April 10, 2013

Collins Grill

Alta is a serious mountain, for serious skiers. With the Collins Grill, the mountain brings an exciting option for a seriously tasty lunch. Located above the cafeteria style dining spot, on the top floor of Watson Shelter, Collins Grill offers European mountain bistro style lunch options, elegantly prepared in a beautiful setting.

Lunch begins with a walk into the beautifully constructed room, with a modern log cabin feel. Exposed ductwork gives the room an open, contemporary appeal, with historic pictures from Alta’s early days blown up on the wall in Pop Art styling. The white tablecloths prepare you for a high quality meal, while the spinning angle station of the Collins Lift reminds you of the terrain at your fingertips. If the atmosphere isn’t enough to make a trip worthwhile, the food and drink menu certainly are.

The Collins Grill features a menu that changes throughout the season, reflecting local foods that are available, as well as a desire to keep the menu exciting. Following a delicious bread starter consisting of rustic whole grain bread along with a chunky roasted red pepper hummus, appetizers were selected. The tart is a Collins Grill classic. Changing daily, the tart features a delightfully flaky crust. On this day, the tart came with pesto, jumbo grilled shrimp, red bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and Parmesan. The deliciously rich tart was offset by a sweet and tangy Balsamic reduction, which acted almost as syrup. Together, the tart and reduction married to make a wonderfully hearty first course. For a lighter starter, the Crab Cakes made for a perfect introduction. The two small cakes packed huge crab flavor. The smooth texture and crisp crust were kicked up a notch by capers, an interesting twist to crab cakes that added a nice oceanic flavor. Along with the crab cakes came a lobster cream sauce that added sweet and savory notes to the hearty crab cakes.

Featuring meat and fish, the entrée round brought needed energy back for the rest of the day’s skiing. The Lemon Dill Grilled Trout, with a side of rice pilaf and veg du jour featured excellently crisped skin along with a dark, smoky grilled flavor. The lemon dill sauce added savory strength to the fish, and the soft rice, with buttery vegetables brought warmth to the dish. If you would prefer meat, the Caribbean Jerk Grill Pork Loin, featuring Niman Ranch pork loin and a sweet potato hash brought serious flavor. Again, the strong fire grilled flavor permeated the moist meat, while the fresh sweet potato hash brightened the meal.

Finally, dessert featured Chocolate Cake with a Chocolate Ganache filling, and an Almond Crusted Cheesecake. The cake was accompanied by a hearty coffee cream sauce, adding sweetness and fresh whipped cream, bringing some lightness to an otherwise wonderfully, oppressively chocolate dessert. The Almond Crusted Cheesecake was combined well with a thick and sweet raspberry garnish. The crumbly crust, and thick cheesecake made for a delicious end to a spectacular meal.

Perhaps the best part about the Collins Grill isn’t the amazing food, or the impeccable service, but truly just its location. It is unlike any other restaurant, where you can finish a run down the saddle, step out of your bindings, catch your breath, and moments later be preparing for a feast. With the closing of the Collins Grill for the season, expect for planning to begin for next season. The ever-changing menu will surely feature exciting new options. Be sure to check out the Collins Grill throughout the season to enjoy each and every change to thediversd delicious menu! 

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