Park City has a surprisingly large amount of restaurants. They range from incredible to okay, and from upscale low-key. It’s a family friendly place, but also a hot spot of those that want to pay top prices to stay in a gorgeous hotel on a ski mountain. The Sundance Film Festival adds quite a bit of appeal as well, taking over the town during the week-long celebration each year. I’ve sampled quite a few of the Park City dining options, the upscale lodges at Deer Valley, the charming stops on Main Street, and even the fast food at Redstone. If I had to pick a favorite, it would certainly be Chimayo. It’s a fun slightly upscale spot that isn’t too stuffy. The atmosphere is lively and the decor is Mexican with beautifully carved wooden tables and benches and stamped metal light fixtures. Try to get a cozy booth! With festive plates and glasses, it’s a nice place to enjoy a high quality Southwestern meal. I’ve been several times before, and when my sister and her husband joined us in Park City this year, it seemed like the obvious place to take them. Our meal was delicious as usual. Great wines, Mexican beer, and tasty margaritas (despite Utah state law prohibiting any more than 4 ounces of tequila being a part of one), and terrific food. I have the same thing every time I go to Chimayo. Stuffed Breast of Chicken “Nacho Grande Style”. This dish is an upscale twist on an American classic and is actually stuffed with cheese nachos and served with a half avocado and mashed potatoes crafted with nacho cheese. It is just as good as it sounds. We also ordered the delicious Tortilla Soup, Chimayo Style Caesar Salad, Honey and Chili Duck Enchiladas and the Crown Roast of Barbecue Spareribs. Other treats consist of Chimayo’s twist on classics like London Broil of Elk and Goat Cheese and Mozzarella Chile Relleno. The food and the service are always excellent.
What was wrong with this meal? We went during Sundance. What did that mean? Two things. More crowds and more money. Although at Chimayo reservations are more of an acknowledgment that you will be seated roughly around the time you requested, you normally are seated within 10 minutes of your arrival. During Sundance, we waited over 45 minutes for our table and had to wrestle with the drones of people coming in the from the street, opening the door to the cold, and without having anywhere to sit, it wasn’t really ideal. I guess when you add that it took us 25 minutes to get downtown from my in-law’s house, which is normally a 5 minutes drive, we were kind of ready to just sit down. On top of that, the prices were tremendously marked up. Chimayo did let us know ahead of time that there would be an eighty dollar price fix, but it was still a lot of money to shell out. So here’s my thought. Go to Chimayo, it’s fun, tasty, and a great option for dining on Main Street. Be prepared to maybe wait a little, book ahead, and also know that it’s going to be more expensive than going to Chilis or Ortegas. This is because it’s better and the kitchen uses high quality and authentic ingredients. I would recommend to go anytime of year, but stay away during Sundance. I know this is the best time for the local merchants to make money, and I think that’s great, I would just rather support their business without such a large crowd and such a heavy up-charge.