Lookout Cabin | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Lookout Cabin 

Cabin Cuisine: Lookout dazzles from beyond off the beaten path.

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There are off-the-beaten-path eateries, and then there are restaurants like Lookout Cabin, which require serious effort to get to. This one, however, is well worth the journey. First, buy a lift ticket at The Canyons Resort. Then, ride the Timberline chair, transfer to Tombstone Express and ski down to the Red Pine Lodge. Worm your way through the knots of skiers in front of the lodge and take a quick ride on the Short Cut chair. Alternatively, you can ride the luxurious Flight of the Canyons gondola, do a U-turn to the Golden Eagle or Short Cut lift, and work your way over to Lookout Cabin. It goes without saying that there is no valet parking at Lookout Cabin. But, store your skis or board outside and prepare to be dazzled.

Back in the day, Lookout Cabin was a burger bar—literally. You could belly up to the bar, grab one of the stools encircling the grill situated in the center of the restaurant, and enjoy burgers, fries, chili and big bread bowls of soup. Well, the open kitchen is still smack dab in the middle of Lookout Cabin, allowing diners a tableside view of the action, but the cuisine was given an upgrade a few years ago, and so now, in addition to burgers and chili, you’ll also find menu items such as grilled Coho salmon with miso honey glaze ($21), Mascarpone-stuffed poached pear salad ($14) and roasted tomato and Cognac bisque with Gruyere crostini ($12). This isn’t your daddy’s ski-area cafeteria food.

For starters, it’s wise to make a reservation (Lookout is open for lunch only). During a visit on a recent bustling Saturday, I saw customers turned away for lack of one. And, I guess you’d call this eatery “upscale”—lunch at Lookout Cabin is replete with linen napkins, quality stemware, oversize plates that seem designed to strengthen servers’ forearms, top-notch service from seasoned pros like Stuart (who is said to know where the bodies are buried in Park City), a full bar and a small, but well-chosen wine list. It’s a place you’ll want to linger—especially on the big deck during sunny spring ski days.

Lookout Cabin manager Dan Black is on it. He doesn’t miss much—greeting customers old and new at the reception desk, filling empty wine glasses when necessary, even bussing tables when required. He’s a hands-on manager and an important cog that makes the Lookout Cabin machine run so smoothly—not an easy thing when you consider that the Sysco or Nicholas trucks can’t just pull up to the back door for deliveries. Everything at Lookout has to be delivered via snowcat or snowmobile.

On a blustery ski day, the Kobe beef chili ($13), made with black beans and roasted corn relish, hits the spot. Ditto for the baked Brie appetizer ($14): Thin, rectangular brioche toasts are stuffed with baked Brie and served with a wonderfully sweet and tart huckleberry jam and walnut pesto, with candied walnuts strewn about the plate. Just wonderful. Another creative and delicious starter is Utah goat cheese wrapped in puffed pastry, served with large lavash crackers and cherry Kirsch “fondue,” on a big, triangle-shaped plate. All of these appetizers are portioned to share, but be quick when the lightly crusted, crab- and avocado-stuffed ahi tuna roll ($17) appears, or you may miss out— everyone’s going to want a piece.

The Lookout Cabin kitchen is led by a talented chef team that really is a team. Jacob and Tiffany Guay met while working at Yellowstone a few years ago before eventually moving to Utah, marrying and taking up residence at Lookout Cabin. He’s steeped in French culinary techniques and European-style cooking, whereas she’s more into natural foods and vegetarian cuisine. So, Tiffany is responsible for the very popular tofu pad Thai (made with glazed spun squash), while Jacob is the brains behind the amazing sliders ($17) made with pork cooked in demi-glace. Like the chefs, the sliders come as a pair. One slider is served with chicken-apple sausage and Cheddar cheese, the other with bacon and smoked Gouda. Both are bodacious—a marriage made in pig heaven.

The Lookout Cabin wine list is studded with well-selected, versatile wines such as Fleur de California Pinot Noir Carneros, which was light enough to work well with dishes ranging from turkey pot pie and the aforementioned pork sliders to a jambalaya-style risotto of the day and the Kobe burger. It’s a toss-up as to which is the better burger at Lookout: Kobe or Black Angus.

I like ’em both very much. The Kobe ($19) is an eat-with-knife-and-fork affair, incorporating crisp tobacco onions, smoked Gouda cheese, rosemary-Cabernet demi-glace, peppered bacon, lettuce and tomato on a large, soft, toasted bun. I think, though, that I slightly favor the more straightforward Angus burger ($16): sharp cheddar cheese with subtle roasted garlic and peppercorn aioli, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Bonus: They cook the burgers to order, and mine came perfectly medium rare, as requested.

There is not a lot of time left in this ski season to treat yourself to the Lookout Cabin experience. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, during summer, Red Pine Café opens at the Red Pine Lodge and the Lookout Cabin crew and cuisine sets up shop there for the summer. It’s the same great food and service in a slightly more accessible venue—just a few steps from The Canyons gondola.

The Canyons Resort
4000 Canyons Resort Drive


Ted Scheffler:

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