What happens when the country’s most prestigious independent movie festival comes to a town with Hollywood-types in tow, year after year? The food gets good. Really good. Park City becomes the country’s film epicenter each winter when Sundance rolls into town, and the skiers and locals enjoy the residual effect year-round. Here are three ways to dine well in the posh resort town dwarfed by the Wasatch Range, dependent on your mood and/or budget.
In Your Ski Boots
Davanza’s (690 Park Avenue, 435-649-2222)
Park City has Old West charm, and it often gets melded with fancy new businesses trying to stay one step ahead of Sundance. Davanaza’s is not one of those. It’s the anti-chic establishment that has been a local’s favorite for years. Its walls are lined with empty beer cans, and the menu is a delicious glutonness feast of pizza, burgers, tacos and anything that fits in the deep fryer. That’s not to say the food is processed. The options here are housemade and damn good. The taps spout out local beers and the atmosphere screams: “Skier Bar!” at the top of its lungs. Added bonus: It’s located just across the street from High West Distillery, a gem of a local spirits maker.
In Your Jeans and a T-Shirt
Bistro at Canyons (4000 Canyons Resort Drive, 435-615-3400)
A ski town needs to cater to a variety of diners. That goes without saying. The kosher segment is rarely ever singled out, however. This diet-restricted type of restaurant isn’t as popular as Italian, for example. That’s what makes the newer Bistro at Canyons, a cozy spot in the Silverado Lodge, so endearing. It’s winning over locals and tourists with a fully certified and eclectic Kosher restaurant—many of whom wouldn’t ever think that how blood removed from meat is important. The food is tasty and accessible to those who don’t follow the diet. Realistically, most won’t even notice the menu is any different than that of the next bistro, save for the lack of pork. In fact, the Bistro menu makes you wonder if the restrictions lead to more imagination. Beef cheek bruschetta? Mustard crusted wild salmon? Even the biggest foodies might cheer for diet-restricted restaurants. And yes, Bistro has a bomber pastrami sandwich.
Once-in-a-ski trip dining experience
Silver (508 Main Street, 435-930-1000)
A ski town that attracts Hollywood’s finest once a year is going to have no shortage of posh eateries. Silver is the latest in a long line of extremely successful downtown, high-end spots. The allure starts with design. The modern and metallic interior makes you feel really cool—part of the reason it was named the best-designed restaurant in the region by Salt Lake Magazine in 2012. There’s a live DJ booth and it defines experiential. And the food is pretty damn impressive, too. The progressive American menu is inventive and playful, with favorites such as Venison Short Ribs that have a Spanish twist with the addition of pimenton to the barbecue sauce, and a delicious cut of beef from Snake River Farms served with a sweet potato croquet that is devilishly good. The wine cellar, with its 3,000 offerings, screams for Wine Spectator recognition, too.