A recent visit to Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort to snap some photos for the restaurant section of our awesome new Website afforded me the opportunity to check out the two most recent additions to the ever-expanding Snowbird dining scene.
At the Bird, there is truly something for every downhiller—from easy, wide, green cruiser runs like Big Emma to gnarly steeps such as the Upper Cirque. And so it goes with eating at Snowbird: No appetite goes unsatisfied. Dining options are wideranging and run the gamut from pizza by the slice at Tram Car Pizza and pork carnitas at El Chanate to Sunday brunch at the Atrium and The Aerie’s free-range Utah lamb. You can enjoy a high-altitude veggie burger at Mid-Gad Restaurant, just below the Gadzoom high-speed quad, or USDA Prime at the Steak Pit in the bowels of Snowbird Center. And that’s just to mention a handful of eating options.
Snowbird’s newest eatery, Creekside Café, is rapidly becoming one of the resort’s most popular. The reason is location, location, location. Creekside is situated at the base of Snowbird’s Gad Valley, at the intersection of the Gadzoom and Mid-Gad ski lifts, and with easy access from much of the mountain. The large deck doesn’t hurt, either. On sunny days, skiers and boarders bask in the sun enjoying music on the 3,000 square-foot deck, sipping on suds or lattes and munching on specialties from the outdoor grill.
On cold days I like to dive into a hearty bowl of chili con carne ($8.50) at Creekside Café, which comes with a big baked breadstick and pairs quite nicely with a 16-ounce microbrew ($5.25). And in any kind of weather—from Oktoberfest at Snowbird thru balmy spring ski days—I enjoy bratwurst with sauerkraut ($8.95), which comes with a choice of chips, potato salad or coleslaw (get the spud salad). If you need a quick energy fix for another run at the Gad Chutes, you can pick up a Red Bull ($3.95), espresso ($2.75), chai latte ($4), double cappuccino ($4.50), sodas, teas, Gatorade, beer or something else from the extensive Creekside Cafe beverage menu. And do give the turkey burger ($9.50) a try; it’s moist and flavorful, and slightly less of a guilty pleasure than the admittedly classic cheeseburger ($9.95).
Now, a $10 cheeseburger might not seem like a frugal feed. But, then, mealprices are relative, especially at world-class ski resorts. At the other end of the spectrum from Creekside Café is the Seven Summits Club.
Located adjacent to the skier’s bridge at the Snowbird Center and Plaza, the Seven Summits Club is named for Snowbird owner Dick Bass’ mountaineering feat. He was the first climber to reach the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Bass is also the oldest dude to ever summit Mount Everest. This, along with being a billionaire, puts him in pretty exclusive company.
And that’s precisely where you’ll be if you should have the means to join Snowbird’s Seven Summits Club, where I enjoyed lunch as an “invited guest.” Members and their guests are greeted at the Seven Summits Club by manager Lucette Barbier, who hails originally from Strasbourg, France. The setting is posh, with lots of snow-white linens, high-quality stemware and highly polished silver chafing dishes keeping food warm on a long granite countertop. Easily the most luxurious dining option at Snowbird, amenities range from large, comfy leather chairs and personal lockers to free computers and wi-fi usage (to stay in touch with the home office) and spa treatments. They’ll even give you slippers for lunch if you’d care to kick off your ski boots. Oh, and you wouldn’t believe the views from the super-deluxe bathroom!
Me, I was there for the lunch buffet ($25.95 adults/$13.95 children). My first stop was for a bit of antipasto: grilled artichokes, marinated tomatoes and juicy olives, along with schinken and wurst: air-dried butcher’s charcuterie. Of course, with those tasty meats, I couldn’t resist a small plate of imported cheeses and fresh-baked bread before launching into an iceberg lettuce wedge with hearts of palm, red wine vinaigrette and sprinkles of Maytag blue cheese.
Not wanting to overindulge, I skipped the hummus and tahini, as well as the butternut squash bisque. But I did indulge in a spicy bowl of grilled chicken and redbean chili, which had a chile verde-type cumin-infused flavor—really delicious— as were thin, chilled slices of filet mignon, cooked rare and served with a creamed horseradish sauce. Oh, did I mention the sesame-seared ahi tuna with wasabi soy? And I still hadn’t even gotten to the hot side of the buffet yet.
The stewed shrimp and scallops with saffron and shaved fennel was exceptional. But then, so was chef George Lackey’s remarkable barbecued chicken with creamy polenta which, I’m not too ashamed to admit, I followed up with a Vermont cheddar panini, and then baby lamb chops with pine nuts and mustard jus. By the time I visited Patson, the friendly Jamaican who mans the Seven Summits carving station, I wasn’t at all certain I’d find room for his roast beef tenderloin with Béarnaise sauce. I did. The price for all this pampering? Memberships start at $14,000, annually.
But, hey, that includes line-cutting privileges at the Tram, pre-opening morning lift access, heli-skiing, a private lounge, lockers and one helluva lunch buffet. I plan to join after I get my bonus from AIG.
CREEKSIDE CAFÉ SEVEN SUMMITS CLUB
Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort