Don’t ever let it be said that the Mariposa is an easy restaurant to find! We were somewhere in the region of 45 minutes late for our reservation, after both Google Maps and Sprint Navigation threw in the towel so far as plotting a course for us. Of course it was made all the more difficult by the fact that it was pitch black, with very little street lighting.
Once we found the restaurant , we were greeted warmly by both the hostess and the log fire, which was lucky as it was somewhere in the region of 5F outside!
Reception Area at the Mariposa
Main Dining Room
From the above two photos, you should get a rough idea of the vibe at the Mariposa. The restaurant describes itself as “rustic elegance”, and I would say that is perfectly fitting! The typical ski-resort-log-cabin feel.
The food was executed at the same quality level as Talisker On Main (if you caught my previous article), but with a more traditional feel. We were certainly the youngest (and probably poorest) people in the restaurant, but we certainly weren’t made to feel so. It’s worth noting that the restaurant is rated #1 by the Zagat Restaurant guide, therefore making it the flagship dining destination of Deer Valley.
The wine that I brought to the Mariposa was the Couloir “Monument Tree Vineyard” Pinot Noir, from the Anderson Valley in Northern California.
The vineyard was given its name from the giant redwood whose roots sprout up amongst the vines. This low yielding vineyard site was originally planted by Napa Valley’s famed Duckhorn Vineyards, but is now owned by Twomey Cellars.
If I may digress for a moment, the thing that always fascinates me is how a winery can produce wines using more or less the same practices, but achieve stylistically very different wines based solely on the location of the vineyard.
I’ve really found this more with Couloir than any other winery. I don’t disagree that to a certain degree wines are made in the winery as opposed to in the vineyard, however anyone who argues 100% against the notion of terroir (a wine having a “sense of place”) is an idiot.
Unfined and unfiltered, the Monument Tree isn’t a shy Pinot! Deep, complex, full in style but still managing to maintain a sense of elegance. The wine jumps out of the glass with a rich mix of cherries, dried cranberry and ripe plum. It isn’t all just fruit, there is still acidity to give backbone and an extensive finish. Spice is still a fairly major component (as I have found with most of the Couloir wines), with mineral, herb, clove and a little tree bark. Probably the best Anderson Valley Pinot I have tasted.
The Monument Tree retails for $38, with 143 cases produced. An extremely impressive wine, and although $38 doesn’t make this an everyday drinker, it does allow you to experience a very limited -release handcrafted Pinot at a price set at less than half of that of rivals, without a compromise in quality.
On to the food…
Roasted Pancetta Wrapped Quail, house chorizo and cornbread stuffing, smoked shallot jus
As good as it looks, though if I was to have one complaint I wish they had would have found a different way to present the carrots. Reminded me of school dinner carrots. Like I said though, just a minor complaint…
Burrata, Fresh Basil and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad
I’m all about trying something new, and I must have been off sick that day in culinary school when they were teaching about Burrata. It was English culinary school though!
After a quick explanation from our Server we discovered that it’s essentially an fresh Italian cheese, made from a combination of mozzarella and cream, giving it a very soft and pliable texture.
Seared Bison Filets, topped with foie gras and cipollini onion st. andre cheese, yam~parsnip~yukon gold potato gratin, cabernet reduction sauce
I would KILL to have this dish again! My mouth is watering as I type.
Ice Cream / Sorbet Trio
I couldn’t have eaten anything more, so I opted for the lightest dessert possible…
The one thing I have found throughout my stay in Park City, Utah is that no matter at what level you dine, the service is always impeccable. Seriously, we didn’t eat a single restaurant where the service left something to be desired. Of course you would expect good service at a restaurant such as the Mariposa (probably one of the most exclusive restaurants in Utah). But whilst the staff were not only on point with the timing of the courses, service was warm and friendly with both our Servers taking the time to get to know us and engage us in a little banter.
While I’m thinking about it, a quick mention to our waiters: Charles (pictured left), and Patrick (pictured right). Both did an amazing job, and the Mariposa is lucky to have them. We of course tipped generously, and left a glassful of wine left in the bottle for them. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.