Eat Chic: Where to Dine in Park City During Sundance
It was only the first week in January and I had already sent (potentially) my most obnoxious text of 2019. "Breaking: cauliflower is the new kale," I messaged my sister, only half joking. I'd been making dinner reservations for our trip to Park City, Utah and had seen the crudité mainstay on many a menu. The underdog of the vegetable world had won the hearts of an entire community, faster than a Jason Schwartzman movie at any film festival. Upon arriving in the former mining town, I was delighted to find that whiskey and buffalo burgers were to still central to the local culinary scene, too. If you're headed to Park City for Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 19-29, here's where to get your veggies and so much more.
Handle, 136 Heber Avenue, 435-602-1155
For the most flavorful florets in town, head to this produce-centric restaurant. Chef Briar Handly is the cauliflower king; a transplant from Vermont with an affinity for locally-sourced and organic ingredients, Handly makes his cauliflower buffalo-style, served with a dollop of blue cheese. Other hits on Handle's ever-changing menu (it comes stamped with the day's date), have included butternut squash with a black garlic emulsion and squab with smoked parsnips and chestnut apple butter. The Rattlesnake—a cocktail made with local double rye and topped with an egg-white froth—deserves just as much attention as the season's most in-vogue vegetable.
[link href="https://www.mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/washington-school-house" target="_blank" link_updater_label="external"]Washington School House hotel
, 543 Park Avenue, 435-649-3800
One of Park City's greatest gastronomic experiences isn't only a restaurant; it's a hotel–and you can only dine beneath its bedazzled antler chandelier if you've booked a room. In-house chef Ernesto Rocha creates ideal pre-slope (or movie-watching) breakfasts each day, like French toast smothered in fresh berries, cream cheese and smoked trout bagel sandwiches, as well as elaborate après-ski spreads every afternoon: think salami etna, drunken goat cheese, pickled pears and chicken chili verde. Resident pastry chef Callie Varner bakes up marbled cake pops and chocolate chip cookies dunked in peanut butter that are even more decadent than the hotel's outdoor, year-round heated pool. The best part? The morning fare and all these sweet and savory snacks are included with your stay at this converted 19th-century school. Book through boutique hotel site Mr & Mrs Smith and they'll even throw in a champagne toast upon arrival. Cheers!
[link href="http://www.churchpublichouse.com/" target="_blank" link_updater_label="external"]Church Public House
, 628 Park Avenue, 435-604-0850
Courtesy Church Public House
The pelt thong in the window of Alaska Fur Gallery has made the rounds on social media, but a Park City highlight you probably haven't seen yet is this restaurant with a not-so-subtle spiritual theme. Opened just last month, Church Public House has a Garden of Eden-inspired lounge on its first floor, an ode to heaven on the second floor and an adjacent hell-themed bar– though we'd argue that any place with Bloody Marys as good as these could only be nirvana. Church serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they occasionally have DJs upstairs in Heaven, where all good champions of music go.
[link href="http://www.highwest.com/" target="_blank" link_updater_label="external"]High West Distillery
, 703 Park Avenue, 435-649-8300
Courtesy High West Distillery
First it was silver, then skiing and Sundance, but now whiskey has become one of Park City's biggest draws. This rise in good rye is thanks to High West–the first legal distillery in Utah since 1870–which set up shop in 2009. The ski-in, ski-out saloon serves as a bar, general store and full-fledged eatery. Consider the deviled eggs topped with candied bacon to start, then move on to braised beef short ribs or pan-fried trout with pickled carrots and apple vinaigrette. Of course, you have to have a drink when you're here. There's a High West flight that includes the label's Rendevous Rye and smoky Campfire blend, or try an inventive beer cocktail like their Dr. Ham's Aromatic Invigorator, which is a mouthful in more ways than one. The Dr. mixes High West's Double Rye with Red Rock Drioma and vanilla ice cream. The cauliflower on this menu comes as a gratin, with cheddar cheese sauce, roasted peppers and quinoa.
[link href="http://www.nonamesaloon.net/" target="_blank" link_updater_label="external"]No Name Saloon & Grill
, 447 Main Street, 435-649-6667
Should you find yourself wandering in the snow looking for a late-night buffalo burger–and who hasn't been there?–this is the after-hours spot for you. Most of Park City's kitchens close around 10pm, but the No Name keeps grilling patties topped with cream cheese, sliced jalapeños and chipotle mayo, rightly dubbed the No-Name Burger, past midnight. While you're there, cozy up to the fire and prepare for some top-notch people-watching.
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