Friday, September 9, 2011


All that glitters definitely isn’t gold, you realize as soon as you walk into Silver, one of Park City's newest restaurants. The glamorous, three-level building at 508 Main is decked out in cobalt blue and silver sophistication. You’ll find walls covered with hanging metallic chain link and etched glass.

 There are deep blue tufted mohair banquettes that wrap all the way up the wall and ceiling, and chairs are upholstered in metallic faux alligator.

The name, “Silver,” reflects the glitzy ambience, but it’s also a nod to Park City’s mining heritage, said co-owner Mary Lisenbee, who noted that the Marsac Mining offices were once housed on the site. Most recently, it was an art gallery before Lisenbee and co-owner Lisa Barlow renovated it. 

Todd Mark Miller was Silver's executive chef when it opened last winter. Miller honed his skills in Salt Lake City’s Fresco, Trio and Metropolitan restaurants before making a name for himself in New York City. He came back to Utah a  few times as a guest chef for celebrity dinners during the Sundance Film Festival. 

But, Miller's tenure at Silver didn't last long, and now at the helm is Spencer Wolff, who was chef of the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Chris Durfee, formerly of Salt Lake City's Metropolitan, is sous chef. 

Last weekend my husband, Kim, and I stopped in for dinner at Silver because I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. But I was a little concerned, because Kim isn't into what he calls "fru-fru" dining, where the dishes contain a lot of strange ingredients, and the tiny portions are so heavily garnished that he's not sure whether he should be eating it or wearing it on his lapel. But at Silver, he was pleasantly surprised to find many straightforward dishes to choose from.  And on the flip side, I found enough creative twists in the contemporary American menu to keep things interesting. 

Prices are in the “Park City splurge” zone (starters, $12-17; salads, $8-10; entrees, $24 for pasta carbonara to $40 for an 8-ounce prime beef filet). 

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so Kim stepped in with his cell phone.  Wish I could run the photos a little bigger, but you get the idea. 

Instead of the usual rolls and butter, or bread with olive oil, Silver serves its hot, fluffy rolls with bright green “chive oil” for dipping. 

For starters, I had Butter Leaf Wraps, three open-faced lettuce rolls filled with shards of red bell pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts and a peanut dressing that packed a little heat.  

Kim had a crab cake — chunks of delicate crab held together by sheer willpower instead of the starchy breading that many crab cakes suffer from. It was topped with thin slices of raw fennel and Granny Smith apple.


Two signature entrees are the slow-roasted beef short ribs (a holdover from Todd Mark Miller’s original menu) and local red trout topped with chopped shiitake mushrooms and ponzu brown butter. Kim had the trout, and he enjoyed it even though he's not a mushroom lover. 

My juicy, tender 10-ounce Kobe steak came with a little ramekin of blue cheese sauce, asparagus spears, cripsy wisps of brussels sprouts, and "chickpea frites," which are sort of like hummus in french-fry form (see the rectangular logs in the photo). 

As a side dish, Kim and I shared a luscious Sweet Corn Pudding, rich with fresh corn, butter and cream.  Chef Wolff has shared the recipe with me, and I'll be running it in this Wednesday's Deseret News Food section.

For dessert, we had a plate of “s’mores”  — little brownie-like squares topped with browned house-made marshmallows, and scoops of house-made sorbet.  

I can't recommend that you eat at Silver every night — it would be hazardous to your wallet, your waistline and your humility! But if you want to dine in luxury and feel like one of the Beautiful People for a night, this is a good bet. 

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