Whether you’re spending your action-packed days in and around Park City carving groomers, launching through powder fields or skate-skiing the Nordic trails, you’ll need to refill your cup. Fortunately, the fun doesn’t have to stop when you pull off your winter boots and hit the sauna or hot tub.
Park City and the Heber Valley are chock-full of winter-tailored culinary offerings where you can enjoy decadent fare, aromatic spirits and unique experiences, from indulging in a viking-inspired yurt dinner to learning how to cook a cold-weather recipe. Refilling the cup is also about enlivening the spirit. Read on for our seven top picks of where to dine and cheers this winter season.
SOLDIER HOLLOW YURT DINNER
The historic venue of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Soldier Hollow Nordic Center is nestled into Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway. Each winter, the center tees up yurt dinners offered by Wilderness Access Outfitters. Following groomed trails, you’ll snowshoe the .5-mile route in refreshing winter air to reach the cozy yurt, where hot cocoa is served and dinner is prepared by Executive Chef Ryan Estel. Surrounded by a crackling fire and family-style seating, trekkers dine on a premium four-course meal including white bean soup, Heber Valley winter salad, cold-smoked filet of pork, and poached pear. Afterward, visitors can step outside to stargaze next to the bonfire and toast s’mores. Yurt dinners begin at 5:30 p.m. and are offered Wednesday through Sunday from Dec.1-April 30.
ALPENGLOBES AT MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
Sprinkled across the Vista Lounge terrace at the freshly renovated Montage Deer Valley are elegant, life-size snow globes, where you can share a table and break bread with friends and loved ones. The private orbs overlook Park City’s snowy, rolling terrain and offer space for a romantic duo or up to a party of eight. Tailored to the winter season, the Alpenglobes’ special menu features a range of artisan cocktails — like Ski Runs & Roses, a mix of Ketel One Botanical Cucumber and Mint, Hendrick’s gin, salt and rose syrup — and culinary selections such as Yama Nachos (yama means mountain in Japanese), Chef Yu Yamamoto’s 21-piece sashimi plate, and chocolate fondue. Reservations are available at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. daily.
THE VIKING YURT SLEIGH RIDE & DINNER
In a modern twist, a sleigh pulled behind a snowcat transports up to 40 people on a 25-minute ride that travels 1,800 feet up the rolling, snowy terrain of Park City Mountain Resort. After entering the rustic yet charming yurt, everyone is served a warm mug of nonalcoholic glogg before dining on six courses of Nordic-inspired cuisine that is in step with a curated selection of wines and spirits available for purchase. The aged silver and copper cutlery paired with warm spiced glogg and Viking horned helmets adds to the theatrics and fun of the experience that lasts from 5:45-9:45 p.m.
“Dining at The Viking Yurt is an adventure: Greeters, drivers, mechanics, servers, chefs and family work to create magic,” said co-owner Dena Merrill. “The crackling fire, live music and inviting atmosphere with rustic charm and fine dining elegance pushes it over the top.”
MINDFUL CUISINE COOKING CLASSES
Hailing from the Salad Bowl of the World (the Salinas Valley of California), Linda Elbert brought her love of kitchen adventure to the Rocky Mountains when she moved full time to Park City, where she expanded her culinary business, Mindful Cuisine. The quaint school offers a range of season-inspired cooking classes from Spanish tapas and Greek dishes to retro Italian dinners and Mediterranean plates. After a guided kitchen experience that covers ingredients and prep, many classes include sharing a meal together (unless the workshop spotlights canning, pickling or baking with take-home goods) in the 20-seat, window-filled dining area adjacent to the kitchen island and wine cellar.
“We offer hands-on cooking classes and dinner for friends, families, date nights and small corporate groups. This is a causal, personalized experience with spectacular views,” said Elbert.
GIN MAKING WITH ALPINE DISTILLING
Have you ever made your own unique gin? Now you can at the award-winning Alpine Distilling in Park City. Owned by Rob and Sara Sergent, the couple distills spirits with botanicals sourced from around the globe ranging from Croatia-grown juniper to coriander from Egypt and India-curated cardamom. One key ingredient across each pour? Water. Silver Creek supplies the facility via an under-mountain aquifer, pure and at an ideal temperature. Rob, whose family settled in Kentucky in the 1700s and has distilled for many generations, leads the whiskey while Sara, who studied gin making in Scotland, pioneers the field. Visit the medal-adorned distiller at their sole bar, dubbed Social Aid & Pleasure Club, where they host tastings, serve curated cocktails, and offer private events or parties as well as the gin-making class. Led by Sara, groups of six to eight enjoy a libation and get hands-on with the art of distilling while selecting their personal botanicals to create a custom 750-milliliter bottle.
HIGH WEST DISTILLERY’S NELSON COTTAGE
Scientists typically advance from biochemistry into distilling, right? In this case, yes. Biochemist David Perkins founded High West Distillery in 2006 with a tidy 250-gallon still, the Saloon walk-in restaurant and bar, and a historic livery stable. Today, you can enjoy a distillery tour and tasting, which dives into the history of whiskey in Utah. After a day of snow play, we recommend heading to the distillery’s rustic-yet-elegant, family-style restaurant, the Nelson Cottage, which is known for a unique twist of seafood, global game and mind-soaring desserts. Here, oysters are served three ways: foam, cream or raw. A team of whiskey ambassadors and four chefs — Head Chef Julia Sorroche alongside Sebastian Rivera, Carla Garcia and Juan David Lozano — select four whiskies to be paired with the weekly multi-course prix fixe dinner, which begins with an otherworldly welcome cocktail curated by Bar Manager Milana Powers. Patrons also can select tastings a la carte, from the Midwinter Night’s Dram to Prisoner’s Share. The cuisine is a journey alongside the spirits with options like roasted duck breast garnished with figs and jus made from Campfire Barrel Select; the banana leaf halibut with bourbon, coconut béarnaise and cilantro; and the whiskey gnocchi with red onion, habanero pickles and charred allium. Seatings are offered Wednesday through Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
LUXURY MINES & WINES TOUR
Hit the books with a wine glass and a private tour of Park City’s historic mining sites with Fox School of Wine. Led by owner and executive sommelier Kirsten Fox, wine and history aficionados indulge in six stops and curated luxury sips paired with tasty paired nibbles. By the close of three hours, the tour visits a range of landmarks including Ontario Mine — a silver mine that debuted in 1872 and put Park City on the map — along with Miners Hospital and Spiro Tunnel, used for accessing mines deep in the mountain and as a skier subway in the sixties.
“Alongside Park City’s mining history, some groups are looking for an iconic wine experience, where the guests taste wines that exemplify the best of a winegrowing region — like Dom Perignon Champagne, Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot from Los Carneros, Peter Michael’s flagship cabernet blend from Napa, or Graham’s 30-year port from Portugal,” says Fox. “We always offered fine wines on our historical tours, but our new luxury tours offer an experience tasting some of the highest echelons of wines in the world.”