The Mangy Moose
Named “One of the 10 hottest Aprés Ski bars in the world,” by Forbes Traveler, the Mangy Moose’s nuclear wings are the reason the kids stop skiing at the end of the day. The ratty-looking, taxidermied Moose that watches over the boisterous restaurant from the ceiling gives the restaurant its name and fits in with ski-weary revelers below. Despite the Mangy Moose’s popularity, we have always been able to find coat hooks for our helmets and a table to belly up to.
For an astounding view, go to The Granary at Spring Creek Ranch, which hovers 1,000 feet above the town of Jackson. Enter by crossing a footbridge into a cozy-looking log cabin. Then head to the restaurant, which which is cantilevered over the valley, giving you the best view in Jackson.
The Granary is sedate, classy and serves complicated food. I’m a tenderloin girl and love the Elk Tenderloin here.
The Gun Barrel
For kitsch — a lot of kitsch — try The Gun Barrel. Service is handled by harried newcomers who have never waited a table before, but they do serve elk, buffalo and venison in a log-walled, western setting worthy of Walt Disney.
To tuck into a cushy, relaxed meal, head to Cafe Genevieve and start with the Elk Carpaccio or the Pig Candy (strange but addictive sugared bacon). My husband, who will try anything, loved the Crispy Skin Wild Striped Bass. Whatever you order, be sure to get a side of Mac and Cheese; it’s perfect for a chilly night.
When we want to find a great, inexpensive restaurant, we ask a local who can’t be making much money; e.g., a lift operator or ski-boot fitter. This is how we unearthed Pinky G’s. Hiding in an interior courtyard, the amiable, unpretentious Pinky G’s makes decisions simple: Pinky’s offers one kind of white wine, one kind of red and pizza named with a sense of humor: The Fatty, The Funky Chicken, The Abe Froman. Our favorite is the Abe Froman with sausage, buffalo mozzarella, basil. (You might remember Abe Froman from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. ) Pink G’s menu lists salads, though that is probably ceremonial — I’ve never seen a salad eater here.
For breakfast, take the Big Red aerial tram up to Corbet’s Cabin for waffles. Corbet’s Cabin sits atop Rendezvous Peak at 10,450 feet, a gusty tip of the ski hill that may give you vertigo. You can see crazy skiers descending this Corbet’s Couloir from Big Red. (You can ride Big Red back down the mountain if the black runs are too much for you.)
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