If your ideal trip to the slopes involves carving powder by day and bison steaks (or beef tenderloin, or lamb chops, or…) by night, then put your board down for a sec and take note of these eight new restos opening this season at (and around) North America's top ski resorts.
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Bob’s Clam Hut Where: Sugarloaf, ME Specializes in: Traditional Maine seafood Why you'll want to go: Because nothing says après like fried clams, fish chowder, and a lobster stew (right? right?!), this half-a-century-old legend in Kittery is opening a second outpost at Sugarloaf's base lodge on December 20th.
El Sabor Where:Vail, CO Specializes in: Mexican food with a twist of El Salvador; tequila Why you’ll want to go: El Sabor’s location (across from the gondola at Lionshead) is killer, and the bar stocks close to 50 tequilas, which should warm the cockles enough for another run. Dig into the Mahi Mahi fish tacos, Miguel’s chicken enchiladas, or the Kitchen Sink Burrito, which receives the designation “Gringo Option” and is packed with camitas, asadero cheese, and Spanish special sauce.
The Lakefront Where:Mammoth, CA Specializes in: Elk and venison; hot alcoholic beverages Why you’ll want to go: Located in Tamarack Lodge a short distance from the slopes, the recently revamped Lakefront boasts a new chef and menu that've been receiving rave reviews. Elk steaks and deer meat tenderloins sound good? Washed down with homemade cider or hot mulled wine? Yes? Good. You're in the right place.
Sixth Alley Bar Where: Keystone, CO Specializes in: Traditional bar food; beer and specialty cocktails Why you’ll want to go: Arapahoe Basin tossed a million bucks into the remodel of its base lodge and the Sixth Alley Bar within, and hopes to turn up the party quotient this season. Famous for its Bacon Bloody Mary, SAB also slings tasty pub fare and runs wacky specials like $1.50 Friday tacos, a Saturday raw bar, and $3.50 wine Wednesdays that include complementary artichoke dip when you buy a bottle of vino (‘cause the two just go hand in hand, right?).
The Grill & Vine Where:Whistler, BC Specializes in: Artisan pizza and breads, grilled local meats; cheese and wine Why you’ll want to go: Nestled in The Westin Resort & Spa at the base of Whistler, the rustic, wood-heavy Grill & Vine offers a sophisticated escape from the slope-side masses, serving wild boar lasagna, Lake Louis Steelhead, and cheese flights paired with any of the restaurant’s 16 high-end wines.
Talons Where: Beaver Creek, CO Specializes in: European-inspired cuisine Why you’ll want to go: Talons is as true a slope-side restaurant as you'll encounter, well, on the slopes; it's actually at the intersection of Larkspur Bowl with Grouse Mountain and Birds of Prey trails. Replacing the wildly popular Red Tail Camp, the huge new spot's more than double the size (17,000sqft) and boasts 500 seats inside and 250 out. Sink your talons into lamb burgers, artisan pizzas, and shaved smoked pork loin w/ 'kraut and baked apples.
Seven Summits Where:Snowbird, UT Specializes in: Gourmet lunch buffet; wines and liquors Why you’ll want to go: Open to the public for the first time this season (December 20th), this formerly members-only upscale spot sits in a primo location at Snowbird Center, one level down from where the tram loads. You'll need more than a handful of crumpled Wet Ones from your parka, as the lunch buffet will cost you $30, but rocks everything from roast beef tenderloin w/ Bernaise sauce and Miso glazed salmon, to baby lamb chops.
Four Points Lodge Where: Steamboat, CO Specializes in: Northern Italian cuisine Why you’ll want to go: Slated to open this season, the $5 million brand-spanking-new Four Points Lodge offers high-altitude dining -- 9,700ft up the mountain. The 30-seat bar overlooks the slopes, and lunch fare ranges from grilled cedar plank salmon to bison burgers. At night, the lodge goes upscale as guests arrive in a climate-controlled Snowcat and enjoy a five-course, family-style repast complete w/ gnocchi Napoleon and braised lamb shank.