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The Magical Experience of Dining at Needles Lodge

By Alyssa Erickson Mon Nov 17 2014 Dining & Entertainment, Dining Discovery Events

Needles Lodge at sunset | Photo Credit: Faceshots Photography
Needles Lodge at sunset | Photo Credit: Faceshots Photography

I run back and forth between the closet and the only useful mirror in the house. Sigh. I cannot figure out what to wear. In recent years, my husband and I have made a renewed goal to have a weekly date night. And it has breathed fresh air into our relationship. But most of our date nights look a little untraditional… Usually we hit the nearest canyon and before sunset are standing upon a summit or looking down from a couple hundred foot climb. We love the outdoors. Trail running, rock climbing, back country skiing. A date night usually means that I don my highest performing clothing, toss my hair in a ponytail and make sure I have the right shoes. It doesn’t involve dressing up. And so… I have nothing to wear. I chuckle to myself. Once a year we do a “fancy date night.” Usually these consist of reservations to the Melting Pot and a stroll downtown, but tonight we are going to Snowbasin to experience their famed meals up at the Needles Lodge. I grab a dress that also (usefully) doubles as an active wear dress and we hit the road. The drive is quiet and misty, due to a huge front having recently set up camp in the Salt Lake Valley. We have just enough time to feel like we are going somewhere special and different. And just enough time to chat about the hassles of our day and then set them aside for the rest of the evening. The clouds are heavy with moisture, holding the hope of a ski season soon on its way.

The warm ambiance of Needles Lodge
The warm ambiance of Needles Lodge

As we load on the Needles Gondola we are served a local cheese plate from Gold Creek Farms to enjoy on the ascent. And while I am certain there is a glorious sunset hiding behind all the fog, we still enjoy our ride up, never having taken a gondola to dinner. Needles Lodge is a perfect sanctuary from the storm. A fire is roaring and I take advantage of the fact that warm (non-alcoholic) beverages are included. Nothing sounds better than a cup of decaf coffee in front of the fire while the rain pours down outside.The dinner theme is “Farm to Table,” a showcase of local food and product including Smoked Duck Breast Glazed with Slide Ridge Honey and salt harvested from the Great Salt Lake, Mountain Valley Trout from Smithfield, Utah, and Yak, Apple & Gorgonzola Meatloaf. We are stoked about the menu and it doesn’t disappoint. The Snowbasin chefs did a remarkable job, my favorite being the Glazed Duck and Chris confiding to me that the trout was the best he’s ever had. All the produce, sourced from local farm stands and Borski Farms in Kaysville, Utah, was delightful, crisp, and flavorful. The meal was completed with fruit and herb sherbet, a mixture of flavors that is new to me, but truly enjoyable.

Yak, Apple, & Gorganzola Meatloaf with peach glaze, orange green beans and truffle salted potato strings | Something Sweet Sorbet Trio - Watermelon Basil, Cantaloupe Lavender, and Blackberry Rosemary
Yak, Apple, & Gorganzola Meatloaf with peach glaze, orange green beans and truffle salted potato strings | Something Sweet Sorbet Trio - Watermelon Basil, Cantaloupe Lavender, and Blackberry Rosemary

Dining at Snowbasin Resort is about more than a meal. It is an experience. From the gondola ride to the large sweeping fireplaces, from the fine cuisine to the friendly and casual atmosphere, I left feeling as though I had experienced something I wasn’t soon to forget. This “fancy date night” was far better than any of the others we’ve planned over the years. It allowed us to spend time in the place we love best, the mountains, with a menu to rival the best restaurants in the city. Snowbasin has regularly scheduled meals at the Needles Lodge. Here is a link to up and coming events: Needles Dining Check back for more throughout the winter.

Alyssa Erickson
I am a wife, mom, rock climber, skier, coffee lover and all around adventure lover with a passion for writing. I have my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado and am the founder of KidProject.org. I live and play near the Wasatch Range, partnering with my husband and teaching my kids to make the most of life and the One who gave it to us.

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