon vinaigrette ($26); and BBQ Shrimp with High West barbecue sauce ($24).
During our visit Small Plates from the Ranch include Waygu Beef Tartare with olive oil-poached farm egg yolk, sesame seeds, harissa aioli and tenkasu ($34); Pan-Roasted Foie Gras with brioche toast and cipollini agrodolce ($45); and an item we both loved: Blackened Bison Tip ($35). The blackened bison tips were incredibly tender, seared medium-rare, and served with arugula chimichurri hollandaise. It was one of the best meat dishes I’ve tasted in ages.
As you would expect at a Deer Valley Resort restaurant, service is outstanding, and so is the cuisine from the kitchen led by Executive Chef Peter Menteer and Executive Sous Chef Chris Gibson. Since its opening, Deer Valley Resort has raised guests’ expectations regarding the quality of food, service and ambiance and continues to do so.
Cast & Cut entrees range from Wild Mushroom Mafaldine ($26) and an 8 oz. Waygu Burger ($32), to Pan-Roasted Chicken with green peppercorn sauce ($32) and Lemon Risotto ($30) with asparagus, Mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and green peas. My wife ordered the 12 oz. Grilled Bone-In Ora King Salmon, served with charred asparagus, lemon wedge, and compound butter ($50). Her summation of the dish: “This is the best salmon I’ve ever eaten.” ‘Nuff said.
The Butcher Block Entrees section of the Cast & Cut menu is a meat lover’s dream come true. From Snake River Farms, there is a 14 oz. New York strip steak ($85) and an 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($120), both served with green peppercorn sauce. Other meaty attractions include a Signature 24 oz. Tomahawk Wagyu Ribeye with bordelaise ($170); 6 oz. Bison Filet with High West Whiskey demi-glaze; Rocky Mountain Elk Chop with sweet onion demi-glaze ($72); and Not Your Mother’s Pork Chop – Niman Ranch pork with cipollini agrodolce ($56). I opted for the Steak Frites ($42), which was grilled zabuton with chimichurri rojo, grilled mushrooms, charred shishito, and thick, crisp hand-cut fries. Like the aforementioned bison tips, the steak frites were so tender, moist and tasty and, while I’m not normally a thick-cut fry guy, these hand-cut fries were terrific, dusted with coarse salt.
The desserts at Cast & Cut are literally head-turners. We almost got whiplash watching a gargantuan tray that looked like a charcuterie board of S’mores Fondue go by our table. It included homemade marshmallows, cookie bites, fresh berries, graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, candies, milk chocolate, chocolate fondue, white and dark chocolate. Desserts are intended for the entire table and are thus proportioned: HUGE. The Chocolate Cookie Cake we ordered with hot fudge sauce and Deer Valley vanilla ice cream was about the size of my head. And good lord, was it ever delicious!
I should have been surprised given the award-winning quality of guest service that Deer Valley Resort is justifiably known for. But I was still amazed by how dialed-in the service and cuisine at Cast & Cut was given that they’d only been open for three nights when we visited. It was our server’s first night on the job and he was flawless, as was a very helpful busser from Argentina. Both added to the type of exquisite dining experience that I urge everyone to enjoy at Cast & Cut.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week: “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” – Orson Wellesutahbitested@gmail.com
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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.