It took some time for Powder restaurant at Park City’s Waldorf Astoria to become Powder. It opened in 2009 as Spruce, the sister restaurant to its well-known San Francisco eatery in what was then the Dakota Mountain Lodge. Then the restaurant was rechristened as Slopes, when the lodge became a Waldorf Astoria property, operated at the time by Talisker Mountain Inc. That was a high point for the restaurant, when talented French chef Clement Gelas was at the helm.
Around 2015 the restaurant was again rebranded – this time as Powder – under the management of the Waldorf Astoria. Having not dined there for a few years, a recent dinner convinced me that Powder is hitting nothing but high notes in its current incarnation, with Executive Chef Matthew Fradera and Chef de Cuisine Canyon Kelley heading up the culinary team.
Powder is an elegant but comfortable restaurant with lots of soothing earth tones and wood as decor features. There’s a swanky bar area at the front of the restaurant and the dining room features floor to ceiling windows allowing guests to gaze out at all the powder that Park City’s been getting this winter season. In warm weather, Powder’s patio is a delightful place to nosh.
Bread service – especially of the gratis variety – is becoming more and more rare in restaurants these days. So it was nice to kick off our evening with homemade Parker House rolls and chevre-herb butter – the rolls lightly dusted with sea salt.
Seafood lovers might choose to enjoy the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($35) as an appetizer, or perhaps Tuna Tartare ($33), which is complemented by capers, olive oil, Meyer lemon, radish strips, minced chives, red veined sorrel, and egg yolk. I found the Tuna Tartare to be exceptional.
Another exquisite seafood dish at Powder was sea Scallops ($34) seared with brown butter and served with sweet potato puree, cauliflower, radish slices, sorel, and golden raisins.
The meatier side of the appetizer menu features Roasted Bone Marrow ($26) with brioche and caper chimichurri, and a delicious dish of Cider-Braised Pork Belly ($29) with parsnips, curly endive, watermelon radish, and apple butter.
Whether enjoying a healthy Roasted Beet Salad with blood orange, arugula and hazelnuts ($20), Idaho Trout ($46), or a 45-day Dry Aged 24 oz Cowboy Ribeye steak ($150), I’m impressed with the freshness and high quality of the ingredients that go into Chef Fradera’s dishes and the skilled technique with which they are executed. As you can see from the accompanying photos here, many of the dishes are edible art, as well.
Powder has a sensational wine selection, as well as a full roster of beers, ciders, cocktails, liquors, spirit-free drinks and more. Craft cocktail aficionados might enjoy one of Powder’s special creations such as the Penicillin cocktail, The Last Rhum, or a Spicy Pomegranate Margarita with Lunazul tequila, lime, dry Curacao, jalapeño, agave, and pomegranate.
High-end meats are a focal point of the Powder menu and it includes a 7 oz Filet Mignon ($83), 14 oz Prime New York Steak ($94), 16 oz Cab Ribeye ($66), and a Niman Ranch Tomahawk Pork Chop ($55), any of which can be enhanced by herb butter, truffle butter, bordelaise sauce, brown butter beurre blanc, or bearnaise sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding and perfectly cooked 14 oz 30-day Dry Aged Kansas City steak ($88), served with grilled shishito peppers and roasted garlic.
Entrees at Powder don’t include side dishes – they’re extra – but they are generously portioned for the table to share and include Grilled Asparagus ($15) with bearnaise and lemon, Seared Mushroom ($20), Fried Brussels Sprouts ($16), Lobster Mac & Cheese ($30), and Potato Puree ($15).
My favorite side was decadent Crushed Duck Fat Potato ($20) with capers, chives, and roasted garlic. The mix of roasted purple, fingerling, and yellow potatoes was superb.
The “Sea” section of the Powder menu features a 6 0z Tuna filet ($53), Idaho Trout ($46), and the dish my wife loved: Chilean Sea Bass ($61) with a nice, crisp golden crust.
As you would expect at any Waldorf Astoria property, the service at Powder is top-notch – thoroughly professional but simultaneously warm and friendly. Finishing out our dinner with a delectable Dessert Flight trio of Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and Macha Crème Brulee, we were sad to see the evening end, but completely satiated and satisfied. In a town that sports so many excellent restaurants, Powder is a standout – a Waldorf winner!
Culinary quote of the week: “I don’t like spinach, and I’m glad I don’t, because if I liked it, I’d eat it, and I just hate it.” – Clarence Darrow
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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.