With heavy snow falling in Atlanta and New York City where it isn't wanted, there's comfort knowing that snow is also accumulating on ski slopes, where it belongs.
For full-course, sit-down meals there is the upscale Tree Room and the more informal Foundry Grill, with a fireplace and wood-burning pizza oven warming the room.
For anyone achey from too much physical exertion on the slopes, massages are available at the Spa. At the Sundance Resort, fireplaces seem to be everywhere, including the Spa's quiet room, where it is easy to get lost staring at the logs, crackling and hissing as they are consumed by the flames. In the warmth of the quiet room, visitors sit and calculate the comparative benefits of another day of skiing weighed against the pleasures of a late breakfast in the Foundry Grill and relaxing with a good book in front of the fire.
The Dairy Keen, "Home of the Train," is also on Heber's Main Street. Hamburgers are the specialty but the menu also includes fish and chicken with lots of treats for kids who love watching the model train that circles the inside of the store.
Park City has restaurants to satisfy just about anyone's budget or taste. Affordable family-owned restaurants serve pizza, hamburgers, salads, Mexican food, sandwiches, barbecue and sushi. If you crave fast food, you can find Macdonald's, Burger King and Subway.
Town Ski Lift, High West Distillery & Saloon advertises itself as "the world's first and only ski-in gastro distillery." Taking advantage of the recently liberalized liquor laws, High West offers tastings of wines and spirits in a converted three-story house, with a spacious, family style restaurant on the ground floor in what was once a garage for horses and, later, automobiles.
The spirits served at High West are highly rated by whiskey aficionados. Although High West does produce some of their spirits in the 250-gallon copper still near the entrance, the aged whiskeys are not distilled on the site but are blends of whiskeys sourced from other distillers.
Many of Park City's better restaurants, coffee shops and popular bars are located on Main Street, the center of the city's commercial life with stores selling tourist souvenirs, clothing, native crafts, the work of local artists, and the fun, interactive Park City Museum.
Insider's Tip: In the lobby of the Park City Museum, pick up a copy of the restaurant coupon book with discounts for local restaurants and attractions. Don't overlook the Park Record which sometimes has an even better selection of discounts.
At the bottom of Main Street, Robert Redford's Zoom specializes in large plates of hearty, well-prepared food. Ribs and coleslaw, herb roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, burgers, sandwiches, grilled fish, risotto, Caesar salads, mac n' cheese, onion rings, hot soup, and fresh salads fill out the menu.
Nearby, Cafe Terigo, an intimate restaurant, has a wine bar in the inviting entrance way, a main dining room and two upstairs dining rooms, which are mostly used for parties, receptions and family celebrations.
350 Main, a sprawling restaurant-bar, is a gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. Taking a global approach, chef Michael LeClerc is influenced by the cuisines of Mexico, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, France, and the American Southwest.
Locals crowd the bar ordering from the $6.00 tapas menu, focusing on the Ahi and Hamachi Tower, a tasty treat that goes well any of the drinks on the signature martini and cocktail list.
Something of a local legend, Bill White owns half a dozen popular eating establishments, as varied as one can imagine. Upscale Grappa, at the top of Main Street in a converted house, is well-known for quality meals in a homey setting. While the Windy Ridge Cafe and Bakery zero in on perfecting a salad-pasta-sandwich-comfort food menu in a cozy, unpretentious, country cafe setting.
Given the mountain setting, Wahso is an unexpected treat--an Asian grill. Wahso doesn't so much fuse Asian and Western cuisines as it respects both, pulling the best out of each tradition with the result that Duck Breast "A L'Orange" gets the Peking treatment and ginger scented lentils accompany the Morgan Valley Lamb.
Chimayo where French and Mexican cuisines embrace as happily as a newly wedded couple. In many of the dishes, Mexican heat enlivens classic French sauces. Pan seared sea scallops are enveloped with a Blood Orange and Jalapeno Beurre Blanc sauce. A rack of lamb eschews mint in favor of the sweet heat provided by a guajillo chile and cumin demi-glace.
A good wine list is supplemented with a selection of quality tequilas and imaginative riffs on the margarita, including one flavored with pomegranate, which might have been too sweet but proved to be light and flavorful.
For the appetizers, soups and salads, there are Italian-Mexican combinations in the fried calamari served with lime cilantro and lemon chipotle aiolis and the goat cheese and mozzarella chile relleno with a poblano pumpkin seed pesto. But mostly the starters menu focuses on familiar Mexican favorites which are prepared with the freshest of ingredients: ceviches, queso fundido, duck enchiladas, guacamole and shrimp, tortilla soup, avocado salad with papaya and vegetables with a pasilla chile vinaigrette.
All too often culinary combinations mean propping up the weakness of one cuisine with the strengths of another. When a chef has classic cooking skills and a great palate, fusion means discovering the best of each and bringing new awareness to old favorites. That's what happens at Chimayo.
So if you are spending time around the Wasatch Mountains expect to enjoy great scenery, world-class skiing, and excellent meals.