Increasingly, some of the most memorable moments skiers have on the mountain come long after the lifts close. As resorts look for new ways to pamper their guests — including snowcat dinner rides and moonlit guided snowshoe tours — one desire remains constant: excellent food in a dramatic setting.
As you prepare for a ski vacation this winter, here are seven unforgettable on-mountain restaurants that offer special dinners well into the night.
Beano’s Cabin, Beaver Creek
Located midway up Larkspur Bowl at Beaver Creek, Beano’s Cabin has delighted diners with a unique romance all its own. Guests can only access the cabin in the evening via a snowcat-pulled sleigh. Upon arrival, they can enjoy live music, an extensive wine list, and a menu rich with contemporary American dishes with a Rocky Mountain twist, such as elk Osso Bucco or a duo of Colorado lamb. Stay at one of our Beaver Creek vacation rentals to experience Beano’s Cabin.
Piste Mountain Bistro, Jackson Hole
When Wine Spectator takes note, you know you’ve found a place that does it right. The fact that Couloir creates such an exemplary experience at 9,000 feet in elevation above Jackson Hole only makes it that much more special. Located at Rendezvous Lodge, Couloir is accessible only via the Bridger Gondola. Enjoy the splendid views, and then go backstage with a seat at the Chef’s Table, where guests can dine in the kitchen for a unique perspective.
The Chalet, Alpine Meadows
If you are of the persuasion that decadent meals are best earned in the form of burning hundreds of calories first, consider the special snowshoe dinners at The Chalet, Alpine Meadows’ signature restaurant near Squaw Valley. The snowshoe trek is only a quarter of a mile, and the cuisine is decidedly Alpine in inspiration: think hearty soups, apple strudel, and other Swiss and German favorites. New this year, the resort has added a Snowcat Dinner option if the weather (or the thought of hoofing it) makes night snowshoeing less appealing.
Aspen Snowmass Mountain Dining
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, Aspen Highlands
By day, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro looks like a cozy warming hut buried in snow, with the imposing Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak in the distance. You’d be excused for mistaking the scene with Switzerland’s Berner Oberland. Inside, guests take a break from Aspen Highlands legendary expert terrain to fill up on — appropriately — fondue and raclette. But by night, the restaurant caters to romantics and foodies alike, with a special Thursday night dinner service (reservations required) via snowcat.
Lynn Britt Cabin, Snowmass
One of the most family friendly, on-mountain dinners in North America, the snowcat dinner service at Snowmass’ Lynn Britt Cabin is not to be passed up. Live music, a four-course menu (with options to please the pickiest palates) and a massive wine list help create a memorable night out in the woods. New this year, Lynn Britt will also be hosting Chuckwagon Dinner riders on Wednesday nights. If you are staying in Snowmass through a weekend, also be sure to check out Ullr Nights at Elk Camp Restaurant, a bonfire-warmed winter party with great food and live music every Friday night during the winter season.
Vail Mountain Dining
The 10th, Vail
Vail makes our list once again with their cozy yet elegant dining room, The 10th, which is named after the storied 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, which trained on skis nearby during World War II. Like Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro at Aspen Highlands, The 10th takes its culinary inspiration from the Alps, with a blending of French, Italian and Swiss cuisine served on-mountain with a touch of Rocky Mountain comfort. At night, guests merely take Gondola One to mid-mountain where the restaurant is located.
Game Creek Restaurant, Vail
One of the most exclusive North American ski resort restaurants, Game Creek Restaurant opens its doors to guests at night with a gloriously decadent, multicourse menu that is only enjoyed after a gondola-and-snowcat ride. Wagyu beef? Hamachi? Elk? Foie gras? Only the finest ingredients make the menu here, and by indulging in the Chef’s Tasting Menu, your whole evening will feel like a grand event. As for the wine cellar, it is among the upper echelon in North America.