I felt my tummy swell like Templeton from Charlotte’s Web, but as I neared the end of Deer Valley’s Winter Menu Tasting, I couldn’t stop shoving tasty bites in my mouth. I’d regret my gluttony later.
I’m regularly invited to review restaurants and cuisine, so when I say that the selection of decadent and inspired bites launching this season’s at Deer Valley’s restaurants is on a level I haven’t often encountered, it’s a big complement. Normally I can pace myself at these events, but I lacked restraint with this menu. It was THAT good.
Restaurants featured at the tasting were The Mariposa, Seafood Buffet, Fireside Dining and the Royal Street Café. Also showcased were items available from the Deer Valley Grocery-Café.
The reception included artisan cheeses crafted at Deer Valley by Belgium cheese maker Corinne Cornet-Coniglio. This isn’t your standard cheddar, they make a selection of elevated cheeses from local dairy that invite you to stop and think about the flavors mingling harmoniously over the tongue. Here are some that we sampled:
Blue Bell – An Artisan blue prepared from unpasteurized cow’s milk and aged over 60 days. The delicate veins wind through this creamy ripened cheese. Lovely paired with something mildly sweet on a cracker.
Moon Shadow – A firm ash-ripened goat cheese with a white rind. Intriguing and irresistible.
Meadowlark – Silky, creamy, goodness with a supple white rind, prepared from pasteurized local cow’s milk.
The Provence Kid – Goat cheese wheels encrusted with Herbes de Provence and marinated. We were sent home with jars of this cheese, which is a fabulous salad addition.
Fire-roasted sea scallops with a Korean kimchee pancake and orange-vanilla browned butter, plus samples of olive duck linguica with roasted garlic aioli and fresh herbs rounded out the appetizer course.
Moving on to dinner and dessert, my culinary overindulgence reached new heights as we sampled these creations:
Lemon-Black Garlic Bluenose Bass in a broth of oolong tea with a splash of Slide Ridge Honey and wild mushrooms. Garnished with a fresh basil chiffonade – by Seafood Buffet
The basil added a fresh accent to this light dish that was extra yummy paired with a Riesling.
Porchetta served on top of creamy brussles sprouts with whole grain mustard – by Royal Street Café
Porchetta is a moist, fatty, boneless pork roast of Italian tradition. It sounds like a heavy dish, but wasn’t at all. A bit of miso and Heber Valley cheddar, flavored the brussles sprout sauce. This dish was spectacular!
Panchetta Wrapped Monkfish served with mustard pickle beurre blanc, pan-roasted frisée, and chévre Yukon gold potato mash – by Mariposa
This popular dish has moved from appetizer status at the Mariposa to the dinner menu, thanks to its popularity.
Rose Hip Glazed Niman Ranch Pork Tenderloin served with fireside peach relish and parsnip velvet – by Fireside Dining
This entrée won my heart and stomach. The rose hips in the tangy glaze are foraged and the pork is fork-tender. A must try if you opt for Fireside Dining. I’ll likely visit Deer Valley just to eat this dish.
Buckwheat Crêpe and Deer Valley Brie Roulade topped with huckleberry crunch, paired with champagne huckleberry sorbet and lacquered walnuts – by Mariposa
This complex yet harmonious dessert really impressed me with its creativity, and it was simply delicious! The buckwheat/brie combination doesn’t sound like dessert, but it works beautifully. The sorbet sported a light crunch thanks to a little huckleberry crunch added to the top.
Salted Caramel Panna Cotta layered with milk chocolate cremoso and caramel corn cream, served with cashew caramel corn – by Seafood Buffet
I was so full by the time it arrived that just looking at it hurt my tummy, but I couldn’t help but dig-in and I’m glad I did. Salted caramel is one of my favorite flavors and this panna cotta nails it. I also loved the Cracker Jack-inspired popcorn served in a cute cone. You may want to share this one with a friend. It’s pretty rich.
Being new to the area, I’ve been carrying around a list of restaurants that friends recommended I try. After the Deer Valley winter menu tasting, that list just got longer.