High in the mountains that surround Park City, vacationers and locals alike are reminded that life is meant to be enjoyed. The beauty of nature, the physical thrill of winter sports, and the moments we carve out to simply appreciate family and friends return our spirits to joy. One of the most fundamental ways to do this is to share a spectacular meal with the people we love at one of the area’s many high-altitude fine restaurants.

The Mariposa in Silver Lake Village is part of the world-renowned family of Deer Valley restaurants and rated #1 in the Utah Zagat guide. The beef tenderloin filet, topped with peppered maple bacon and sautéed mushrooms is a gourmet’s dream. Their delicate shrimp ravioli lightly browned in butter and tossed with tomato confit melts in your mouth. Or try the Chef ’s Tasting that changes daily: small portions of several incredible dishes spread out over four courses that feature expert wine pairings with each. deervalley.com or 435-645-6715

Another brilliant Deer Valley dining experience is The Fireside inside Empire Canyon Lodge. Five stone fireplaces roast succulent meats in traditional European- style. The rich aromas make your mouth start watering in the parking lot or from  the front steps where the optional horse-drawn sleigh drops you off. Savor imported cheese, tender cured meats, or fresh salads before diving into roasted leg of lamb, fowl with crisped skin, or the other entrée delights. The side dishes of potatoes, risotto or polenta could be a meal in and of themselves. A wide variety of imported beers and wines are carefully selected to complement each of the four courses. The dining room is warm and subdued, making conversation with your companions easy and relaxed. deervalley.com or 435-645-6632

A little further up the mountain is the celebrated Montage Resort, home of the legendary APEX restaurant. Well known for their private offerings, APEX patrons may start their meal with the beer that’s brewed exclusively for Montage Deer Valley: Montage Mountain Ale. It’s the perfect partner for their prime dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, or savory pasta dishes. Also, be sure to partake of their signature cheese cart.

Local and imported cheeses of every variety can make a whole meal accompanied by the select wines on their extensive list. The deck of APEX may very well be the best après-ski dining in all of Park City. The views are breathtaking, outdone only by the Montage signature burger always offered fresh off of the deck’s grill. montagedeervalley.com or 866-601-9044

Sitting like a crown atop the Wasatch Mountains is The St. Regis Resort with their famed J&G Grill. Panoramic views of the snow-covered mountains compliment the intimate atmosphere and splendid cuisine. Roasted Maine lobster rubbed with garlic, ginger, and exotic chilies or luscious Poulette Rouge Chicken with ricotta gnocchi and asparagus are examples of the miraculous entrees offered. The nightly show of Champagne Sabering on the deck is a perfect way to start off an impeccable evening of entertainment, dining, wine, and celebration of friendship. stregisdeervalley.com or 435-940-5760

After a day of hitting the slopes, relax in the comfortable atmosphere at any one of Park City’s fine restaurants. There’s just something about the altitude that helps make dining a slice of heaven!

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