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The Village Café is one of the few remnants of the Old School Teton Village that rapidly began disappearing after Four Seasons opened in the base area in 2003. The VC isn’t exactly a hole in the wall — there’s a tiny bit of room to mill around in front of the glass case stuffed with baked goods — and its food, including monstrous breakfast muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, burritos, and pizza slices, is really quite good. But there’s not a piece of white linen in sight (for that matter, tables are in short supply too), prices don’t even begin to approach pretentious, and walls are covered in stickers.
If you’re staying in Jackson and driving out to the Village, a short detour to Nora’s Fish Creek Inn in Wilson at the base of Teton Pass is eminently worthwhile. In a cozy log cabin with a Tulakivi wood-burning stove, Nora’s has everything from Banana Bread French Toast to a number of egg concoctions on the menu. There’s usually a wait for a table – and everyone who walks in the door is subject to the same wait, even the occasional celebrity (David Letterman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Harrison Ford) -- but seats at the U-shaped bar turn over fairly quickly.
The Village Café
3200 McCollister Dr.
Nora’s Fish Creek Inn
5600 W. Wyo. Highway 22
JHMR’s on-mountain dining scene was one of the last things at the resort to go fancy. One look at the cupcakes and rice crispy treats the size of your face, the sky-high sandwiches, and Salt-baked Idaho Potato bar at Rendezvous at the top of the gondola, and you’ll agree it was worth the wait. The Casper Restaurant has fewer choices, but the roaring open stone fireplace more than makes up for it.
If your legs are aching to take a break from the mountain, Teton Thai is, without a doubt, the valley’s best Thai food. Formerly hidden in a side alley just off Jackson’s Town Square, Teton Thai has moved into a new building next to the $5 parking lot at the Village. From the base area, it’s a five-minute walk, or you can hitch a ride on one of JHMR’s big red buses constantly shuttling between the base area and the lot. You can’t really go wrong with anything here, although expect prices to be a couple of dollars more than you’d pay at a Thai place back home.
7342 Granite Loop Rd.
For nights when price isn’t an issue, Couloir, (307-739-2675) the fine dining restaurant at 9,065 feet atop the gondola, is hard to beat. Plus, any meal that requires a gondola gets some serious cool points. Couloir could stop there, but it doesn’t. Its four-course prix-fixe menu includes some of the best dishes in town: Tenderloin of Buffalo; Pan-Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras; Spicy Grilled Ono with Coriander. Desserts come from one of the valley’s best pastry chefs.
Back down in Teton Village, Il Villaggio Osteria (or just Osteria) inside Hotel Terra, has a very different vibe -- more hip than haute -- and what might very possibly be the world’s best boar ravioli. The pizzas, cooked to order in a wood-fired oven, are pretty close to perfect. The fried olives stuffed with housemade sausage are out-of-this-world good. Located between Teton Village and Jackson on the Moose Wilson Road, Q Roadhouse has the most sophisticated menu of any roadhouse we’ve ever seen: ginger lime salad, grilled South Carolina quail, quinoa not-so meatloaf (sauteed kale, green beans, smoked tomato and chipotle sauce), and sweet tea brined chicken fried chicken. In Jackson, locals are split as to their favorite completely casual option – either the Snake River Brewery (aka “the Brew Pub”) or Betty Rock. Betty Rock does an all-you-can-eat-pizza night every Thursday ($15). The Brew Pub has at least seven of its award-winning beers on tap at all times and the portions of everything – but especially the pastas – are huge.
Il Villaggio Osteria
3335 Teton Village Dr.
2550 Moose Wilson Rd.
Snake River Brewery
265 S. Millward
325 W. Pearl Ave.
Around since 1967, the Mangy Moose is the classic Teton Village apres ski scene. It qualifies as a Village institution at this point, and the giant plate of nachos definitely qualifies as an institution. While the 20-something ski bums like the Moose’s cheap pitchers, vacationers appreciate the extensive top shelf liquors, the skilled bartenders, and the quality live music (Medeski, Martin & Wood, G. Love and Special Sauce, Maceo Parker, Blues Traveler, Reverend Horton Heat, and Martin Sexton have all played at the Moose).
Families and those who prefer the soothing sounds of a live pianist to the press of the crowds often at the Moose might want to head to the Four Seasons Lounge instead. The soothing space – not to mention its sushi and sake menu – can’t help but relax. In Wilson, the Stagecoach Bar is the place to be Thursday nights and Sunday Night. Every Thursday, the ‘Coach channels the 70s, drawing most every 20-something in the valley to its dance floor, with Disco Night. Sunday nights are a completely different crowd. The Stagecoach Band takes the stage with its mix of swing, country, western, and anything else it pleases.
Smack on the Town Square in Jackson under bright neon lights, you’d never call The Million Dollar Cowboy Saloon a ski bar, but it is a classic valley watering hole and has live music a couple of times a week. It’s also got some of the best people watching around: real and wanna-be cowboys mingle with co-eds, the occasionally Hollywood star, and the valley’s best western swing dancers. Sadly, you have to do your people watching from a saddle. There are no normal bar stools here.
3285 W. McCollister Dr.
Four Seasons Lounge
7680 Granite Loop Rd.
5800 W. Wyo. 22
The Million Dollar Cowboy Saloon
25 N. Cache St.
P.O. Box 550
Projected Opening Ski Season: 11/24/2012
Projected Closing Ski Season: 04/07/2013
Projected Days Open: 116
Days Open Last Year: 128
Years Open: 48
Average Snowfall: 450"
Pros: Views, No Lift Lines, Food
Cons: Crowded Runs, Expensive, No Middle Ground
Pros: Terrain, snow, town, experience
Pros: Tons of skiable area, and very few people
Cons: so cold, a little hard to get to
Pros: huge terrain, no lift lines ,decent snow
Cons: very expensive
Jack Son Hole, Jackhson Hole, Jackkson Hole, Jackson Ole, Jacksone Hole, Jacksonhole, Jakson Hole
Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee fly into April with skiing and season finales.More