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Eat & Drink » Wine

Deer Valley Delights

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Each fall, Deer Valley’s food and beverage crew share what they did on their summer vacations at the annual Winter Menu Tasting—a preview for the fortunate food media folks on the guest list, showcasing the resort’s signature restaurants: Mariposa, Seafood Buffet, Fireside Dining and Royal Street Café. It’s a smart, talented, articulate group—the DV staff, not the media—evident in the survey of palate pleasures rolled out as the evening unfolded.

The staff’s new offerings stem from restaurant tours, ongoing research and even in-laws. Mariposa chef Kevin Dalebout, during a summer visit to his Peruvian inlaws, absorbed local traditions and came up with a Dungeness crab “causa,” a tri-colored layering of fresh crab atop smashed avocado and mashed potatoes, flavored with a Latino accent of aji chile and lime juice.

Executive chef Clark Norris invented “ravignocchi” this summer, ravioli-shaped gnocchi filled with lamb sausage: a counterpoint to tender masala-seared lamb chops, a hearty treat for skiers dining at Royal Street Café.

A pinch of herb made for a memorable celeriac soup at Fireside Dining, while fig mustard sauce melded well with Seafood Buffet’s roast quail. Artisan “buratta”—a creamy variation on mozzarella—elevated the Mariposa’s Caprese salad to transcendence.

Letty Flatt and her talented dessert team weighed in with almond panna cotta and warm apple cider sauce, pushing the panzanella well above its peasant origins, while an indecent chocolate confection with orange marmalade cr%uFFFDme anglaise helped prove “life elevated” is available in Utah.

In all, it seems another promising year to enjoy the enduring excellence of Deer Valley dining, and another summer wellspent by DV’s R&D (Reading & Drinking) staff.

Robert King writes by night and lectures by day for Utah State University.