For two decades, my go-to aprÃ¨s-ski destination when skiing at Deer Valley Resort has been the Goldener Hirsch Inn. It’s a European-style inn and lodge, located mid-mountain in the Silver Lake section of Deer Valley, and offers glimpses of Austrian elegance, with its cozy ambiance and toasty fireplaces, hand-painted and hand-carved woodwork, antler chandeliers and the sort of gracious service you’d expect in Europe’s best hotels.
It’s also the perfect place to pause (the hotel is ski-in/ski-out) during a day on the slopes for lunch or a midday libation. I wish I had a quarter for every Stiegl—Austrian pilsner in a 16.9-ounce bottle—that I’ve enjoyed in the Goldener Hirsch lounge over the years. It’s the favorite on Hirsch’s extensive beer list, which includes Anchor Steam, Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool, Chimay Grande Reserve Ale, Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Stella Artois, Wasatch Brewing 25th Anniversary Ale, Uinta Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale and many, many more tempting selections. If you’re lucky, Eddy, the Goldener Hirsch’s friendly, longtime barman, will pop the top or pull the cork on your beverage.
So, grab a seat on one of the comfy, cushioned benches that lie beneath the huge alpenhorn and peruse the wide-ranging drink menu. By the way, the alpenhorn does come off the wall and gets played periodically—but the live music from local aprÃ¨s-ski artists is preferable.
Food and beverage manager Janice Fine and newly hired manager Stephanie Bailey-Hatfield—formerly of Wild Grape New West Bistro and Frida Bistro—have been busy creating new, contemporary cocktails for the Goldener Hirsch, such as the spirited stocking stuffer. I’m told that the cocktail was “inspired by things you find in the toe of a stocking: oranges, spices and nuts, vanilla candy and cinnamon.” Fresh blood-orange juice is first squeezed into each drink, then mixed with vanilla vodka, housemade star-anise syrup and cinnamon. I got to sample one of the first prototypes of this creative cocktail, and it was simply killer. The star anise is the secret. There’s also the new campfire cocoa cocktail. It’s vanilla vodka, housemade sage simple syrup, hot chocolate and chef Michael Showers’ smoked sea salt.
Speaking of Showers, I strongly urge you to indulge in some of the outstanding fare from his kitchen while visiting the Goldener Hirsch, either in the lounge during lunch or aprÃ¨s ski, or in the more formal (but family-friendly) dining room. The dining room is much more inviting since they 86’d the pink tablecloths and napkins.
The most popular aprÃ¨s-ski item, as you might expect in an Alps-style setting, is the fondue: a luscious, bubbling mix of GruyÃ¨re, Emmentaler, Appenzeller and Vacherin cheeses, served with sliced green apples and crunchy baguette for dipping. There is also raclette with ruby-red potatoes, fresh herbs, apples and pickles, not to mention Showers’ hearty poutine Bourguignon, which is house fries with beef and bacon gravy and Heber Valley cheese curds. Got your attention yet? For a slightly lighter snack, you can also enjoy Showers’ platter of housemade, house-cured charcuterie, including his awesome duck prosciutto, pÃ¢tés, rillettes, bresaola and more.
But, back to the beverages. You might enjoy your charcuterie or fondue with a warm libation like glÃ¼hwein, Goldener toddy or nutty Irishman (an Irish coffee with Frangelico). But, don’t overlook the appealing dessert wine and Port list, either. It includes 1997 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes, Trimbach Kirschwasser, Covey Run Late Harvest Riesling, Dow 20-year Tawny Port and silky Yalumba “Museum Reserve” Muscat. To me, the Goldener Hirsch simply is aprÃ¨s ski.
GOLDENER HIRSCH INN
7570 Royal St. East
Deer Valley Resort, Park City