This time of year, Park City is pretty magical.
Main Street is strung with a zigzag rainbow of Christmas lights. Shops windows glow, luring you in with holiday displays, local trinkets, and festive treasures. Renovated brick buildings from the town’s mining days are decorated with twinkling lights. Tourists and locals alike have smiles on their faces as they duck in and out of wreath-adorned doors. And if you’re lucky enough to be there when big snowflakes are falling, you might never want to leave.
On Friday, John and I had a spontaneous night out- and one of the best date nights we can remember. Our friend recently completed renovating a 120-year old mining shack into a stunning one-bedroom vacation rental at the tippy-top of Main Street. He built our home, too, and both are LEED certified. After a scheduled holiday party fell through, we thought we’d play Park City tourist and stay at the new place! The snow was already falling at home as we sipped a happy hour cocktail. We packed an overnight bag for ourselves- and one for Cholula- and headed into town.
Our friend did a spectacular job with the renovation! All of the materials are eco-friendly, the layout is spacious and comfortable, and his painstaking attention to detail shows in the finished product. Would you believe it was an abandoned garage when he bought it? What a fun home base for the night!
After getting settled, we poured a walk-about cup of eggnog and took Cholula for a snow stroll. Dogs + snow = JOY.
We left Cholula with a chew bone and the Food Network (her favorite) and headed out on the town. Our plan was to just stroll down Main Street, stopping when our tummies rumbled for an appetizer and a drink, and then moving on to another spot. With all of the incredible restaurants in Park City, it was pretty much a brilliant plan– we’d get to taste food at multiple locations, all in one evening!
The sidewalk was a tad on the slick side as we started down Main Street- a perfect excuse to hold hands. Between the glittering falling snow and the lights adorning most of the trees, town was simply sparkling. We tucked into 350 Main for our first sip and snack.
As we bellied up to the bar, a gentleman requested, “a glass of red wine- anything but Merlot.” I laughed, because that’s exactly how I order white wine sometimes- “anything but Chardonnay.” Grape juice in hand, he settled in at a keyboard and entertained us with excellent live music during our visit.
A friend of John’s was working, and we chatted away as we sipped scumptious cocktails. John opted for his standard vodka martini. After a quick glance at the beverage selections, it seemed like the martini called “I’m a local” was created just for me: vodka from High West Distillery, Chateau Monet, pink grapefruit juice, and topped with sparkling wine. It was DELICIOUS!
350 Main has an awesome appetizer menu, only offered in the bar, including things like Prince Edward Island mussels in a sausage fennel wine broth or winter truffle hushpuppies with a bacon cheddar sauce. YUM! We settled on the Sailor’s Sashimi Plate- salmon tartar and sliced scallops with a sweet and spicy ginger sauce. Also on the plate was something new for me: sea bean salad. It was tart and salty and tasty- the perfect contrast to the sweet sauce. We scooped up the yumminess with chips made of wontons.
Our first stop was just about perfect, but it was time to move on! We bundled up and entered our little winter wonderland once more. The local trolley went by and snowflakes landed on our tongues. This was so much fun!
Stage Two of our Tour de Delicious landed us at Talisker on Main. What a difference from our first stop! Both restaurants had a very cozy vibe, but Talisker’s is French from the moment you step inside. The décor is stunning and the kitchen is wide open, bustling and beautiful. The walls are covered with what seem to be family photos, some old, some more recent. It feels like a quaint bistro in Paris.
We were lucky to be seated on a Friday night during the dinner rush- the place was hopping! As we reviewed our cocktail choices, we explained our appetizer intentions to our server. He told us about a brussel sprout dish that was not on the menu- it was so amazing that he rushed off to check with the kitchen to see if they could make it. John decided he was ready for a glass of big French wine, but the Crisp Pear French 75 caught my eye. We all know I love champagne: when in Rome, right?
Our waiter returned to confirm that yes, they could make the World’s Best Brussel Sprouts and he’d already put in the order, on the house! We added a quail dish and clinked our glasses, toasting to a fantastic evening so far.
The brussel sprouts were, indeed, very yummy. Even John braved multiple bites, as anti-brussel spouts as he is. The quail appetizer plate was a work of art. It was prepared multiple ways- housemade sausage, quail cured into a ‘bacon,’ even the quail’s egg was used creatively. Delicate and detailed, we enjoyed every bite.
A glance at the time revealed that if we wanted to hit another stop on the Tour de Delicious, we had to get moving before restaurants closed up shop for the evening. We headed for our last destination, one of the Bill White restaurants- Wahso Asian Grill.
It was 9:50 PM. The restaurant was definitely winding down for the evening- a slow Friday before the holiday craze next week. Even so, they welcomed us right in. Our server brought warm finger towels, which was heavenly after Old Man Winter’s fingertip nibbles. Being our final stop for the night, we ordered a bottle of wine and multiple appetizers to fill us up. I had been dreaming all evening of the steamed Chinese buns, and we added tempura soft shelled crab, Vietnamese spring rolls, and seared gyozas to the order. A small plate feast!
Everything was lick-your-fingers delectable, but the steamed buns won first prize for me. The chewy light texture of the bun is like nothing I’ve ever eaten, and inside is sweet and spicy crisp pork belly and pickled vegetables. I could eat ten of them.
As the last few patrons trickled out, we decided to stroll back up toward home and take Cholula for a walk before bed. Main Street was quieter than earlier in the evening, but still lovely. We paused to pose with another LOCAL out enjoying the snow and picked up our beloved beast.
The snow was falling harder now, muffling our footsteps and prompting us to speak in near-whispers. We talked about how much fun the night had been- how we can’t wait to do it again, visiting the many other awesome eateries in town. The Tour de Delicious was our new hot date night!
We settled in at the vacation rental, the bed billowy and dreamy, the fire by the bed ensuring a cozy snooze. John roused us before dawn to take his girls home before heading out for what would be the best ski day so far this year. What a perfect night out, playing tourist in our own town.
Park City had treated us right.
It can be pretty magical this time of year! It was for us.
*Check out more from the “ME in PC” series at the top of the page!*