Some people call it shoulder season. Others call it mud season. Park City locals call it “we finally have our town back” season. And Wasatch Front locals call it “get great hotel and restaurant deals, and avoid the crowds” season.
Way back when I was a kid, I remember my family heading up to Park City in the fall. We’d check out the Autumn Aloft, and then head over to Main Street to walk around and absorb the sights and smells of fall in the mountains. Leaves changing colors and crisp air combined to make it a magical time.
Now, even though I’m a little bit older, fall in Park City holds the same special feeling. And best of all, the summer crowds have gone back to work and school, and the winter ski crowds haven’t yet arrived. It’s a chance for local restauranteurs to catch their breath, take some time off, and enjoy the city without having the accelerator pedal jammed all of the way to the floor.
For locals on the Wasatch Front, the shoulder seasons are a great opportunity to find hotels at a great discount (some priced 25-50% lower than their winter rates). Many restaurants also offer locals deals during this time in order to keep their tables full. Tupelo, for example, offers a five course tasting menu for a bargain price of $49. Optional wine pairing is an additional $25. You don’t see that kind of deal during the ski season.
On a recent weekend, we stayed a couple days at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley. This hotel is ideally located at the base of the Silver Lake and Sterling Express lifts, providing easy access for those adventure seekers who aren’t too interested in riding bikes or hiking uphill. Not interested in taking a lift? No problem. There is easy access to dozens of public hiking/biking trails that will take you all over the mountains if you wish. One of my personal favorites is the Mid Mountain trail, which will take you all the way over to the Canyons resort if you are looking for a big adventure. Being on the trails in the fall with the leaves changing colors is really something special, and one of the reasons I love Utah so much.
Of course, one of the reasons it’s called the “mud season” is that you have to be prepared for all types of weather. It is Utah in the mountains, after all. Our hiking and biking plans were quickly derailed when the mountain received about eight inches of snow during our weekend stay. No problem–we fired up the in-room fireplace, headed off to the hot tub, took a dip in the pool, and relaxed in the room.
Then off to Sunday brunch at the Glitretind we went, which was absolutely phenomenal. Fellow diners and our servers were so good to our little baby, and the buffet offers something for everyone. Seafood, salads, chicken, prime rib, crèpes, waffles, eggs benedict–you name it, and it was probably there. And their dessert table is ridiculous, and featured an aspen tree centerpiece made out of chocolate.
For dinner, we hopped down off the mountain and headed into a small strip mall next to The Market at Park City. I was thrilled to discover that one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Tarahumara, has opened a second location in Park City. The original Tarahumara in Midway is always packed, but I think that the Park City Tarahumara may still be a hidden gem, because it was not very busy. The carne asada, carnitas, and enchiladas were all excellent. And of course they have their famous salsa bar with what must be 30+ different delicious salsas.
So if you’re crunched on time, budget, or just want a quick getaway, I’d suggest taking a look at a Park City/Deer Valley vacation. You can enjoy Main Street without the crowds, fill your belly with delicious food at a reasonable price, and perhaps upgrade your hotel accommodations from what you normally budget for. It’s a delicious and affordable getaway.
I was an invited guest of Stein Eriksen Lodge and the Glitretind restaurant. Opinions are my own.
Fireside on Regent is off to a solid start, and now that they have their feet under them, Chef Richey is opening for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30-2pm beginning June 3rd. Richey is no brunch novice, having previously expanded Pago’s menu to include brunch as well. Expect to see French toast, croque madam, burgers, hash, salads, and special brunch-only pizzas on the menu.
Fireside on Regent
126 South Regent Street, Salt Lake City
Taking another big step toward establishing itself as a social, community-oriented downtown hotspot, The Gateway is kicking off a Gospel Brunch starting Sunday, April 9. The Gateway’s Gospel Brunch, held at the Grand Hall every other Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature a Bloody Mary bar by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and music by the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir, a performance group that tours the country. Local favorite Cubby’s Chicago Beef will offer their new unique spicy-beef-and-garden-fresh breakfast items, with beverages provided by 3 Cups Coffee. Future dates are April 23, May 7 and 21, 2017.
Tickets are $19 each for brunch and an additional $6 for two drinks at the Bloody Mary bar, with additional drink tickets at $3 each. Proceeds will benefit Downtown SLC Presents, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting cultural and artistic experiences in downtown Salt Lake City. http://bit.ly/gospelbrunchgateway.
“Salt Lake City has a really cool food scene, so we wanted to do something different, with a lot more soul,” says Edie Trott, marketing manager at The Gateway. “We wanted to fill up Sundays with as much life as we could, so getting a gospel brunch together felt like a great way to kick it off.”
In addition to the brunch, The Gateway will also be hosting a series of free events starting in May, including yoga on Sundays, a concert series on Thursdays and a family movie night on Fridays. The Gospel Brunch marks another step in The Gateway’s ongoing initiatives to both revitalize itself and establish itself as cultural hub.
