For the discerning traveler, a ski vacation means much more than gliding down snow-covered mountains all day. Indeed, a ski vacation means the chance to experience gourmet dining after riding the lifts and traversing the trails.
It's no coincidence that many of the country's finest restaurants are located within a stone's throw of luxurious ski resorts. The following restaurants epitomize fine dining by offering creative menu selections, a variety of exemplary wines, and a tasteful ambience.
Brasserie L'Oustau near Stratton Mountain, Vermont, brings a new American interpretation of classic French foods served at brasseries throughout Provence, an area of southern France famous for sun-kissed produce and seafood. The owners developed the restaurant to embrace the Green Mountain vistas and feature a variety of locally sourced foods. With a warm and inviting interior, the restaurant's lofty ceilings, expansive windows and spacious seating surround a central, open kitchen which is reminiscent of the original brasseries found within French countryside breweries.
Savory appetizers include escargot Bourguignon, perfectly seasoned with parsley and garlic in a puff pastry. A wide variety of entrées include pan-seared cod with fingerling potatoes, tomato, and English peas topped by brown lemon sauce; or house cured duck confit with watercress, haricot vert, and a salad of frisée. The vegetarians in the group will delight in such entrees as eggplant caviar, fromage blanc, and roasted tomato sauce with basil purée.
Bistro Brie & Bordeaux near Windham Mountain in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York features cuisine prepared with the freshest ingredients. Perhaps it's the wine and the cheese and the bread, the butcher block paper on the tables, or the sunflowers in blue vases that make this a very special place. The Bistro is housed in an 1875 building that was once the original home to the Windham Journal newspaper. Using old photos as their guide, the owners restored the gable roof, put up cedar clapboard siding, and used as many of the original dark wood beams inside the restaurant as possible. It was a labor of love, which ensured every detail was perfect. With fine art adorning the walls, French music and jazz selections, and the French Country ambiance, it's quite clear the owners believe that dining out should be an experience, appealing to all the senses.
A tantalizing appetizer is baked Brie tart with cherries served with organic mixed greens, or the Maryland crab cake with avocado salsa and organic mixed greens. A roasted tomato soup in puff pastry is superb. Entrees are wonderfully presented and include risotto with asparagus, pearl onions, arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano; or duck breast with cassis port wine sauce, poached pear, and green beans.