A semi-hidden gem located in the Park City Peaks Hotel, Versante has been a local favorite for classic Italian dishes since it opened two years ago. This month, the team there has introduced a number of new dishes updated for the new winter season that are sure to appeal to regulars and visitors alike.
“We wanted to make our new menu more expansive, featuring lots of starters that are great to share among friends before dinner or for aprés,” Chef Justin Nelson tells us.
In fact, many of the dishes on the menu—beyond the appetizers—are meant to be shared, family-style, including the pizzas, pastas and entrées. The new menu also focuses on seasonal ingredients that are typically available in the winter. In other words, expect to see blood oranges rather than tomatoes, and pickled cucumbers instead of zucchini.
On the starter side of the menu, Nelson upgraded the summer version of the Fritto Misto to include shrimp and pickled veggies in addition to traditional calamari. The new baked artichoke dip, topped with Panko crumbs, is another tasty appetizer to share at your table.
You’ll find a new salad on the menu, called the Peaks Winter Salad. Healthy but hearty, it’s a delicious mix of Tuscan kale, roasted butternut squash, toasted farro, goat cheese, and cranberry mustard vinaigrette. Top it with steak or chicken to make it an entree, or share it as a starter.
One more note about starters: If you’ve ever noticed the number of regulars seated at the bar, they may just know something you don’t about a special bar menu. We’re just sayin’—don’t be afraid to ask.
Now, onto the pastas. Nelson knocked it out of the park with the new Frutti Di Mare. First, there’s a fresh selection of seafood, handpicked by the chef based on what looks the best that day. They sit on top of salty and savory handmade squid ink pasta, as well as rich lemon beurre blanc with white wine, lemon and lots of butter.
We also loved the Shrimp Diavolo, an update of the shrimp rigatoni that used to be on the menu. For anyone with dairy allergies, this dish is a godsend since it’s creamy and rich, without using any dairy. The sauce is simply a mix of roasted tomato, onions, garlic and chipotle peppers.
The Steak Versante is a can’t-miss dish for meat lovers. It’s a baseball-cut piece of sirloin, which means it tastes more like a filet than a sirloin steak. The steak is accompanied by crimini mushrooms, roasted fingerling potatoes and pearl onions, all bathed in a butter pan sauce.
In the Italian Cassoulet, Nelson puts an Italian/Mediterranean spin on the classic French dish. Here, a braised pork shank (think osso bucco) sits upon a flavorful stew of white beans, Italian sausage, soffrito and broth. It’s a “gluttonous” dish, to use Nelson’s words, but if you love pork, you have to try it.
Finally, we tried a brand-new dessert creation, inspired by Nelson’s admiration of Mexican cuisine. This “dolce” is called Cannoli Nachos, which consists of cannoli shells cut into chip shapes and topped with traditional cannoli filling: ricotta mixed with heavy cream, lemon zest, cinnamon and all spice. It may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a light and airy way to end your meal on a sweet note.
P.S. If you stay out on the slopes late into the night and find yourself craving a pizza, you’ll still be in luck. This season, the bar will be serving a limited menu (including pizza) from 10 p.m.-12 a.m.