“We’re seeing so much momentum around The Gateway right now,” says Jason Mathis, executive director at Downtown Alliance. “As they continue their re-brand, they’re adding a lot more to their programming, and we’re excited to see what the summer holds for them. The gospel brunch is something we’ve been excited about for a while, and a big step for downtown Salt Lake City.”
Spring has sprung, and we just got two inches of snow last night, so that means one thing: it’s time for Easter. And along with Easter comes easter dining specials. See below.
Café Niche on 300 South is offering some mouthwatering Easter brunch dishes from Chef Andy Morrison’s kitchen on Sunday, April 16 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Specials include an entrée selection of Crab and Avocado Strata: a savory baked egg and bread custard with roasted cherry tomatoes and arugula for $15. Carrot Cake Cheesecake with house made ginger syrup and candied walnuts join other dessert selections for just $8.
Chef Morrison’s focus is on offering farm fresh dishes with amazing flavor. Selections are offered la carte from her brunch menu of traditional breakfast dishes, small plates, fresh salads, hearty sandwiches and desserts. Highlights include a hearty Biscuits and Gravy with house made cheddar jalapeño biscuits, sausage gravy and two local free range eggs any style ($10); the Wild Mushroom Scramble with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, eggs, arugula, lemon vinaigrette, balsamic reduction and pecorino cheese ($12); or the Niche Breakfast with bacon or sausage, toast, two fresh eggs, and two of the following: hash browns, sautéed spinach, half avocado, sliced tomatoes or fresh fruit.
Starting at 11:30 a.m., Niche starts mixing mimosas and Bloody Marys. More adventurous diners can choose Adrian’s roulette cocktail. Guests choose a spirit and whether they would like something refreshing or spirit driven and are pleasantly surprised with new taste treats.
Caffe Niche is located on the corner of 779 East and 300 South / 801-433-3380 http://www.caffeniche.com / Facebook: CaffeNicheSLC
Current Fish & Oyster
Current Fish & Oyster welcomes the onset of spring and Easter. Current is extending brunch hours on Easter Sunday April 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will be closed for dinner that evening. Current’s bright and urban patio boasts the blooms of the season and will be seated for Easter dining, weather permitting.
Special Easter brunch offerings from Current’s kitchen include: ham and Zursun bean cassoulet with farm-fresh local egg; light and delicious spring vegetable hash; local trout and spring vegetable niçoise; or a chopped lobster salad with fresh spring greens and a lemon tarragon vinaigrette.
Brunch highlights include “for the table” offerings of East and West Coast oysters, shrimp cocktail, house lox and ricotta doughnuts. Diners can enjoy traditional or crab benedict, a delicate seafood cobb salad or hearty shrimp and grits, along with omelets, buttermilk fried chicken, French toast or pancakes or the Un-Common burger, one of the best in town.
The $6 Mimosa bar is available at 11:30 a.m. featuring fresh squeezed juices of orange, white peach, strawberry and pear. These join brunch cocktail selections of an oyster shooter, Bloody Mary, Irish Coffee or a refreshing Current Radler with Sierra Nevada hefeweizen, ginger liqueur and grapefruit juice.
Bambara welcomes guests to their Easter brunch on Sunday, April 16. Special holiday offerings include a one-of-a-kind oyster bar, hearty carving station, made-to-order omelet station, and a wide variety of decadent pastries and desserts.
Brunch will be available 10:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m. with a special Easter evening offered 5:30 p.m.—8:00 p.m. Bambara’s historic bar, The Vault, will be open 11:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m. with a unique selection of specialty cocktails. Reservations are highly recommended.
The brunch menu, including coffee, juice and soda options, costs $54 for adults, $44 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $14 for children 12 and under.
“A meal on Easter Sunday is such an important tradition for family and friends,” said executive chef Nathan Powers. “We enjoy relieving our guests of the pressure of hosting at home and welcome them to come celebrate with us instead.”
For more information about Bambara or the Easter brunch celebration, contact Christa Graff, of Graff Public Relations, LLC, at 435-640-7921 or email@example.com.
Oasis Cafe on 500 East will serve an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 16 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will be seating on their beautiful courtyard patio, an urban oasis, weather permitting. The buffet will include the popular prime rib carving station and a chocolate fountain for dessert. Cost for Adults is $35 per person, children age 13 and under $18 and is free of charge for children under the age of 3.* Reservations are highly suggested and can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or visiting OasisCafeSLC.com.
Dinner will be served from 5 until 9 p.m. with the creative daily menu filled with local organic vegetables, sustainably ranched meats and freshest seafood, the buffet is a favorite with locals.
Oasis Cafe is located at 151 South 500 East in downtown Salt Lake City. Reservations can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or by visiting http://www.oasiscafeslc.com. Hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 -8:00 a.m. for coffee and pastries, then 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.. Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Park City Dining
APEX AT THE MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
Buffet, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$55 for adults, $25 for children ages 5-12
Enjoy the fresh, regionally inspired selections for a delicious Easter Sunday brunch.
Egg hunt and Easter Bunny, starting at 1 p.m.
