Enjoy Dining and Entertaining
An insider's guide to the Sundance Film Festival: Where to eat and drink
Park City cuisine embraces simplicity, while its spirits favors complexity
Chase Sapphire® is a presenting sponsor of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, an independent film exhibition in the United States. Launched in 1981, the Festival showcases new movies, music events, panel discussions and more each January in Park City, Utah.
Pristine slopes serve as the backdrop for a world-famous film festival, but skiing and films aren't the only attractions. A big part of Park City's allure is its reputation as a foodie destination. The town is bursting with fine dining, homey bistros and ski-in distilleries. Executive Chef for Bill White Restaurant Group Matt McMillen says making diners happy in what he calls a "post-molecular gastronomy" era is about just one thing: simplicity. "I believe we're trending back towards simplicity," he says. "We're seeing a lot of high-tech techniques used to present food in a very simple manner."
Where to eat
Farm-to-table and locally-sourced are a few of the phrases you'll hear in many of the restaurants along the historic Main Street and beyond, where festival attendees can choose from a wide variety of restaurants. McMillen's list of must-try spots reflects the wide variety of choices. McMillen says visitors should check out Italian fare at Grappa, French Asian fusion at Wahso and a Southwestern take on food at Chimayo. "We've also got Windy Ridge Café, a great local lunch spot off the main drag, and I absolutely love Handle, at the bottom of Main Street," he says. Handle specializes in craft cocktails and small seasonal American dishes, making it a perfect spot to stop between screenings.
Where to drink
Park City is also where you'll find plenty of places to unwind with a craft beer or spirit. High West Distillery in Wanship is Utah's first legal distillery since 1870. Famous for their award-winning, ultra-complex and expertly-aged whiskey, bourbon and rye blends, Master Distiller Brendan Coyle says that the discerning clientele in Park City demanded a different kind of brew. "We decided to bring a very high-end crafted product to a high-end mountain town," he explains, which is why locals and tourists alike flock to the High West Saloon, located right downtown.
Coyle believes High West's libations are best enjoyed when you know more about the liquid gold in your glass. "The industry is really experiencing a renaissance right now. People really care about what they're drinking," he says. For those interesting in continuing their education, Coyle seconds Matt McMillen's suggestion of stopping by Handle for a drink (Rattlesnake cocktail, anyone?) and also recommends the globally-influenced Tupelo Park City for their "great cocktail program."
Great food, great Old Fashioneds, great company. Park City is truly the perfect place to get a taste of the good life while you're in town for the Sundance Film Festival.
Read more about all that the Festival has to offer on Chase.com/SapphireOnLocation.
Liz Kozak is a Chase.com contributing writer.