Just the name Talisker on Main conjures up images as one of those restaurants “just down the street,” like it’s a cozy and comfortable place serving the kind of food that always warms you up on a cold day. And to an extent, that’s exactly how Talisker on Main in Park City is, except somehow an upscale version of comfy and cozy, with exceptional food to warm you up to happiness on any day, winter or summer.
Talisker on Main sits in the heart of Park City’s Main Street, hence its name, and is reminiscent of a an old house with a bit of contemporary flair. The decor instantly sets the mood, foreshadowing the cuisine that is both comforting and modern, classic and bold.
Chef Briar Handly and his team pride themselves in using ingredients sourced from within the region, keeping their menu evolving with the seasons. My friends and I finally made it to Talisker last month and, anxious to taste the full experience of Talisker, ordered nearly everything on the menu. (They no longer offer a tasting menu so we practically made our own.)
Broken up into Starters, Sides and Mains, the menu allows you to build a meal to suit whatever size fits your mood. For us, that size was massive! We began with a parade of starters: Lobsters and Crab Beignets ($16), deliciously rich puffs of seafood-infused pillows, loved by the seafood fans but passed on by those that weren’t; Brussels Sprouts & Cabbage Salad ($14) with golden raisins, dates, bacon and hazelnuts, a much lighter option with great contrasts of tangy textures; and Mushrooms with Short Rib ($16) in savory sherry wine and Parmesan broth, the richest and most meat-heavy pick.
Always a sucker for pork chops, I chose the Pork Rib Chop ($36), paired with maple grits, pickled apples, radishes, turnips and drizzled with a savory gastrique. While the flavors were familiar in many pork dishes, the execution was superb and the entire dish felt like tasting winter with each bite. I ordered the macaroni with country ham ($7) as a side, predictably cheesy but I enjoyed the crusty bread topping. (The entree would have been sufficient by itself but most of us wanted to try the sides for fun.)
Friends chose the Lamb Loin ($35), served with charred carrots, swiss chard, sweet potatoes and fermented berries, another wonderful winter dish; the Fried Chicken ($34), one of the few constants on Talisker’s changing menu because of its notoriety, served with shelling beans, bacon and butternut squash, reportedly one of my friend’s best chicken dishes of his life; and the New York Steak ($39) with celery root, cauliflower, and shishito peppers. Another amazing side we ordered was the Truffle Tater Tots ($5) with chive aioli, the most delectable tater tot imaginable.
Not wanting to leave the dessert to our imaginations, we finished by sharing Talisker’s sweets. Like the regular menu, the desserts evolve on a regular basis. For us, they were the Dark Chocolate Pudding ($15) with almond milk foam, pistachio and coco nib croquant—rich, heavy and deeply satisfying; the Cinnamon Bun ($15) topped with roasted apple, cake crumb streusel and vanilla ice cream; and the table’s favorite, the Whiskey Caramel Pudding ($15) with bacon shortbread and smoked sea salt. The layers of caramel with hints of salt to shock your taste buds back to life was spectacular, not to mention the amazement once the buttery bacon shortbread was added to the mix.
Talisker is one of the true culinary gems we have in Utah. It is well worth the drive to Park City—and the splurge on the price tag—for the dinner there.
Go to Talisker on Main for :: an incredible dinner in a beautiful, yet comfortable, atmosphere. Notes :: Open seven days a week starting at 5:30 p.m. (for now, but may change in the summer/off season). Reservations are available online and are recommended during winter. Follow Talisker on twitter or friend them on facebook.