Three Extraordinary Wintertime Park City Dining Experiences

Melted cheese and charcuterie at Fireside Dining Deer Valley

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Park City, Utah, is a mining town with a rich and colorful past that is famous for snow, skiing, and slopes. However, more S’s are waiting to be discovered, like scrumptious suppers. Local restaurants offer everything from down-and-dirty ski fuel to white-glove elegance, but these are three must-try winter-time Park City dining experiences you will leave you not only satisfied, but with culinary memories you won’t soon forget.

Deer Valley Lodge Exterior via Deer Valley Resorts
Fireside Dining Scene Deer Valley via Deer Valley Resorts

Tupelo Park City

We expected southern comfort food going to a restaurant called ‘Tupelo.’ Perhaps it would be upscale southern comfort food since we were in downtown Park City. We found globally inspired new American cuisine where every flavor was layered with contrasting counterpoints of tastes and textures, with the perfect accent of southern delights to stay true to the name.

Our meal opened with a round of drinks and Tupelo’s signature soft, fluffy biscuits with a buttery crust. Jenn had an Ice King, which was a crisp and refreshing vodka drink with orange liqueur, blood orange cordial, and a splash of ginger beer. I had a bourbon drink called the Gold Digger, which tasted like a mule with spiced apple syrup, honey, and a touch of lemon.

Our next course was a rich, creamy butternut squash soup with herbal-infused oil. Smokey pepitas and sage provided an unexpected depth of flavor. Next up were the ham and cheese croquettes with a gruyere and potato binding lightly fried to a golden brown. Pickled chiltepin peppers and a tomato jam provided an excellent contrast in flavor and texture to the simple croquettes.

Our final appetizer was our favorite- crispy Brussels sprouts with local feta and smoked bacon. The smoky and salty flavors were offset with a cranberry puree and a shoyu and honey dressing – sweet and savory perfection!

We only selected one main, not because they all didn’t sound delicious, but we were getting full. We ordered Maine lobster pasta in a vodka sauce. The noodles were cooked to al dente perfection, and the sauce was rock solid, but the lobster stole the show. We asked our waitress, Corey, what the secret was. She said the chef had an exclusive personal connection from Maine that flew the lobsters in fresh. It was so fresh that each bite popped in our mouths.

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Corey insisted that we try their cinnamon donuts for dessert. Four tiny donuts came out on a bed of whipped cream with a side of caramelized apple cider that tasted like a confectioner was experimenting with whiskey and apple butter. It was, in a word, divine.

Ham and cheese croquettes at Tupelo Restaurant Park City Utah
Maine lobster pasta in a vodka sauce at Tupelo Restaurant Park City Utah

The Mariposa

Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish, which sent images of fluttering from flower to flower in search of sweet nectar, which wasn’t far off from their six- and eight-course tasting menus. It’s also a nighttime metamorphosis of the Silver Lake Restaurant.

Each course was tiny, delicate, and beautiful, like butterfly wings. The amuse-bouche of Washington State oysters on the half shell opened our senses to the coming culinary delights. Next came the garden, a blend of flavors and textures of lettuce and pickled blueberries with a strong pepper puree and soft cheese to provide a savory splash. Our final opener was two soups: butternut squash soup with pumpkin and pumpkin oil and lobster bisque paired with miso butter and cheddar and chive bread. They were a little sweet, a little savory, and absolutely delicious. 

We had the option for a wine pairing that sounded too grown up for us, so we chose sweet cocktails for an accompaniment. Jenn had the Chambord and brut champagne with a raspberry twist, while I had a citrus mixer (orange, lemon, lime, and pomegranate) with Titos and topo chico.

With sweet cocktails in hand, we were ready to begin our journey into the mains. Bruschetta with prosciutto, tomatoes, and anchovies spread; thinly sliced wagyu beef with crisped carrots; and Norwegian trout on a smoked sausage puree base fluttered across the table in savory seduction.

We paused our culinary flight with an intermezzo of side salad with fennel and apples topped with trout roe and bean curd with micro mint before landing on the signature dish of wagyu culottes with carrot bone marrow, spinach, cipollini onion, house-made Worcestershire au jus.

Our final two dishes of the evening were sweet nectar. Smoked goat cheese panna cotta with hazelnuts and berries and a chocolate boule de neige made with fresh cappuccino cookies, chocolate crumble, chantilly, and a sweet but zesty raspberry sorbet.

Reservations are always required, but even on Valentine’s Day, we didn’t wait long for our table. They even brought Jenn a single red rose to celebrate the moment.

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Palate cleaner Mariposa Deer Valley Resort Utah
Bruschetta at Mariposa Deer Valley Resort Utah

Fireside Dining

Our final distinctive Park City restaurant experience was Fireside Dining, an evening transformation of the Empire Canyon Lodge high atop the Deer Valley Ski Resort. Their muse was to bring the European Alps to the mountains of Deer Valley in four fireside dining vignettes.

The first, a notorious guest favorite, was raclette cheese, served from a stone fireplace. I felt remiss of all of the fires I’ve had in my life not used to melt savory cheese. We knew we should pace ourselves, but the charcuterie accompaniment to endless plates of molten cheese was very tempting, especially the fine European hams and sausages.

The next station featured a veal and wild mushroom stew and quail stuffed with couscous and braised fennel warming by the fire. Of course, the side table of savory soups and tempting salads was equally tempting. I loved the spring mix salad with granny smith apples, roasted pecans, shaved beehive cheddar, and a gold berry vinaigrette. The creamy tomato and chorizo tortellini and smoked salmon bisque were excellent as well.

We were only two fireside stations in, but fortuitously, it was our turn to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride. We didn’t go far, just taking laps out back of the Empire Canyon Lodge, but it was so beautiful under a blanket of stars. Plus, it gave us a little repose before starting our next course.

The carvery station features fire-roasted leg of lamb with rosemary jus and slow-cooked prime rib with bordelaise sauce. The sides were sauteed patty pans with honey-whipped ricotta and potato paves with grated truffle hollandaise sauce. It was so good that I found myself experimenting with all of the sauces and flavors. I don’t know if prime rib with rosemary truffle hollandaise sauce is a thing, but it should be.

Luckily, we saw the desert station on the way in and saved just enough room to partake in the three chocolate fondues waiting for us, of course, with a full assortment of fruits and cakes for dipping. It felt a bit decadent also to order the peach flambe, but we found a way in the spirit of the Alps.

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Fireside Dining was definitely the Park City restaurant that required the most restraint; however, since they rotate the menu every two weeks, you can expect something new on just about every visit. Next time we could work in some of their extensive collection of imported beer.

Pro-Tip: Fireside Dining books up in advanced, so be sure and make reservations

Cheese melting by fire at Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, Deer Valley Utah
Dessert fondue set up Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, Deer Valley Utah

Wrapping Up Our Park City Dining Experience 

Park City Restaurants are the perfect way to complete a romantic getaway. They’re a foodie adventure that delights your senses and takes you on a culinary world journey. You can see the “Deer Valley Difference” at Fireside Dining and The Mariposa, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the charming fun of downtown Park City. You might come to Park City or Deer Valley in the winter for the skiing, but they’re complete vacation destinations, including a wealth of creative dining experiences.

Disclosure: A big thank you to Deer Valley Resort and Visit Park City for hosting us, setting up a fantastic itinerary, and usage of some of the images throughout (image credit in hover text 😉).

For more travel inspiration, check out Deer Valley Resort’s InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube accounts; and Visit Park City’s InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube accounts.

As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.

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Mariposa restaurant Deer Valley Utah
Ham and cheese croquets
Cheese melting by a fire
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