Restaurant Review: The Mariposa at Deer Valley

We go to Utah usually once or twice per year. We visit with friends. We ski or hike, depending on season (usually the former), and we eat really well. One of the places on my must-eat list each year is The Mariposa at Deer Valley. It is a great dining experience with wonderful food, a beautiful atmosphere and generally good service.

One of the great things about Utah is that because of their crazy liquor laws, all restaurants are required to allow BYO. They may charge a corkage fee (we paid between $7-15 at the places that ended up charging) but given my wine geekiness, it is well worth it. Yes, I bring wine. The point is, I have no idea how good or bad their wine list is. I didn’t look. Instead we enjoyed a 2005 Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2007 The Treat Cabernet Sauvignon.

OK, on to the food. The menu has so many great choices, it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to just a course or two, so we had three. Yes, all four of us had three courses. Each. Excessive? Absolutely.

The starters included a shrimp ravi-gnocchi, which looked somewhat like a pot pie. I did hear it was rather tasty. There was an over-the-top chipotle potato soup, and I had the house smoked Steelhead. I asked the server if it was a good one, and her reply was “Sure. If you like smoked trout.” Although it was not an encouraging response, I ordered it anyway. It was wonderful.

According the my friend, Jeff, the Burrata salad is so good “it makes me tingle.” While that is possibly more information than I needed, the man has a point: it is a damn good salad. The oozing cheese atop peppery arugula is dreamy. I had the Caesar salad, which came with the always-annoying whole leaves of romaine. It is my big pet peeve of salads. Just cut the lettuce in the kitchen so I don’t have to do it at my plate and get dressing everywhere as little pieces of rogue lettuce go shooting across the table. It’s just a little unwieldy is all. Of course, the salad was good, despite the fact I had to cut it myself.

The restaurant has a large selection of entrees including meats, fish and shellfish. It seemed the the highlight of the entrees was my friend’s bison. She could not stop talking about how good it was. Of course, I am pretty sure that anything you top with foie gras is going to be spectacular. I was particularly amused by irony of the leanest cut of meat available topped with the fattiest treat available.

Overall, the meal was outstanding. Our server was good, if not the best we have had there. The food was amazing, as it always is. The atmosphere is beautiful. My big complaint? I have to go either up or down a flight of stairs to get to the bathroom, which is more challenging than it sounds after a couple ski days. Nonetheless, I am ready to go back ASAP.

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