Viewing by month: January 2013
Just a quick 12 mile drive away from Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort s Couloir is a must for anyone visiting the area, especially those of the foodie demographic. Chef Wes latest culinary delights and the incredible view from the top of the Bridger Gondola, make for a perfect ending to any Jackson day. Our experience began with a greeting from the gondola operator, and an offering of piping hot cocoa and cozy fleece blankets for our crisp ride up the gondola, which we glad accepted. 10 minutes later we disembarked from our car 9,095 feet above the valley. Had night not already fallen, I am sure we would have spent a few minutes ogling the view and plastering photos all over FaceBook. If you can, plan to go earlier in the evening to take advantage of the view on the ride up, as well as from the floor to ceiling windows inside the dining room. After checking in with the hostess we saddled up to the bar, where Bonefish, our bartender offered us a number of palate cleansing cocktails that would ready our taste buds for the culinary delights that were to follow. Highly knowledgeable and very much invested in creating each beverage perfectly, Bonefish was an excellent host while we enjoyed our cocktails- I apologize I cannot recall their names, but they were delish! Once seated at our table we were greeted within moments, and then given some time to peruse the menu full of local raised and grown ingredients. Our server returned shortly to answer questions, of which we had many. For each query she was able to give in-depth answers, and even antidotes about the farm from which ingredients came. After much debate we made our decisions and were rewarded with an amuse bush- a warm streuselled apple cream. The General Manager stopped by our table, to say hello and see how everything was so far, of course it was excellent, and we were happy to let him know, he promised to return throughout the night- which he did, never in an overwhelming manner, but instead that of a welcomed friend curious what we truly thought of our evening.
Our appetizers followed, Jason had the Fried Ballard Family Haloumi, over a grapefruit-arugula salad, with pomegranate, and toasted pine nuts, which he described as nothing he had ever had before, a squeaky Greek cheese lightly fried and paired well with the salad. I choose the Braised Rabbit Pappardelle, with crisp pancetta, in a fennel-carrot cream. It was decadent, a bit earthy with the fennel-carrot cream sauce that gave a richness that was not overpowering, but just right and positively divine. Salad came next and again it seemed that I choose the light and fresh Rogue River Pear and Chicory salad, with a healthy portion of goat cheese, just enough walnuts, and a wonderful vinaigrette of maple and raisins. Jason was a little more adventurous with the Ginger Roasted Persimmon and Watercress. Having never encountered persimmon s before this was a delicious first taste. Jason and I had struggled on our decision for the main entree, each of us had thought about the wild boar or another dish, we both decided on the other dish- fortunately for us, Chef Wes made an executive decision that we should enjoy the boar as a pre-entree, and we were both thankful he did! When you venture up to the Couloir this season, if you are debating between the Wild Boar and another entree, order the boar. With the tenderness of a long slow roast, and just a hint of a barbequed flavor that played perfectly off the bean salad below, the wild boar is an excellent choice.
When our main courses arrived following the boar, we were already on our way to being very very full, but culinary delights were our reward for perfor Jason it was the Pan-Seared Breast of Duck, served over fried rice with dried cranberry and kumquat preserves. If all fried rice had the depth of flavor that this dish embodied, I might actually like Asian food. I choose the Snake River Farms Wagyu Hanger Steak, with the inventive horseradish potato gnocchi. It is clear that Chef Wes understands that quality beef needs little more than a quick sear to lock in all the flavors and keep the beef as juicy as possible. To finish our meal we ordered shots of espresso to accompany the trio of sweetest that was presented. From right to left, the beet cake- which I must admit I was not sure would be a great choice, was amazingly good. It reminded me of a carrot cake but with an earthy sweetness and it was paired with a caramelized banana. Next, was a molten chocolate truffle, served with vanilla bean ice cream. The truffle had the PERFECT amount of salt, and was just the right size to leave room for the third of the trio a vanilla cream. Had it not been for the espresso, Jason and I may not have made it back home that evening. After so many courses of flawless craftsmanship we poured ourselves into bed, more happy then we had been is quite a long time.
Now take my advice and stop reading this blog right now, contact our concierge- firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-734-2076 and make reservations for the Couloir during your next stay with us. It doesn t matter if your vacation isn t set begin until next week or next month, you will thank me, I promise. Reservation for Couloir are strongly recommended, especially for the first seating at 5:30pm and for all seatings during holidays, our concierge team can also help set up babysitting for the little one, and transportation should either or those be needed. Seriously, stop reading and make that reservation, the Wild Boar is calling for you!