Sharing a meal is one of my favorite ways to spend time with people–which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. My friend and former downtown neighbor, McKenzie, and I regularly get together for a good catch-up session, a good glass of wine, and a good meal. Now a resident of Park City, she has been raving about all the great places to eat in the city, so last week I joined her for dinner at The Farm restaurant at The Canyon’s Resort.
The Farm, located at the base of the Red Pine Gondola if you’re familiar with the Canyons, has the expected mountain resort/cabin feel, but with a classy, upscale twist. We sat against the window in large, high-back chairs and watched the sun set behind the green mountains as we ate. The menu is small but polished to a set of simple dishes using locally-sourced ingredients within a 200-mile range of Park City. Our server informed us that the chefs recently renovated the menu, which they will continue to do throughout the summer. The wine list was quite extensive–and expensive–but we found an affordable half bottle that we liked.
Our meal started with a little amuse-bouche of carrot juice and cream. It was delightfully refreshing. Next came the Barley Risotto, a medley of sunchokes, peas, carrots, and pickled radishes topped with spring greens. Hearty and delicious, I liked the contrast of textures and tastes, especially the tangy radishes and comforting risotto. Soon afterward we were presented with golden cubes of house-made corn bread and honey butter.
Then came the starter: the Poached Farm Egg. We picked this particular appetizer because it sounded so different. And with one bite, we were reassured how unique–in a good way–it was: a rich ham fritter with bacon-scented brioche surrounded by mixed greens topped with a poached egg and a lemon vinaigrette. (Are you drooling yet?) It was one of those appetizers that you wished you had a never-ending supply of, even though one was perfectly rich and satisfying to share.
I’ve mentioned that I have a soft spot for lamb and pork chops, both of which were on the Farm’s menu. After a bit of an internal debate I ended up with the Rocky Mountain Lamb and was not disappointed. It came with chive-blossom cous-cous and lavender ricotta. The chive-blossoms were surprisingly prominent, offering a hint of sweetness in every fork-full. The lavender of the ricotta was equally surprisingly, but in that subtle, calming way that lavender is such an expert at being. All of the sides complemented the lamb without overpowering its flavor, creating a perfectly balanced dish.
McKenzie ordered the Grass Valley Steelhead upon recommendation of our server, which arrived with foraged mushrooms, asparagus, and parsley-infused goat milk. The steelhead was a bit on the dry side but the flavor of the dish was carried by the two sides: the perfectly-done asparagus was neither too soft or too stiff and the salty mushrooms both complemented the fish wonderfully.
One of the best things about dinner with McKenzie (besides our general awesome conversations) is that she is always in the mood for desert. Both of us barely had room for it, but we were impressed with all the night’s dishes so we thought we’d keep the ball rolling with lemon pie, blueberries and honey ice cream. The tart lemon meringue was nestled in a light flaky crust, letting the lemon flavor be the star of the show. The honey ice cream was a nice contrast to the zesty lemon.
Both McKenzie and I were impressed by The Farm. The food is simple in its composition but excellent in its execution. Each dish was a beautiful piece of art and the freshness of all the ingredients was obvious in the taste. By the end of the night it was no surprise to me that the restaurant took the crown of Best New Restaurant in the 2012 Salt Lake Dining Awards. We will definitely be back to sit on the patio and enjoy the fresh air of the mountains and the fresh food of The Farm.