Give a few seconds’ thought to the average skier’s lunch. Got it? You’re picturing a cafeteria, right? Probably burgers and fries or chips, pizza by the slice, hot dogs, maybe a salad bar. It’s not that I’m a mind reader; it’s just that ski lunches at most resorts are so predictable—overpriced fast food. That is certainly not the case at Snowbasin, where dining at venues like Earl’s Lodge, John Paul Lodge and Needles Lodge can hit high notes befitting this high altitude resort.
Last summer, following food and beverage manager Elio Scanu’s departure to open his Zucca restaurant in South Ogden, Christian Peyrin took over the job. And, once again, the restaurants there are in very capable hands. You might remember Peyrin from his own restaurant, Au Bon Appétit, which he sold a few years ago, and which went on to become Takashi. While Scanu’s signature is still on many of Snowbasin’s dishes, Peyrin is quietly putting his own stamp on the resort’s dining. Look for more changes as the summer season rolls around.
At Earl’s Lodge, an especially good choice for a leisurely, classy lunch is the Cinnabar Lounge. It has a full restaurant license, meaning you can get beer, wine and liquor in addition to lunch. An outrageously good dish to share is executive chef Eric Byrd’s bleu cheese fondue, served with thick, crispy homemade potato chips. I’m not even a bleu cheese fan, but this is fabulous fondue. Cinnabar’s imported cheese plate is another good choice of nibbles, especially if you’re sharing a bottle of wine for apres ski. For a healthy choice, I recommend Cinnabar’s blackened salmon Caesar salad: crisp romaine hearts, Asiago cheese and house-made croutons and dressing. Future enticement: Peyrin says he plans to put mussels and frites on the menu.