The Viking Yurt Delights Diners at 8700 Feet
Described by guests as “magical,” “a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” “bucket-list dining” and “the ultimate winter date,” the Viking Yurt delights and surprises diners with a gourmet Norwegian-style dining experience in a cozy yurt tucked away at the top of Park City Mountain. Beginning in 1999, owners Joy and Geir Vik created the Viking Yurt experience to share their love of nature, good food and Norwegian culture in a fun atmosphere akin to being a guest in their home.
“Excitement builds as the group gathers at the base of the mountain at sunset,” says recent guest Autumn Jennings. “The adventure continues as everyone gets tucked into the sleigh with huge blankets for the half-hour ride up the deserted slopes. We had the whole mountain to ourselves,” she recalls, “with the moonlit mountain landscape and the lights of Park City twinkling far below.” The sleigh is pulled by Geir’s pride and joy—a new snowcat with a huge Mercedes engine that can power through any wintry conditions.
After several turns and a climb of 1,800 feet, guests glimpse the yurt in a grove of pine trees, golden and glowing from within like an outpost of warmth and hospitality.
Each seating is limited to 40 people, and guests are greeted by the sounds of a baby grand piano, the heat of a wood stove and a steaming cup of Glogg, a warm berry-based drink spiced with cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. Because 60% of dinner guests are repeat customers, Joy creates new menus each year for the four-hour, six-course meal, always adhering to the Norwegian style of using fresh, simply prepared, high quality ingredients and imaginative presentation and serving vessels.The Sorbet Intermettzo is served in hollowed-out rocks that the Joy hauled back from Norway, and each rock has the name of a city engraved on the bottom, encouraging geography geeks to locate the city on a map on each table. In the European dining tradition, tables of 6-10 people are arranged in the intimate circular tent. “It’s such a fun atmosphere, interspersed with Norwegian toasts and songs,” says another guest.
The Viking Yurt’s chef preps much of the food at a Park City Mountain kitchen, then hauls it up to the yurt by snowmobile. Dinner begins with a soup course, usually Lobster Shrimp Bisque, followed by a salad of Anisette pear, watermelon radish and tomato. Next comes a palate-cleansing sorbet and then the entrée of Braised Short Ribs with Jarlsburg Mashed Potatoes, Red Wine Ligonberry Jus and winter vegetables. For the cheese board, this year guests will experience a new pine-smoked Alpine Cheese with huckleberries and rosemary created specifically for Joy by Gold Creek Farms. The dessert, a Valrhona Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding with High West Whiskey Caramel Sauce is the perfect ending to a delightful evening.
WHILE PREPARING FOR YOUR EVENING EXPERIENCE REMEMBER THE NORWEGIAN ADAGE, “THERE’S NO BAD WEATHER, ONLY WRONG CLOTHING.” THE SLEIGH RIDE TO THE YURT CAN BE SNOWY AND COLD, WHILE INSIDE THE YURT IT’S COZY AND WARM, SO DRESS IN LAYERS AND BRING ALONG GLOVES AND A HAT.
THE VIKING YURT SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR, SO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY.
THE YURT IS ALSO OPEN FOR LUNCH.
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS CAN BE ACCOMMODATED WITH ADVANCE NOTICE.
VIKINGYURT.COM | 435-615-YURT (9878)