For some winter enthusiasts, the ski day is all about the après. Despite fresh snow, short lines and blue skies, there are certain skiers who will always have visions of the after pow-party dancing in their heads. Big surprise, I am in this crowd.
On a recent afternoon, after sashaying down Deer Valley’s gorgeous groomers all day, I headed to Goldener Hirsch Inn, located in Silver Lake Village a mere hundred yards from the slopes. I was looking forward to seeing what twists Chef Ryan Burnham had put on the inn’s European style menu. I expected to find good food. I did not expect to stroll into a lounge packed with revelers dunking fondue while belting out “Edelweiss.” Nor to find darling entertainer Elsbeth Gugi, singing everything from Christmas carols to “LaVie en Rose” to “I Love to Go a Wandering,” accompanied by accordion. Nor did I expect to find Utah’s best poutine, elevated to sophisticated pub fare. I love surprises!
Poutine is a Canadian greasy spoon dish, usually served as fast food in Styrofoam. It’s a pile of fries drowned in a brown sauce and cheese curds. At Goldener, they take it up a notch with crisp frites piled high with braised lamb and Beehive cheese, drizzled in rich gravy. It’s a huge platter of total decadence for $19, easily shared by four friends.
I and my group also tore into a perfectly baked Bavarian pretzel with mustard and pickles ($7), then a beautiful antipasto board with crisp-fried prosciutto, house-made ricotta and pickled carrots among other savory nibbles (price varies). The aforementioned fondue is $42 (which, if you’re on a budget might seem steep at first but again, if you share it among four and each have a couple of beers, it won’t set you back that much.)
The scene in the small lounge is welcoming and cozy and the staff is friendly and warm. No surprise that The Goldener Hirsch was recently voted as “Best Ski Boutique Hotel” at the 2013 World Ski Awards. It’s a top tier destination with a reputation to match. If staying there is beyond your budget, dinner at Goldener (more details to come in a later blog!) is worth the splurge. Service was impeccable and dinner was excellent. In the very least, work an après ski into your vacation. Gugi is scheduled to perform on Thursdays throughout the ski season, but call first to confirm.
The Goldener Hirsch Inn
Silverlake Village at Deer Valley Resort
7570 Royal St.