Places tend to be more interesting when they’re unexpected and out of the ordinary and a whiskey distillery-restaurant in Utah is a definite departure from the norm. Located in Old Town Park City, High West Distillery & Saloon is Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870. If you’re skiing at Park City Mountain you can ski right into High West for drinks or lunch. I usually bring out-of-town guests for dinner because it’s a unique dining experience that they won’t find elsewhere.
Housed in a renovated century-old livery stable and an adjoining Victorian mining-era home, High West’s location is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While you’re waiting for your table – and if you haven’t made a reservation you will probably have to wait – you can admire their 250-gallon copper pot still and learn about the distillation process. Or take a moment to browse in their gift shop for masculine hand-blown sipping glasses and interesting collectables. Their artistic bottles are beautiful and I always save them after the liquid is gone.
Unique whiskies and creative cocktails have earned High West multiple awards but if you don’t drink you will still enjoy the food. Last week I devoured one of their “small plate” specials – Whiskey Cider Braised Short Rib and polished off a quarter of my husband’s Gruyere Mac n’ Cheese while he was distracted by a Dead Man’s Boots cocktail (High West Rendezvous Rye, tequila and ginger beer with fresh lime). We had a large group from Texas with us that night and our table service was a bit slow, so if you go there during peak season try to bring your patience along with your appetite. It’s worth the wait!
I don’t usually take my kids to High West but the restaurant does not discourage children. Children are not allowed in the bar area but in the dining room they’ll have their own menu featuring petite steak and Buckaroo Mocktails.