Where Sumptuous Meets Simple
By Amy Roberts
If casual dining and first-class service went on a date, they’d probably end up at Troll Hallen Lounge, where a laidback atmosphere and reasonable prices combine seamlessly with a view-filled, lavish dining experience.
Located inside the luxurious Stein Eriksen Lodge, Troll Hallen offers diners panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, live entertainment, multiple flat screen TVs featuring the sporting event du jour, and outdoor fire pits for those who prefer a side of fresh mountain air with their meal.
Executive Chef Zane Holmquist has been with Stein Eriksen for 14 years and says he always looks forward to creating the summer menu at Troll Hallen.
“I change the menu up every season and I try not to follow trends. We’d rather be trendsetters, and we allow our menu to evolve organically by offering flavors and textures that strike people’s emotions,” says Zane. “We want all of our dishes to have an emotional link—maybe to a childhood memory or favorite vacation moment.”
For example, in a nod to a simpler era, this summer Chef Zane’s menu will feature homemade Pimento Mac & Cheese. “We are all so busy and running in a lot of different directions, and that’s why I like this dish. Because mac and cheese cues you to relax. It evokes memories of a carefree childhood. A time when
you didn’t have a number of responsibilities to take care of before dinner,” he continues.
Of course, Chef Zane has put his own grown-up twist on this kid-friendly favorite dish, using organic ingredients from local vendors. “Along with the pimento, I’m also using local pepper jack and cheddar cheeses and pigtail pasta, all cooked together in a cast-iron pot and sprinkled with breadcrumbs. The message I try to deliver with my menu at Troll Hallen is that dining doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious,” adds Zane.
In addition to his signature Mac & Cheese, at Troll Hallen you’ll also find the world-famous Stein burger (eight ounces of Angus beef topped with melted white cheddar and crispy onions), house-made pastrami, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam (a prized recipe from Chef Zane’s grandmother and a nod to his Swedish heritage), and a variety of sumptuous fondues meant for sharing with friends.
An array of delicious drink options complements the food. Zane and his team ferment ginger in-house to create their own ginger beer—making their Moscow Mule hard to beat outside of Russia. Other signature drinks include a variety of beer cocktails, including the famous Church & State cocktail.
“At first, people think it’s odd to mix a cocktail with beer. But 100 years ago, we didn’t have cranberry and pineapple juices. If you wanted a mixer, you added beer to your whiskey. I like beer cocktails because they remind us of a simpler, more relaxed time,” says Zane.
Just like the entire dining experience at Troll Hallen.