Ditch your boots at 3,625 feet. Stowe's Mount Mansfield is a favorite east coast peaks, and at the top of a sweeping gondola ride, dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows and an open kitchen await at Cliff House Restaurant. The menu offers ingredients from local farms in chorizo flatbreads, hearty chowders, lamb frites, and the house-favorite — the goat cheese souffle — that beckon you inside while snowflakes fall outside.
One of Jackson Hole's hottest restaurants, Couloir, sits pretty at 9,095 ft. The highly acclaimed chef Wes Hamilton focuses on local Rocky Mountain purveyors for his seasonal menus of duck wings and bison sliders, and hearty sandwiches like the chicken Cuban. Dinners are elevated by oysters and caviar followed by pan-roasted Snake River sturgeon, "chicken-fried" rabbit, and bourbon-glazed pork belly.
Located in one of the most luxurious ski retreats in the country, Apex is Montage Deer Valley's casual slope-side dining by day, and elegance defined in the evening. With stunning views of the Wasatch Mountains, Apex serves locally-sourced dishes like Utah trout and beef barley soup at lunch, and a raw bar, steak and chops with cauliflower gratin at dinner. For après-ski, they offer signature private label brews, Montage Mountain Ale and Monty's Belgian White Ale. For dessert, bring the kids to Apex Terrace, where chocolate and peppermint flavored marshmallows are roasted at the fire pit.
Vail, one of Colorado's most beloved mountains, already has a big on-mountain presence in terms of sustenance with Wildwood and Bistro Fourteen. But, on December 10th, Vail added another on-mountain spot to its stable — a subtle nod to the veterans of the 10th Mountain Division, The 10th overlooks the Gore Range. Touting "modern alpine cuisine," caramelized onion soup and a simple chicken soup start things off with brick oven pizzas, veal meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and elk Bolognese looking to become new Vail favorites.
Lookout Peak, at 8,300 ft., is the mid-mountain home of Lookout Cabin, one of celebrated chef John Murcko's Park City eateries. The rustic dining room has 360-degree views of the Wasatch Mountains, and is just a quick stop off the Orange Bubble Express. Serving hot toddies to warm slope-weary bones, the menu is full of locally-sourced choices like short ribs with homemade pappardelle, chili-glazed steak sandwiches, and their famous Alpine mac and cheese.
Located on Lake Tahoe in California, Gunbarrel Grill is influenced by California- and Napa Valley-style fare and ingredients. Overlooking the expansive Lake Tahoe, frozen a glistening shade of silver in winter, Gunbarrel Grill offers the only sit-down service on the mountain. The menu is simple, starting with chowder, chili, and seven-bean soup, and continuing onto a Napa picnic-style cheese, meat, bread, and veggie platter paired, of course, with California wines. Lobster rolls and buffalo sliders fill out the offerings, but make no mistake; it's not about the food as much as it is the view.
Arrive by sleigh or snowshoe to Zach's Cabin, one of Beaver Creek's most beloved dining destinations. Located on the mountain above Bachelor Gulch village, the cozy interior of Zach's Cabin is enhanced by a glowing stone fireplace, heavy wool fabrics, and windows at every turn. The menu, which bills itself as American Pacific, runs the gamut from sashimi to seared foie gras to Caesar salad to start, and rack of lamb to duck to salmon as entrées. A true Colorado ski-town experience, reservations are essential.
Sitting atop a butte inside a wildlife sanctuary just outside Jackson, The Granary at Spring Creek Ranch is on this list for its unobstructed views of the Teton Mountain Range seen from the two-story floor-to-ceiling windows. The upstairs lounge is ideal for après-ski with its large, stone fireplace, and the award-winning restaurant serves hearty American cuisine matched by an impressive wine list. Popular dishes include the smoked trout dip, spiced elk tenderloin, and Idaho rainbow trout with black truffles.