|Celebrating the Haute Route and the Matterhorn|
Following is a story I included to help explain my definition, what a surprise ~ it’s focused on food!!
“Elegant food in a rustic setting” is my idea of a luxurious dining situation, one that can please all of the senses. I always want to have fabulous food, be it refined or casual, but somehow it tastes better to me if it is presented in a rustic or unusual setting or manner. I guess that explains why I have a special affection for high mountain huts.
This affection inspired me to ski the Haute Route across the Alps last spring, from France to Switzerland, staying at a different hut along the route each night. After a long day of ski touring, my friends and I would convene in the dining room to share the local mountain fare with an international blend of skiers. It was a true luxury for me to be able to glide and climb across this historical route and to thoroughly experience and absorb authentic Alpine culture and cuisine.
On the first night of 2011, I was fortunate enough to experience my favorite dining situation again, a little closer to home. Our local ski area has a rustic gem of a restaurant with wonderful cuisine, perched at 6,872 feet and surrounded by miles and miles of undeveloped forestlands. I have skied to lunch at the Summit House restaurant many times, it’s the highest restaurant in Washington state and offers an astounding view of Mt. Rainier.
This year, Crystal Mountain built a gondola to bring people (with or without skis) directly to the summit to enjoy the view, lunch, and now, dinner. The “Mt. Rainier Gondola” began operating on 1/1/11. I loved watching the shiny red cabins float overhead as I skied beneath them that day, and I felt so excited, knowing that I had reservations for dinner that evening.
The evening was splendid, and every element, the fire, the fellow culinary adventurers, the food, the service, was all the more exquisite because of the rare opportunity to travel in a gondola, full of friends, on a cold and clear winters night to enjoy a meal together at the highest restaurant in the state.
|Fireworks over Crystal Mountain on New Year’s Eve|