High West Distillery & Saloon

Am I the only adult who turns her birthday into a week-long celebration? Last Sunday I turned 30! But, obviously, the birthday things had to start on Friday evening. Drinks with coworkers, pub pizza, comedy show, a museum visit, a different pub dinner, and three separate shopping trips filled my three-day weekend. Then, yesterday, I popped out for ice cream and called it “birthday ice cream”. Those who follow me on foursquare and facebook are definitely sick of my birthday by now. For my official birthday thing, though, I went to High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City.

I’ve had High West whiskey before — on ice at a local post-prohibition era saloon and sips here and there at parties. All whiskey-loving Utahns with any respect for their own taste buds hold it in high esteem. I first heard about the restaurant about a year ago, and tried very hard to get in during Sundance, but they were closed for private parties. Sunday, April 15th turned out to be the perfect time to go. I got quite drunk off two Sazeracs, which is my favorite cocktail. (made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, lemon, and absinthe). In an interesting twist, I like the Sazerac at that post-prohibition era saloon (Bar X, note also that it is owned by Ty Burrell), where they make it with HIGH WEST WHISKEY. BUT, still good Sazaracs, especially since they are hard to come by, being the world’s oldest cocktail (allegedly).

For dinner, we had five small plates: House-Made Sourdough Pretzel; Shishito Peppers 2 Ways; Frisee, Pear, and Duck Proscuitto Salad; Utah Ballard Farms Pulled Pork; Still House Mac & Cheese.

The best was the Shishito Peppers. Half of them were whiskey-battered and fried; the other half were grilled in sesame sauce. They are followed closely by the salad, which was smothered in whiskey vinaigrette, blue cheese, and candied nuts. The pretzel was smokey and soft and served with spicy Dijon. The pulled pork was piled high on a fried tomato. Coming in last is the mac & cheese. Why is mac & cheese always boring, even in nice restaurants? We topped off the meal with the chocolate and whiskey pairing, which included three types of whiskey and six fabulous and unusual chocolate truffles.

And now I badly need to eat.

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