A November 2004 trip
to Park City by Wasatch
Quote: Park City Mountain Resort is one of three major ski areas located in or near Park City, Utah, one of the continent’s great ski destinations. There are 16,000+ beds available, more than 5,500 acres of skiing, 50+ lifts, 300+ runs, and 350 to 400 inches of fabled Utah powder.
Park City is 35 to 40 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport, by a four-lane highway that is mostly an expressway. Bus and limo service are available. A car is not necessary thanks to Park City’s extensive town shuttle bus (free, but there is talk of charging a ride), which goes almost everywhere the visitor might want to go. The Canyons run a (free) shuttle bus to/from the hotels in town.
With so many runs, a week is not long enough to ski everything. Your first three to four trips should include visits to all three resorts, so find your favorite. You will find a favorite, for each resort has a different flavor. We have lived nearby for 7 years. We get season passes at Deer Valley. We last skied the Park City Mountain Resort 12 to 15 years ago, and I skied one day at the Canyons in the last 10 years. This doesn’t mean you should only ski Deer Valley. Lots of people prefer the other resorts.
The Sundance Film Festival is the best time to ski Park City if you can get a room. The slopes are relatively empty because most of the rooms are occupied by Hollywood. You will sit next to stars at diner, maybe even on the lift. Restaurants are very crowded, especially late. Skiers report it is pretty easy to get in if you eat early.
Meals are a little less expensive at Kimble Junction, or, if you have a car, in Heber City (see Ski Heber Valley).
Diversions: Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (see Ski Heber Valley).
Shopping: trendy boutiques on Main Street and the outlet mall at Kimble Junction.
Tour the Old City Jail and Museum, old Town Hall, and Old Town Main Street.
Also see: Ski Heber Valley, Ski Sundance, Ski Odgen, Ski Salt Lake City, Ski Alta, and Ski Snowbird, all within 50 air miles.
If you have a car, don’t overlook Park City’s proximity to even more resorts. Snowbasin and Powder Mountain (See Ski Ogden) are less than 1.5 hours by I-80 east, I-84, and UT 160. So are Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude, by I-80 west and I-215 (see Ski Alta, Ski Snowbird, and Ski Salt Lake City). These last four resorts, along with Park City Mountain Resort, can all be skied in one day on the Interconnect Adventure. Sundance (see Ski Sundance) is about an hour by Kearns Boulevard, US 40, and US 189, through scenic Heber Valley.
Arriving in Park City, make a left at the first light after Albertson’s (on the left) to Deer Valley, a right to Park City Mountain Resort, and then straight ahead to Old Town Main Street.
Restaurant | "Goldner Hirsch Restaurant (Dinner)"
The seafood tower ($32) is a pile of tomato slice, grilled halibut, shrimp, portabella mushroom, salmon, and red potatoes that almost looks too good to eat. The halibut--slightly overcooked--was spectacularly broiled under a high flame, which gave it a crisp crust on top. The salmon was cooked to perfection--flaky to the touch, but still moist--and all was as fresh as seafood can be when 800 miles from the nearest ocean. The mushroom and balsamic demi-glaze perfectly accented the fish.
Should lamb shank braised in molasses be the daily special ($34), don’t pass it up. The fork-tender lamb falls off the bone at a touch, and the lamb, sauce, and bitter greens blend into a fine combination. Spaetzle compliments the dish well. This dish hits the spot on a cold winter evening and was clearly superior to the $46 rack of lamb at the nearby Café Mariposa.
Weinerschnitzel, sauerkraut, and Spaetzle are other excellent dishes. This plate has gone through three to four variations since Jean-Louis took over the kitchen, and excellent as the current version is, I preferred version number one, where the veal, slightly creamy sauerkraut, and baked apple with cheese complimented each other to perfection.
The apple strudel was all you could ask for. Heimbeer Kuchen is a super-rich, semisweet chocolate fudge cake topped with fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and a raspberry sauce and will satisfy your sweet tooth for a week.
Wines cost from $32 to $110 and are also available by the glass.
Last but not least, the decor and ambiance of the restaurant are superb. You feel good just sitting here.
The Goldner Hirsch is located at Deer Valley’s mid-mountain base and is on Park City’s free bus route. By car, take Royal Street or Marsac Avenue/Empire Canyon Road from the Deer Valley traffic circle. When parking under the hotel, enter from the rear, or park in the lot next to the hotel.
For lunch and après ski snacks, the restaurant is just off Mt. Cervin Plaza, behind the Silver Lake Lodge and half a block from the lifts. Leave your skis at the free ski check.
Although the elk chop convinced me I don’t much like elk, this was the elk’s fault, not the restaurant’s, for the dish was superb. The chop was perfectly cooked to the medium-rare stage that is best for game, and the sauce was an excellent compliment to the meat. The side dishes, wild mushroom and onion pie and a small baked potato topped with mashed potatoes, were superb.
Veal Marsala, a daily specialty, was the best version of this classic either of us has ever encountered.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 19, 2004
Goldener Hirsch Restaurant
Deer Valley Mountain Base
Park City, Utah
Restaurant | "Grappa"
The frustration is that beneath the brine are many really wonderful dishes. Osso Bucco, a specialty of the house, can be a delight, but it also caused us to stop eating here for three years after I got one that was really loaded with salt and pepper. Over the last year, I’ve had it three times, and it wasn’t so bad. To repeat—if you don’t mind lots of salt on your food, this is one of best meals you are likely to find anywhere for $32.
As for specific dishes, the menu changes constantly except for Osso Bucco, so there is no point in describing things no longer on the menu. Suffice it to say that everything we had on six visits last summer was top-drawer, except for the too-much-salt factor.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2005
Grappa Italian Cafe
151 Main Street
Park City, Utah 84060
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 20, 2005
Easy Street Brasserie
201 Heber Avenue
Park City, Utah 84060
Restaurant | "Bistro 412 II"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 9, 2005
412 Main St.
Park City, Utah
Restaurant | "JeanLouis Restaurant I"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 16, 2006
136 Heber Avenue
Park City, Utah 84060
Restaurant | "Ghidotti’s "
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 22, 2006
Ghidotti's Italian Restaurant
6030 N Market Street
Park City, Utah 84098
Restaurant | "Jean-Louis Restaurant- II"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 23, 2006
Restaurant | "Cafe Mariposa"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2006
Silver Lake Lodge - 7600 Royal St.
Restaurant | "Jean-Louis Restaurant Summer 2008"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2007
heber ctity, Utah