New Eats at Okemo Mountain!
by Abby Stone
Okemo Mountain rolled out several new restaurants and updated some of their culinary options for the 2019-2020 season, so I couldn’t help myself but to eat my way through the new digs and write up a very unbiased review for you all. I may be small but this girl can eat! I’ve spent the last 24 years of my life thoroughly enjoying and trying new foods in my home town, Providence, RI and I’ve lived at Okemo for the past three years, so I have a good grasp on what these culinary changes mean for the mountain. I urge you to take your lunch break at one of the new spots on the hill and let us know what you think about it too using #vtpropeats.
43º North | Solitude Day Lodge | Previously known as Epic Restaurant
I began my food tour with lunch at 43º North, which has been rebranded and reimagined from its predecessor, Epic Restaurant. The restaurant sits at the base of Solitude and is surrounded by chairlifts and slopeside homes, offering you a great view of the energetic outdoors, along with a new outdoor deck. As far as the interior goes, they ditched the purple and blue walls that once adorned Epic and gave it a fresh new paint job, featuring silvers and grays. The bar area now has more seating with high-tops and picnic-style high-top tables for bigger groups. The beloved wood-burning fireplace remains in place at the center of the room and it was even roaring on a quiet Monday afternoon. Diving into the French-inspired menu, I was seriously pleased by the variety and their unique take on some classics. Remember, your girl likes to eat so don’t judge me on this…. I ordered the following: Mesclun Salad, French Onion Soup, Basket of Truffle Fries and the Peppercorn Blue Cheese Burger (split this one with my date!) The salad was fresh and crunchy with just the right amount of dressing with pickled onions and radishes. I ordered my first ever French Onion Soup and it did not let me down! The melted gruyere and carmelized onions bathed in the ultra-flavored broth made for a delicious moment. Don’t even get me started on the truffle fries… I only ate them an hour ago but I miss them already, so take my word and order them! The blue cheese was delightfully torched onto the burger and made our taste buds dance. To wrap it all up, the service continues to be top-notch, making this my number one lunch spot whether you are skiing or not!
Robin’s Roost | Summit Lodge - Lower Level | Previously extra seating & Vermont Pizza Company
My next stop was Robin’s Roost; a new southern-style eatery located on the lower level of the Summit Lodge. Get dropped off by the Sunburst Six and ski right into the lodge for a pit stop. Adding this restaurant was a genius move in my opinion. Before this addition, the space was just extra seating and was home to the Vermont Pizza Company, which was only open on some holiday weekends. Robin's Roost is now super cozy and features TV’s for sports fans, views of the snow-covered treelines and seating around the electric (but cozy) fireplace. The best part? Robin’s Roost is open DAILY with sit-down service, which is a huge move for Okemo to offer a better guest experience. My date and I grabbed a window seat and ordered the North Country Hushpuppies, Downsouth Wedge Salad and the Soup of the Day; Cheddar Broccoli. The hushpuppies were crisp on the outside and packed with a sweet maple-jalapeño punch and teamed up with a delicious apple butter dip…plus, they are gluten-free! The wedge salad was a monster, featuring bacon, tomatoes, candied pecans, smoked jalapeños, and croutons, which made this a full meal for me! The soup was creamy and hit the spot on this chilly ski day. Overall, the food is very impressive considering the fact that you are eating at over 4,000 feet. The southern tang is unique and offers a different food style on the mountain. I’ll definitely be back to try out the Backwoods Bones Wings and the Fried Green Tomatoes.
Summit Lodge Cafeteria | Summit Lodge - Upper Level | Previously home to the Sky Bar & Original Cafeteria Space
Entering into the main level of the Summit Lodge is a completely different experience now. The partitions have been removed, creating an open space from front to back with the cafeteria in the middle. The exposed beams are now highlighted with new iron light fixtures and new tables and chairs. It used to be quiet on a weekday at the Summit Lodge, but now it is the new hang out spot where locals come to gather for their 11 a.m. coffee break. This is a great option to stop for a mid-day snack or lunch if you don’t want to ski all the way down to the base area. There are lots of classics here like chili, soups, french fries, burgers and more. My go-to is grabbing a hot tea and a granola bar and taking a seat by the window to soak in the panorama views of the Okemo Valley. The updated space is exactly what the Summit Lodge needed. The food hasn’t changed too much at the cafeteria, but it’s clearly getting so much more traffic than previous years. Looking forward, Okemo plans to continue to activate this space this summer to make it truly epic. Miss the Sky Bar? Head downstairs to Robin’s Roost for the new full-service bar!
View of Summit Lodge Cafeteria Line
Sugar House Cafeteria | Sugar House - Mid-mountain
The Sugar House is a great lodge to stop and warm up at if you can’t quite make it down to the base lodge or if your toes can’t handle another lift ride. The Sugar Lodge as a whole, has essentially remained the same as far as food options go with Smokey-Jo’s (an oldy, but a goodie!), Thai Noodle and the cafeteria essentials. Enjoy the famous Pulled Pork Sandwich on the deck at Smokey-Jo’s or keep warm inside with a Thai Noodle bowl. There were a few updates including the new TVs that display the menu items and the trash reciprocals that feature composting! The upper level remains the same with extra seating, however, the lower level has now been transformed into the ultimate hangout for Okemo’s Ski School, known as The Sugar House Mudroom. This is now the hub for the instructors to bring their groups to and settle in for a hot chocolate break or lunch on the hill.
View of Sugar House Cafeteria Line
I’m feeling a combination of excitement and pleasure when it comes to the changes that Okemo has incorporated in their culinary world on the slopes. There are so many great places to grab a bite to eat no matter which part of the mountain you are on. The Vermont Properties team and I continue to look forward to the future of Okemo and Vail Resorts with new additions coming soon. Cheers!