on December 26, 2006
We have dined 1-3 times a year for the last 7 years at the Mariposa (open only during ski season), and, until this year, never thought the place lived up to its high reputation as the best restaurant in Utah. Yes, it was good, but flawed (see previous review). This year, it scored. The only problem with our visit was that we both ordered the same thing, so we can’t say if they finally got everything under control, or only the Mixed Grill.As for the Mixed Grill, which was much improved over what was encountered in years past, it was superb. Still, it was not without flaws. The biggest improvement is that Mariposa seems to have finally figured out how to cook vegetables. Previously, veggies were uniformly under cooked. This year, perfect. The other great improvement was in the sauces. The Mixed Grill serves a terrific wild game sausage, lamb chop, and slice of veal tenderloin. Our recollection of years past was that all were accompanied by a nondescript common sauce. In 2006, each hadits own sauce, and each was an excellent pairing with its meat. The Amuse was excellent. I forget the irrelevant paragraph long absurd description of what it was, for that is just yuppy BS. The important point is that it was real treat– enjoy. The bread basket featured a fine baguette and an even better whole grain loaf. Again, hard to beat, although no match to what chef Jean Louis Montecot can turn out at his eponymous Park City establishment when he opts to bake bread. Presentation is masterful. The Amuse is an amusing, colorful pile of stuff. The entrée plate is divided into thirds, one for each meat, by a mashed potato dike and within each segment blocked off by the potatoes, is a pool of sauce with one of the three meats swimming in the center. In sum, considering the inflated prices which are found at all resorts, Mariposa’s expensive Mixed Grill is hard to beat, but it is not yet perfect. I want to make that point before I take up theremaining significant flaws in the Mixed Grill that still keep it short of perfection, and why not expect perfection at these prices? Never in America have I had veal that compares to what is routinely served in Europe. Part of the problem is that American restaurants overcook veal, and so does Mariposa. The Lamb Chop is oddly red on the inside but devoid of juiciness. I don’t know how this can be done, for it defies all the rules of cooking. The butter was refrigerator cold. At these inflated prices, one would at least expect an herb flavored butter, but good lord, to be served rock hard plain butter? What is this? Joe’s Slop House? Mariposa still has significant flaws, but they are outweighed by its strengths, at least for the Mixed Grill this year. Well worth a visit for the Mixed Grill.
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