The RestaurantThe Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City's Deer Valley ski resort is well known for its luxury accommodations -- and its food. A lavish Sunday brunch is a particular specialty, but any meal, from morning through aprés ski to dinner (accompanied by a selection from the lodge's 10,000 bottle wine cellar) is a treat at the lodge's restaurant, Glitretind.
The ChefExecutive Chef Zane Holmquist is originally from Utah, and received his training at the Culinary Institute of America. "I lived in Manhattan, Hawaii, and in California , and came back to Utah 15 years ago," he says. He now lives in Salt Lake City, and he embraces the local lifestyle: "I love skiing, mountain biking, music -- it all has an impact on how I cook." He also makes use of local products, which isn't an all-year-round proposition, given the short growing season and some 400 inches of snow fall a year. "My philosophy is to buy great product, try not to do a lot to it and get it out to the guest. I want to represent the West and the mountains, so there's a hint of casualness to our food, but also a reasonable amount of sophistication."
Chef's SpecialtiesSome of the most popular items on the menu: Stein's Wild Game Chili (wild boar, elk and buffalo, lots of coffee, lots of beer, no beans); Potato Chip Salad, which is fried fingerling potato chips with malt vinegar vinaigrette, spinach and sea salt.
Other favorites include Stein's Red Greens Salad, which is organic red greens, local goat cheese, with a fig pinot noir vinaigrette and cinnamon brioche, and Elk Carpaccio, which is served with huckleberry sorbet, roasted garlic crème fraiche, and baby arugula. "We also serve lots of casual food," he says. "People come year in year out for our classic pot pie, which is mushrooms and peas and carrots and huge pieces of chicken. We roast whole organic chickens and make the pot pie from scratch. For aprés ski, we make our fondue, which is made with gruyère, emmentaler and a kirsch vodka.It's a big part of winter."
(Chef Zane works with a talented team that includes pastry chef Raymond Lammers -- check out Lammer's handmade gourmet chocolates.)
Chef Zane Holmquist's Picks for Best Restaurants?"Utah's a fantastic place to visit and dine at all levels, from the very elaborate all the way down to the very simple," he says.
- In Park City: I like going to my friends' places, for example Jean Louis. He's got a great wine list. At the Blind Dog I usually have some sushi, or something off the bar menu, like crab cakes.
- In Salt Lake City: "Mexican food is a huge part of our culture here in Utah. The Red Iguana is a must-eat -- it's the best in the United States. I usually get one of the moles. I love Hong Kong Tea House in Salt Lake and Little World. It's not fancy, he says, "but it's just great. I'll get anything with duck in it there.
- Guilty pleasures: "My son and I like to grab a bit of ice cream, our favorite place is probably Iceberg Drive Inn in Salt Lake City. They have like a 9,000 calorie milkshake. My son always gets something different, but I usually get the root beer -- the chocolate-banana is also pretty good.
- Suds: I'll grab a beer and a snack at The Bayou, which has hundreds of beers on their beer list. I usually get the red beans and rice or some sweet potato fries. Our local breweries here are unbelievable -- I'll put our breweries up against anything in Seattle or or Portland. Squatters Brewery is my favorite brewpub. My most favorite beer in the country is Squatters IPA.