When it comes to dining in the mountain oasis of Sun Valley, Idaho, good food isn’t hard to find. Outside of the stunning mountains, small town charm, and seemingly endless outdoor activities, Sun Valley also offers three dining experiences that can’t be matched.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind, out-of-the-box dinner with great, seasonal food paired with breathtaking scenery, be sure to consider these options that are ready to leave a memorable impression.
Galena Lodge’s Full Moon Dinner
For a night of food and fun surrounded by sky-high mountains, lush forest and a night sky full of seemingly endless stars, look no further than a full moon dinner at the historic Galena Lodge. Located 23-miles North of Ketchum, the Full Moon dinner is offered three consecutive nights around each month’s full moon during the winter season only, typically November through March.
Head Chef Don Shepler and his wife Erin, invite guests to sit by the fire in the rustic lodge as they prepare a four-course meal highlighting seasonal ingredients. The communal-style seating offers diners the chance to start conversation and make new friends, and the four-course meal with a choice for entree starts at just $45/person, excluding wine or cocktails, and gratuity. Dishes served include saffron risotto with steamed shrimp and roasted tomato harissa, roasted carrot soup with dill and caraway, and grilled Alaskan Salmon with seasonal vegetables. Dinner begins at 6:30 PM so it’s best to arrive a bit early to eye the seating arrangements and snag the location of your choice.
After dinner, guests are invited to Nordic ski or snowshoe around the lodge on one of the surrounding trails. You’re even welcome to take one of the local dogs with you on your moonlit adventure.
If the drive back to Ketchum sounds like an adventure in itself, make a night out of it and rent one of Galena’s four different rustic yet modern yurts. With no electricity and the light of the full moon, it’s a special way to reconnect with friends, family, and nature.
It’s recommended that reservations be made at least a month in advance, and more information about Galena Lodge and the Full Moon dinner schedule can be found here.
Trail Creek Cabin
For an equally special experience that’s a bit closer to home, plan on a memorable dinner at Sun Valley’s Trail Creek Cabin. Originally built in 1937, the rustic, mountain-style cabin is rumored to have belonged to Ernest Hemingway but now serves as restaurant for Sun Valley locals and visitors.
The four-course seasonal menu by Chef Adam Fisher offers a western flare with dishes such as Hagerman Valley Idaho Ruby Trout, Buffalo Tenderloin, Trail Creek New York Strip, and Wild Mushroom Farro. Trail Creek Cabin also offers a wide selection of beer and wine, as well as a full bar.
To begin the evening, consider taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride over snowy trails and through the starry skies from the Inn at Sun Valley to Trail Creek Cabin. The 40-minute ride each way offers breathtaking views of Baldy Mountain and a glimpse into a simpler time in history. Guests should check-in for the sleigh ride at least 15-minutes before departure to sign waivers and hear the safety procedures, and while the sleigh does have blankets, dress warmly with a coat, gloves, hat, and a scarf. For a little extra warmth on the ride, consider ordering a Hot Toddy or tea from The Ram Bar before heading out on your excursion. Tickets and reservations for the sleigh ride should be made in advance of your dinner.
Sleigh ride dinners are seasonally and typically start in December and run through end of March to early April. Trail Creek Cabin is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, 5:00 to 9:00 PM. More information can be found here and for sleigh ride tickets, contact Sun Valley Resort directly at (208) 622-2135.
Dinner at The Roundhouse
photo courtesy: Sun Valley // Kevin Syms
If you want a jaw-dropping view to go along with your dining experience, look no further than an evening at The Roundhouse.
Originally built in 1939 by Sun Valley’s founder Averell Hairman, chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, The Roundhouse restaurant sits perched on top of Baldy Mountain and offers must-see views with a menu that blends American and European dishes.
Start off with an evening gondola ride to the restaurant and take in the twinkling town lights of Ketchum and Sun Valley against the staggering Pioneer Mountains backdrop. The six-course prix fixe menu prepared by Chef Dustin White includes seasonal dishes inspired by the Sun Valley Resort’s European heritage including Elk Tartar, Filet Minot, Pancetta-Wrapped Pheasant, and Zucchini e Zucca Pomodoro. The Roundhouse also offers a wide selection of beer and wine, as well as a full bar.
For those that may want to work up an appetite before dinner, consider strapping your skis to your back and skinning up the mountain after the lift has closed at 4 PM. When you’ve finished, ski down to the bottom under one of the best night skies the country has to offer. Be sure to call ahead and make reservations to confirm there’s availability.
Dinner at the The Roundhouse is by reservation only and open Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. More information can be found here or by calling (208) 622-2012.