Since the first snowflakes have officially fallen on Park City, excitement for ski season is starting to brew. Now, we have another great reason to look forward to winter: Powder, the Waldorf Astoria’s dining establishment, will have a revamped menu this ski season, created by new executive chef Hermann Schaeffer.
Schaeffer joins the Waldorf from sunny San Diego, where he worked for the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa. But he’s no stranger to mountain life. Schaeffer grew up in Austria, where his parents owned and operated a restaurant and winery.
At Powder, Schaeffer will integrate his European culinary background with classic mountain favorites to create what he calls “continental mountain cuisine with a European twist.” In other words, you’ll find delicious comfort food to warm you up after a day on the slopes, with Swiss, German, Austrian, and Italian influences. He’s also planning to focus on elevating the service component at the restaurant in addition to the food.
Powder will start serving the new winter menu on Nov. 15, and will offer three to four daily specials in addition to the set menu. The updated bar menu, available Tuesday, will also feature several brand new items. Recently, we got a taste of what’s to come — check out some of our favorites below.
A new addition to the bar menu is a creamy fromage blanc (white cheese with paprika, cornichons and onions) served with speck, smoked for two years in Austria. This dish was inspired by a common menu item served in European taverns.
Another new item for the bar menu we loved are the warm olives, marinated in olive oil, lime, lemon, roasted garlic and herbs. Schaeffer explains that the warmth helps bring out the rich flavors, rather than serving them cold.
Served in a simple broth made with white wine, butter, scallions and herbs, these mussels were out-of-this-world delicious. (Pro tip: Dunking the bread in the broth is a near-heavenly experience.)
The warm carrot salad is a delightful starter course ahead of any entree. We loved the dollop of creamy ricotta cheese on top of the radicchio and grilled local carrots.
The buffalo bolognese is made with shredded (not ground) meat that’s braised with burgundy wine for 14 hours. The pasta is handmade, and the whole meal is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
The sea bass is served with black garlic and porcini mushrooms — a delicious earthy dish with bold flavors that won’t weigh you down. Another excellent entree we previewed was the duck confit with celery root — incredibly tasty.
Desserts are also very important to Chef Schaeffer, since he trained as a pastry chef. He’s starting a new tradition at Powder, where guests will receive complimentary Linzertarte after every meal as a sweet treat.