We had a very unique experience recently. Park City, Utah is known for it’s fabulous snow. In 2002, it hosted the Winter Olympics and each year it hosts the Sundance Film Festival. Nestled among all this, is a small restaurant located in a yurt at the top of the ski hill at the Park City Mountain Resort. It is called the Viking Yurt Restaurant. Due to the logistics, the dinner each night is limited to one seating of 40 guests.
Transportation to the yurt is by Sno-Cat pulling a sleigh. They only make one trip so you want to make sure to arrive on time. Cindy is a bit paranoid about time, so we arrived quite early. We have visited Park City many times in the summer, and one of our favorite activities is the Apple Pie Carmel Apples.
Our meeting area was the information desk in the Legacy Lodge. Our instructions said to look for the large eagle statue.
After checking in, we explored the lodge and read some of the history of the area. The area was originally chartered to Parley P. Pratt, an early Mormon leader, in 1848. It was known by the name Parley’s Park City, but shortened to Park City around 1900. In 1868, silver, gold, and lead was discovered by the US Army. Parley’s Park City became a mining boom town. The town flourished in wealth until several mining accidents occurred, most notably the 1902 explosion at the Day West Mine, killing 34 miners. Then in the 1950s, the price of silver dropped and the area nearly became a deserted ghost town. In order to save the town, a group of miners made a bold proposal to develop the Treasure Mountain Ski Resort. It opened in 1963 on mining claims. This began the tourist industry of Utah, with Park City as the main attraction.
The sleigh bell was rung at 6 pm to start loading the sleigh. The sleigh holds 32 people and the Sno-Cat cab holds an additional 8. Blankets were laid across our laps to keep us warm.
We couldn’t have asked for a better night. The sky was clear, the stars were out, and the ride to the top was spectacular. It takes 23 minutes to travel the 1800 feet up the mountain to the yurt.
We arrived safely at the yurt and took a moment to explore and taking in the surroundings. The yurt sits at an elevation of 8700 feet.
Once inside we were introduced to the chef, the servers. All the food is brought up by snowmobile. There is also a baby grand piano in the yurt. Stephen played awesome music all evening, but the high-light was when the entire yurt crowd sang along to Sweet Caroline. The dinner is a seven course Norwegian themed meal.
We were seated at a table with a group of childhood friends originally from Indiana. It was a great time, especially when we posed in the Norwegian hats.
We started the evening with Glogg, which is a non-alcoholic berry drink with various spices added. It is served in a pewter mug, which was nice as it was warm on our hands after the sleigh ride. This was followed by a Lobster and Salmon Bisque served with warm bread. The bisque was fantastic.
Next we enjoyed a pear salad with lemon and honey dressing. This was followed by a sorbet palate cleanser spiced with anise served in a a rock from Norway.
Once you finished your sorbet, you turned your rock over. There was a number etched in the bottom. We were given a map and it told us where our rock was from in Norway.
The main course was Braised Short Ribs, mashed potatoes, and ligonberry Au jus. This was served with white mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. The meat was topped with beets and was so tender it literally fell apart when you touched it.
We were then served a selection of European cheeses, served on a Aspen plank. The brown, caramelized cheese was our favorite, but the presentation was spectacular.
The final course was a Marzipan and Valrhona chocolate cake served with vanilla cardamon ice cream. The cake was sticky and luscious. There was a chocolate medallion in the ice cream with a skier imprint, in honor of the skiing history of both Norway and Park City.
The dinner was absolutely wonderful and exceeded our expectations. The atmosphere was casual and festive. After dinner, we took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the Park City area, before settling in the sleigh for the ride back down the mountain.
It was the perfect evening of great food, great company, and a great setting. We will not forget our evening at the Viking Yurt Restaurant in Park City, Utah. It will be hard to top.