What’s the most essential thing for a successful day of skiing? Is it race-fit ski boots and a high-tech, three-layer Gore-Tex jacket? What about blue skies and 10-plus inches of dry powder? These are but accouterments to skiing’s backbone: après.
Après is the one thing that can salvage a day on the slopes. The tales told over après are far more memorable than what actually happened on the hill, particularly after a few drinks. And when it comes to après in Park City, Deer Valley is unrivaled at the top.
Let’s start at the bottom—literally at the base—The Lodges at Deer Valley. The Brass Tag’s pub atmosphere bucks the somewhat stuffy Deer Valley stereotype without pushing into the notoriously ski-bummy realm of something like Jackson Hole’s infamous Mangy Moose. It’s a place where you feel comfortable wearing ski boots or that manly sweater vest you somehow thought was a suave idea. The Brass Tag offers a full dinner menu, but we’re here to talk about their awesome bar menu. The oven-fired chimichurri chips with locally made Gold Creek Farms cheddar and gruyere and the avocado fries with mole aioli are our favorite eats when paired with an Ontario cocktail made from Sugar House Distillery Bourbon.
From there we’ll move on up—literally and figuratively—to the Après Lounge at Montage Deer Valley. The Après Lounge is actually a yurt located in the behemoth shadow of the Montage, but don’t let the humble wood and cloth construction hide that this is classic European-style luxury through and through. The interior furnishings are done by the paragon of mountain opulence, Gorsuch, and the drinks are all renditions of Veuve Clicquot champagnes. This certainly isn’t your budget Après spot—it’s an eye-watering $32 per glass for Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, and up from there—but the Après Lounge is ultra-luxury with a menu created by the Montage’s culinary masters featuring caviar, charcuterie, local cheeses and white truffle popcorn to match.
Just a few meters from the Après Lounge is the Empire Canyon Lodge, home to Fireside Dining. The menu features four courses of Alps-inspired cuisine, which are served directly from the building’s stone fireplaces. The obvious highlight is the Swiss raclette cheese, a delectable six-kilogram wheel of cheese that is melted by the fire and scraped onto a plate to be eaten with charcuterie, baked breads and anything else, which is to say all things are better when combined with melted cheese. There are plenty of other high points like fire-roasted legs of lamb and dessert fondues to stay warm and fuel up for your next day on the mountain.
Brass Tag: 2900 Deer Valley, Drive East, Park City, 435-615-2410
Après Lounge: 9100 Marsac Ave, Park City, 435-604-1300
Fireside Dining: 9200 Marsac Ave, Park City, 435-645-6632
written by: Tony Gill