Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome to this place we call PARK CITY!

After having a blast in Vail last winter, we decided that going out west every winter for ski trip for the rest of our lives is a smart move.  We've stuck with that plan and this year, our travels took us to Park City, Utah. This cute, artsy mountain town is 30-45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City and the drive through the mountains is breathtaking - especially when you're not driving in a VW Bug the morning after a snow year we will be splurging for a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

While we couldn't tell much of a difference between the quality of snow, connoisseurs say that Utah has high quality "pow pow" & some of the best skiing in the country (I guess that's why Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002). Surrounded by 3 resorts - Park City, The Canyons, & Deer Valley (beware: skiers only!) - your options are plentiful & you could easily spend a week or more shredding the gnar without ever going down the same trail twice.

We spent 4 nights & 3 days in Park City and had ourselves a ball.  We stayed on Main Street at the Treasure Mountain Inn. Mainly because of the location & affordability, we would recommend this hotel to anyone going to PC. Naturally, we did lots of research before heading out there and spent our evenings dining at the following spots:

Located on Main Street in The Sky Lodge rests a beautiful, classy French restaurant. The dining room has a lodge feel to it with exposed wood & a fireplace.  We decided to go all out and after putting in our order for two dirty martini's & a half dozen oysters, we were off to a good start. 

Highlights included the calamari appetizer, a wonderful server, and an act of G-d that forced Eric to order the delicious Easy Street Burger (blue cheese, caramelized onions, bacon & roasted garlic!?!?!) that he had been craving for weeks. Jess was a happy camper with a big bowl of mussels in front of her & some crunchy garlic bread to soak up the tasty juices. We wanted a celebratory, grand night out & Easy Street delivered with flying colors.

This "fit for foodies" hot spot on Main Street with a decidedly western feel serves local, sustainable meats. To start, the BBQ Chicken Tamales were just OK. What stole the show was the veal meatloaf that we both ordered. It was a heaping portion of flavorful meat served on top of a sweet pepper salsa & next to mashed potatoes & brussels sprouts. After seeing an order being delivered to a table nearby, we decided that it looked too good to share and I think we're happy with our decision...Purple Sage is a must if you're heading out to PC.

On night 3, Super Bowl Sunday, we had a little trouble finding a restaurant that was open. This turned out to be a blessing as we ended up dining at one of Park City's finest establishments, Chimayo. Glittering with white x-mas lights and a lot of Southwestern pizazz, the atmosphere inside of Chimayo is part of what you are paying for (and you will pay A LOT). We weren't terribly hungry that night,  so we shared two appetizers & one entree. The soup sampler appetizer was perfect & the highlight of the meal. Four different soups (tortilla, pumpkin, potato leek, & crab/corn chowder)
were placed in mini bowls and each one was unique and tasty. It was just the right portion size for two people. The other app (ahi tuna salad) & entree (cod) were delicious but a tad overpriced for what they were. 

While we're happy we checked out Chimayo for the dining experience and good eats, we're also happy we went on a night when we weren't too hungry & didn't have to spend an arm and a leg.

On our last night in Park City, we headed down to an old whiskey distillery/bar/restaurant. We had an amusing British server who said "no worries" to everything we said. Not surprisingly, the drinks here were the best in Park City. Eric got the whiskey old fashioned & Jess got the whiskey lemonade. They tasted great & packed an alcoholic punch! For an appetizer, we shared 3 side veggies - squash "linguine" & fried eggplant, roasted b-sprouts, and sauteed spinach. We both had excellent things to say about our entrees - Jess and her chicken schnitzel & Eric with steak (served w/ whiskey steak sauce & parmesan-dusted fries).

We also stopped at the Back Door Deli during our first afternoon in Park City. The sandwiches there are fantastic (turkey/pesto & veggie were our choices) and it's worth stopping here one afternoon. The warm, crunchy bread and fresh ingredients are what set this place apart from most sandwich shops.

In terms of apres-ski, our favorite spot was the No Name Saloon. It was one of the most happening spots on Main Street & for good reason. It had ample seating, lots of drink options, & very cheap beer. Since most things in Park City are expensive, we'll gladly take a bar that allows you to get 2 pints for less than $10 w/ tip. We also stopped into the downstairs bar at Bandits & had ourselves some mighty fine buffalo wings.

Park City is a world-class ski town with a great vibe, top notch powder, and an abundance of dining/drinking options along the quintessential & appropriately named Main Street.

Here are a couple of the friends we made in Park City:

Franz The Bear

Molly The Moose

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