Pizza topped with whole clams and white sauce at the Silver Star Cafe.
In an old Utah mining town that has been turned into a mountain resort, you would expect a healthy dose of burgers, skillets and other eat-and-get-back-out-there fare. 

Park City has all that. But thanks to relentless development and investment - including Vail Resorts’ 2014 acquisition of the ski mountain - dining options run the international gamut, including tapas, sushi, nouveau American, Indian, Italian and (who would’ve guessed?) Australian cuisine, fuelled by a surge in visits by skiers from Down Under.

Some of the best finds are borne of passionate local restaurateurs and inventive young chefs, most of whom come for the same reasons you do: to revel in the two world-class winter sports resorts and 644km of summer trails in the surrounding Wasatch Range.

If you were to find a 100-year-old miner in Park City, he might be milling on the steps outside Riverhorse Provisions, which still flaunts the 1904 stone-and-wood façade of the onetime miner’s favourite Imperial Hotel. 

Linger with that for a minute, then shift up to the second-floor gourmet market and cafe for a coffee - from Caffe Ibis of Logan - followed by brisket hash (with polenta bites, poached egg, spinach and crispy jalapeño), breakfast poutine (cheese curds, red onion, fried egg and sausage gravy) or the top-selling spinach tortilla wrap, filled with sausage, cheddar chipotle cream and farm-fresh scrambled eggs.

Riverhorse Provisions is the brainchild of Seth Adams, executive chef and co-owner of Riverhorse on Main, a fine-dining establishment a few blocks down the historic central street. The 50-seat dining room at the Silver Star Cafe is like a really hip grandma’s kitchen, with weathered wood panelling, farmhouse shelving, exposed beams and a guitar (that anyone can play) hanging on the wall. The patio, steps from a ski lift and mountain bikers’ Armstrong Trail, affords views of Uinta Mountains.

Smoked salmon smothered bagel at Riverhorse Provisions. Picture: Riverhorse on Main.

Owners Jeff and Lisa Ward, who met while waiting tables at the adjacent Deer Valley resort in the 1980s, opened the Silver Star Cafe in 2010 to nurture their love of food and music. The evening slate from Thursday to Saturday is heavy on acoustic and jazz.

Top lunch choices include a burger crafted from a blend of brisket, short rib and hanger steak, pizza topped with whole clams and white sauce, and a seared trout salad on a bed of romaine, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, avocado and more. 

You could probably eat light at the Farm. That grain salad is packed with locally grown finery. But here’s a better plan: stroll past the hydroponic herb garden to either the refined-yet-rustic dining room or the patio yurt with views of the ski hill, and summon a margarita with Milagro Silver tequila and ginger-and-sage syrup.

Next: a charcuterie board, with four varieties of salumi from Salt Lake City-based Creminelli Fine Meats, house-made red pepper relish and grilled bread. After a bowl of oxtail onion soup - from meat braised in veal stock for six hours - you’ll understand why the Farm was tagged as one of Utah’s 25 best restaurants.

Relax: you’re not done yet. Round up with German chef Manny Rozehnal’s herbed spätzle (truffle, caramelised onions, crispy shallots and black chanterelles), a Utah-raised red trout (rutabaga, green pepper, butternut and kale pesto) or lamb rack (curried couscous, golden raisins, tomato braised chickpea ragout and green onion). Rozehnal emphasises local, humanely raised, and sustainable ingredients in his dishes, all cushioned by a 200-bottle wine list and an engaging, knowledgeable staff.

The Washington Post