Sun Valley — Dining
On the mountain: The Warm Springs, Seattle Ridge (622-6287) (right) and River Run (622-2133), both great for apres-ski) day lodges have excellent restaurants. Skiers can settle down to a lunch of prime rib, salmon, stone-fired pizza and many other delights, all while enjoying panoramic views. Deli and gourmet cafeteria-style buffets are the latest in on-mountain dining and Sun Valley does it right.
The Roundhouse (622-2371), built in 1939, is the first daylodge on Bald Mt. Midway up on the River Run side, this restaurant welcomes non-skiers as well who can buy a “foot traffic” pass and enjoy the food, friends and views—lunch only. Reservations recommended. The Lookout Restaurant (622-6261) is often hidden under a mound of snow, which keeps lunchtime crowds small, making it a good stop for quick burgers, sandwiches and salads The Dollar Cabin at the base of Dollar Mt., has recently been replaced with a new building.
In Sun Valley Village: The Sun Valley Lodge Dining Room (622-2150) has old-time elegance and is one of the only places in the area with live music and dinner dancing. Specialties include Steak Diane, Chateaubriand Béarnaise Bouquetière and fresh Idaho trout or poached salmon. It’s always a special occasion spot many locals go for anniversaries and birthdays. The Duchin Lounge, (622-2145) named for Eddie Duchin by Averell Harriman, is just off the Sun Valley Lodge lobby and has grande apres-ski and dancing.
The Ram (622-2225; $$$), attached to the Sun Valley Inn, serves elegant European atmosphere with food ranging from fondues to grilled New York strip loin to fish and seafood. Gretchen’s (622-2144; $$) in the Lodge has a fine dinner menu, including Idaho lamb and beef. Enjoy breakfast and lunch as well ($). Recent additions are Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta (622-2143; $$) for dinner and the new Inn Lobby Lounge (622-2266; $$) in the Sun Valley Inn for a light meal. At Sun Valley Deli (622-2060) pick up sandwiches and quick snacks. The Konditorei (622-2235; $) has an Austrian flavor and excellent lunches, such as hearty soups served in a bread bowl next to a mountain of fruit. Follow up your meal with a stop at the Chocolate Foundry (622-2147; $) and take home something to satisfy your sweet cravings.The Boiler Room (622-2148) in the Village has great apres-ski along with comedy acts for the evening crowd.
In Ketchum: Ketchum has some of the best restaurants in any ski resort in America. Anyone with fine dining on his or her mind will not be disappointed. The region’s real gourmet action takes place here. The price ranges we give here are a rough guide.
These restaurants all vie for “best of Ketchum.” Michel’s Christiania (726-3388; $$$), run by Michel Rodigoz, serves fine French cuisine. Felix’s (726-1166; $$$), which has moved to 380 1st Ave. North, offers a continental menu in a very international setting. Evergreen Bistro (726-3888; $$$) has an elegant atmosphere of wood, crystal and glass and quite possibly the town’s best wine list. Chandler’s (726-1776; $$$) serves gourmet meals in a series of tiny rooms. It’s fun to sit near the fireplace if you are with a group. Their three-course fixed price meal is one of Ketchum’s best bargains.
Bistro 44 (726-2040; $$$) serves authentic French cooking prepared by chef-owner Alain Gilot. It’s open for lunch. Dinner is prepared in two seatings nightly, Monday through Saturday. Reservations are required for dinner. For trattoria-style cuisine and excellent fish specials at exceptional prices, head to the Baci Italian Café and Wine Bar (726-8384; $$). Dean’s Restaurant (726-8911; $$), formerly the Coyote Grill and Wine Bar (same owners, same place, just a new name), has a very romantic setting. Filled with couches and overstuffed chairs snuggling tiny tables, the rooms accentuate the creative grill cuisine.
The Pioneer Saloon (726-3139; $$), a local hangout going back into Ketchum history, is known for its prime rib and baked potatoes. Ketchum Grill (726-4660; $$) has a daring, innovative menu with flavor mixtures that will keep your taste buds tingling. The restaurant participates in the Chef’s Collective to buy only locally grown/hunted or organic produce. Rico’s Pizza and Pasta (726-7426; $$) is the local’s favorite spot for take-out Italian dishes.
Sushi on Second (726-5181; $$) has Japanese fare. Locals say Globus (726-1301; $$) has good Chinese/Thai food. Panda Chinese Restaurant (726-3591; $) serves Chinese meals from several regions.
MORE DINING IN KETCHUM AND THE SUN VALLEY REGION
Warm Springs Ranch Restaurant (726-2609; $$) serves a wide-ranging menu including children’s specials. Mountain trout swim in pools near the cozy cabin. The spots for excellent and inexpensive Mexican food are Ketchum Kantina (726-4213; $), on Main Street or Desperado’s (726-3068; $) on Fourth Street. Grumpy’s (no phone, we’re told; $), on Warm Springs Road, is the locals’ favorite for great burgers and beer.
Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta (622-5625; $) has great, very affordable Italian fare and massive salads. And the Burger Grill (726-7733; $$), another chain restaurant, serves up thick hamburgers, mounds of fries and frosty shakes.
Breakfast is important with most skiers. At the Sun Valley Lodge Gretchen’s (622-2144; $) has plentiful fare with moderate prices and Konditorei (622-2235; $) in the Sun Valley Village has good breakfasts. The Lodge Dining Room (726-2150; $) serves an excellent Sunday brunch. The best breakfasts, however, are downtown in Ketchum. The Kneadery (726-9462; $) on Leadville Street has a cozy woodsy atmosphere. It’s open for lunch as well. Java on Fourth (726-2882; $) has daily specials, excellent food and an unusual atmosphere. Outdoor seating is available. The Rustic Moose (727-9767; $) is a simple place with an extensive menu for breakfast or lunch.
Directly across the street from the Warm Springs Lodge at the base of Baldy is a Ketchum institution, Irving’s Red Hot stand, where you can get great hot dogs. “The Works” (a dog smothered in fixings and chips) for only $2 is a lunch bargain that can’t be beat.
One evening dining adventure that should not be missed is the horse-drawn sleigh ride dinner at Trail Creek Cabin (622-2135). The cozy rough-hewn cabin dates from 1937 and can be reached by sleigh, car or cross-country skis. For the sleigh ride, make reservations 72 hours in advance, but you can always check for open space. Galena Lodge (726-4010) also offers moonlight and star gazing dinners in the warmth of a rustic lodge.
Dining Legend: $$$–Entrees $20+; $$–$10–20; $–less than $10