You’ve already heard how much we love Jackson Hole. The charming little town really does have it all…including a seriously hip up and coming foodie scene. What was a pretty scarce cowboy-cuisine-only town just a decade or two ago is now a thriving food scene with the sort of risk taking chefs you just don’t expect to find in the middle of the Grand Tetons.
For starters, the Pig Candy at Café Genevieve makes the entire trip to Wyoming worthwhile with one bite. An outrageously salty, sweet, sticky smoky crackly piece of caramelized bacon, Pig Candy is a Jackson Hole treat that’s becoming pretty famous—you can even have it flown it overnight for your next board meeting. Now that’s employee appreciation.
Café Genevieve is the brainchild of Chef Josh, an incredibly talented chef with roots in California, Colorado and Oregon. The restaurant is based around the pig (hence the pig candy) and serves all sorts of dishes (pork and otherwise) that are inspired home cooked classics in the inviting ambiance of a historic log cabin. Seasonal cocktails, local beer selection and an eclectic and affordable wine list round out the experience here. Everything from the Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps to Wagyu Filet and refreshing Espresso Martini is as satisfying as it is innovative.
Once you’ve had your fill of pig candy, it’s time for a steak dinner. You are in the mountains, after all. In the heart of the town square right next to the legendary Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a quintessential farm-to-table restaurant serving some of the best cuts in the country. The Local is a place for…well, the locals. They feature classic and specialty cuts that come from cattle less than 10 miles away along with seasonally-inspired food. Owned and operated by chefs Will Bradof and Paul, Local showcases their enthusiasm for reviving the craft of in-house butchery with a focus on dry-aged steaks and house-made sausages. It’s a perfect place to relax and grab an amazing burger for lunch or to indulge in a hearty foie gras and filet mignon sort of date night.
For a mountain-side Teton Village option, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find fresh pastas and homemade ricotta at Il Villaggio Osteria. Osteria, as the locals call it, is a rustic Italian bistro run by James Beard Awards nominee Chef Paul O’Connor. The JLT is the perfect après ski snack, a savory combination of seared pork jowl, roasted romatoes, Tuscan kale and a sous vide egg for richness. Large entrees make for perfect sharing plates across the menu, dishes like the braised Shortrib Raviolis and red wine beurre blanc Scallops are all hearty dishes you can enjoy for a warming lunch break or end-of-the-day feast.
Osteria is run by Fine Dining Group, a Jackson Hole company that runs several distinctly different restaurants around the Wyoming area. Gavin Fine, the entrepreneur behind the brand, opened his first restaurant in 2001 and has been expanding the mini empire ever since. One of his latest endeavors includes the vibrant Bin22, a downtown wine bar inspired by the greatness of Mario Batali’s EATALy. The cozy space reflects the sophisticated energy of New York City with the rustic elegance of the Italian countryside, flaunting a diverse selection of wine, craft beers and artisanal spirits grocery store style right next to a dimly lit bar and tapas area. The Spanish and Italian style bites are perfect for wine pairings, and are true to their tapas size so you can order one after the other. Start with the cheese and salumi platter, then move on to meatballs, grilled octopus, a little spicy shrimp…
Another recent addition to the Fine Dining Group is The Kitchen. It’s the epitome of urban chic—breeze into this downtown restaurant and you’ll have to double check that you’re not in Brooklyn. Brick walls, Ingrid Michaelson in the background, a roaring fireplace and modern American cuisine are all part of the charm here. The seafood appetizers really shine with dishes like the ultra-fresh Truffled Yellowfin Tuna and Dayboat Sea Scallops that taste like they just popped out of the ocean. Everything is seasonal, the cocktails creative and the atmosphere warm. Andes Mint Cheesecake and ooey gooey Deep Dish Cookie Cake desserts are a splendidly decadent way to finish a light and airy dinner at The Kitchen.
You’ve almost eaten your way through Teton Village and Jackson Hole at this point. You’re avoiding the scale. Who cares? You’re skiing every day and its vacation…deal with the abundance of foie gras damage when you get back. For now, there is one last ‘must eat’ at restaurant.
Wild Sage at the Rusty Parrot is everything you want in a serene, inviting dining experience. An intimate dining room seats 32 guests total, so each server is devoted to the diners and the mood is incredibly cozy. Definitely the closest to city living fine dining as you’ll find in the town of Jackson, Wild Sage serves exceptional regional cuisine rooted in classic preparation with the freshest ingredients. Their extensive wine list is impressive enough—but ask for the reserve list. You’ll find all sorts of Penfolds and Saxum gems hidden there. Pair a bottle of something special with the pan seared Foie Gras, a wonderful plate with hazelnut butter, blueberry compote crepe and black pepper syrup all working together to create something truly special. Great food, excellent wine and truly exceptional service are all part of the Wild Sage experience.
Come to Jackson Hole hungry and you’ll leave happy. It’s as simple as that.