At new North American ski resorts, star chefs and mixologists are matching refined comfort food with serious wine, beer and cocktails.
Manzanita • Lake Tahoe, CA
Duck Meatballs with Figs & a Rhône Valley Red
Avid skier Traci Des Jardins, an F&W Best New Chef 1995, serves crab sliders and Five Dot Ranch burgers at this mid-mountain spot in the Ritz-Carlton Highlands at Northstar Resort. She pairs her duck meatballs with a Rhône red from the 1,400-bottle wine list.
The Little Nell • Aspen, CO
At Aspen’s newly renovated The Little Nell hotel (top right), frozen skiers thaw themselves with drinks like the Snow White—double espresso and steamed milk spiked with white-chocolate Godiva liqueur and Frangelico—while they wait to eat chef Ryan Hardy’s superb farm-to-table cooking at Montagna restaurant.
Ski Country Pizza and Beer • Stowe, VT
Rock Art Brewery makes an exclusive ale for Hourglass, the locavore-minded bar at the year-old Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. It pairs extraordinarily well with chef Sean Buchanan’s artisanal pizzas like the Hellbrook, with blue cheese and bacon.
Nansen Lounge • Mont-Tremblant, Canada
Wild Caribou and Figs & a Sparkling-Wine Cocktail
The perfect sweet-and-savory pairing at this new ski-in, ski-out lounge overlooking Tremblant Village in Canada: grilled wild caribou and figs with a glass of something bubbly. Star mixologist Ryan Magarian, who consulted on the drinks list, suggests the Nansen—a blend of Sortilège (a whiskey-maple syrup liqueur), Chambord and sparkling wine.
Eight K • Snowmass, CO
Harris Ranch Porterhouse & a Scotch Cocktail
In December, the hip Viceroy hotel chain opened its first mountain resort at the new Snowmass Base Village. David Cruz cooks excellent New American food at its restaurant Eight K (a nod to the hotel’s elevation) while, at the 87-foot glass bar, Thomas Rekasis creates brilliant cocktails like the Maple Snow, a blend of Scotch, Angostura bitters, ginger ale and maple syrup.