I am a travel magazine addict. I love perusing the pages, pouring over every detail of the shiny places the world has to offer, and dreaming about the amazing food those cities have waiting for me. Recently though, it became absolutely apparent to me that I’ve been ignoring one of the hot spots, and it’s in my own backyard.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to take a tour and sample the food at the new St. Regis Hotel in Deer Valley (opened in Fall 2009). After a quick ride up the comfy gondola-like contraption called a funicular, we were ushered out onto the terrace and treated to a champagne sabering (honestly, we weren’t special, they do this every night at each St. Regis).
After a tour of the hotel (which is beautiful) we got to the real reason I was there, the food at the Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, the J&G Grill. I’ve eaten at many high-end restaurants and have sometimes been impressed, and sometimes not. However, I wasn’t sure to expect at my first Jean-Georges restaurant. There is so much buzz around Jean-Georges these days (even out here in the wild west), that I wondered if it could live up to the hype. I didn’t need to worry.
From the first bite it was apparent I was on my way into a food coma. Before long I was chatting away with my dinner companions, gushing over the great food, and completely forgetting to take notes. Luckily, the charming and excellent Chef Matt Harris later provided me the descriptions of what we ate.
We started with the Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna: A rectangle of sushi grade tuna is crusted in egg whites and crushed rice crackers then fried and served rare with citrus chili sauce and sliced scallions.
Next we tried Matt’s own Trotter Charcuterie: Made from a whole Berkshire pig from the Christiansen Family Farm in Vernon, Utah. The loins/belly were used for salumi, terrines & sausages. The trotter was cured in house and served with spicy radish greens from High Star Farms, Grilled Organic Sourdough toast points from Crumb Brothers and house-made, whole-grain mustard made with Polygamy Porter from Wasatch brewery.
Our third dish was Tai Snapper, Nut & Seed Crust, with Sweet & Sour Jus: A 6 oz portion of snapper is crusted with a nut and seed mix then served over mushroom vinaigrette with heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, pearl onions and fava beans.
The final savory dish was Grilled Lamb Chops, Pistachio Pesto and Brussels Sprouts: Lamb chops are grilled and served with basil pistachio pesto and caramelized Brussels sprouts finished with basil.
The desserts were all served together. Crème Fraiche Cheesecake, Roasted Plum & Raspberry Sorbet: A creamy cheesecake with a traditional crust made from house made graham, finished with Raspberry Sorbet and Lavender Flour.
Salted Caramel Sundae: Sundae with Salted Caramel ice cream with caramel Popcorn and Peanuts.
Warm Chocolate Cake, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream: Chocolate cake is cooked to order and served with a molten center and vanilla ice cream and a lace tuile.
Wow, this food was good. And I promise I’m not saying that because I didn’t pay for it. The highlights for me were the sweet & sour jus with the snapper (deeply and divinely flavored), the lamb chop (perfectly cooked), the Brussels sprouts (because I hate them and I would have asked for seconds of these), the perfected molten chocolate cake, and finally the salted caramel sundae. I’m still craving another serving of that sundae.
Everything we ate (except the trotter) is on the regular menu, so you too can try that sundae (and okay, the Brussels sprouts).
One final note, the St. Regis is offering a prix-fixe meal for $39.00. With prices like that who needs San Francisco?