Note: Taking place Saturday, April 15
Even the Easter Bunny can’t resist this raved-about destination for “Motor City Mexican.” Meet the Easter Bunny, fill your baskets with candy- and toy-filled eggs – and be sure to keep an eye out for golden eggs with special prizes. The event is BYOB, for “Bring Your Own Basket,” and while you’re there, be sure to check out Billy Blanco’s burgers, tacos, salads and much more.
DEER VALLEY RESORT
Special menu items
The award-winning restaurants at Deer Valley Resort are serving a range of specials to celebrate Easter. At the Deer Valley Grocery~Café, enjoy scrambled egg toast with Cabot white cheddar, asparagus, baby heirloom tomato, chives, Niman Ranch ham and fresh arugula on toasted wild rice harvest bread. Royal Street Café is serving rosemary-rubbed lamb chops with mint chimichurri, roasted heirloom baby carrots and herbed fingerling potatoes. And the Snow Park, Silver Lake and Empire Canyon restaurants are serving hot cross buns, featuring spiced, enriched dough and dried fruits, crossed with cream cheese frosting.
Buffet, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$32.75 for adults, $16.75 for children ages 12 and younger
Grub Steak is serving a delicious brunch replete with Easter favorites and Grub Steak classics. Enjoy selections like boneless leg of Utah lamb, slow-roasted angus beef, eggs Benedict, herb-baked cod, country link sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, roasted lemon chicken, pulled prime rib sliders, cheese blintzes, shrimp quiche, deviled eggs and grilled salmon filet. Cheeses, pastries, breads and fruits will also be on offer, plus a cereal buffet for children and Grub Steak’s famed salad bar and fruit bar.
HIGH WEST REFECTORY
Buffet, 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
$35 for adults, $17.50 for children 12 and younger
The dining room at High West’s distillery will be open Sunday, serving its delicious weekend brunch. Reservations are recommended and can be made at OpenTable.com. Complimentary tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will also be on offer, and the tasting room and general store will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
J&G GRILL AT ST. REGIST DEER VALLEY
Buffet, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$70 for adults, $40 for children 12 and younger
J&G Grill is serving a lavish buffet featuring char-grilled Wagyu tri-tip, Caprese eggs benedict, smoked salmon rillettes, pate, lavender-scented French toast with blueberries, golden beet and orange salad with arugula and fresh ricotta, sautéed baby squash and mushrooms, smoked cheddar potato gratin, house-made granola and fruit parfaits, petite pastry and dessert displays and more. Champagne, mimosas and St. Regis’ famous Bloody Mary will be on offer, and a children’s egg hunt will be held on the slopes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
POWDER AT THE WALDORF-ASTORIA
Buffet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$49 for adults, $24 for children ages 3-11
Everything from donuts to slow-roasted buffalo tenderloin is on offer at Powder’s delectable Easter brunch. Enjoy more than a dozen gourmet selections, including honey glazed ham, to egg frittata, French toast, smoked bacon, chicken sausage, charcuterie and cheese, a trio of salads, soups, a raw bar with shrimp, oysters and sashimi, fresh fish and vegetables, a bakery display with banana bread, pumpernickel, croissants and Pullman brioche, and a selection of desserts from the pastry shop.
Buffet, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$65 for adults, $35 for children ages 12 and younger
This raved-about restaurant is serving a sumptuous brunch with classics like eggs Benedict, a lamb carving station, housemade meats, omelets made to order, seafood, signature desserts and a special kids buffet. A special Easter Dinner will also be served from 6 to 9 p.m.
SQUATTERS PUB & BREWERY AND THE WASATCH BREW PUB
These two locals’ favorites won’t be serving Easter specials, but “hop on over” for their raved-about brunch fare plus their $2 Midday Marys, Mimosas and Eye Openers.
STATE ROAD RESTAURANT
Buffet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$25.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 2-12
This Kamas staple is serving a range of Easter classics, from eggs any style, buttermilk biscuits, maple sausage links and Applewood bacon, to a carvery with house-smoked Black Forest ham and aged prime rib. Rock shrimp, peeky toe crab cakes, smoked Shetland salmon, a range of breads and fruits and yogurt and granola will also be on offer, plus red velvet cake, carrot cake and cookies for dessert.
TUPELO PARK CITY
Sticky toffee waffle, spinach and feta tart, warm asparagus toast, deviled eggs. Sounds like a menu I could get into. Reservations made via OpenTable or by calling (435) 615-7700.
One of my favorite downtown restaurants, Bambara, is now offering brunch on Sundays beginning at 8am. The restaurants will feature classic dishes such as Bambara Benedict and their classic Caesar salad, alongside new offerings like their new Chef’s Breakfast Burrito (eggs, carnitas, avocado, cheddar, tomatillo salsa, and chipotle creme fraiche), or the Grilled Chicken Club (smoky bacon, roasted tomatoes, romaine lettuce and aged white cheddar).
Alcohol service begins at 11:30am. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at (801) 363-5454.