I recently had the chance to enjoy a stay at the Zermatt Lodge in Midway, Utah. Zermatt is a beautiful Swiss and German themed resort in the back of the Wasatch mountains. I have to tell you about one of the best food experiences I have ever had there. I use the term “food experience” and not just “dinner” because to me, it was not a matter of simply sitting down at the new Z Chop Haus that just opened in June and having a nice dinner. It transcended any meal time label.
At a restaurant, you have tables and chairs, at Z Chop Haus you have elegance and live piano music. At a restaurant you have silverware, salt and pepper shakers, etc, at Z Chop Haus you have beautiful settings with sea salt and peppercorn, and a special waiter that will bring a separate wooden box to your table before you get your steak, and place special steak knives in front of you. At a restaurant you may have chips and salsa or bread before your meal, at Z Chop Haus you have special flavored cream cheese and baguettes, and mini pretzels hanging from a little tree brought to you. At a restaurant you usually have one waiter that interacts with you during your entire visit, at Z Chop Haus you have a whole team of people who visit you at your table ending with the executive chef that sliced my Chateaubriand filet right before my eyes ensuring it was cooked just right. If you want a regular dinner, then there are hundreds of places to choose from, but if you want to spend a special occasion and be treated like a king or queen, and an experience that transcends just “dinner” I suggest making a trip to Midway and visiting the Z Chop Haus.
It is usually a good sign when a place puts this much thought into the pre dinner snack. Here we have some baguette slices with flavored cream cheese, and little pretzels hanging from a cast iron tree. I almost didn’t want to eat it because it looked so good, but only “almost”.
I love soups, so of course I had to try them out. You get all the flavor of a good Swiss Onion soup without the mess. The lobster bisque was smooth and creamy. This is probably a good time to mention the pacing of our dinner. We were probably at Z Chop Haus for about 2 hours from start to finish. This isn’t somewhere you go to eat fast and be rushed out the door. Nothing bad against that, because sometimes you just need a quick bite to eat. If this were a Broadway play, you would have one act following another act and so on. Think of Z Chop Haus in those terms. The staff doesn’t rush your experience, its one course after another after another on your terms. While we were there a long time, I felt the flow and tempo of when and how my food was brought to me was impeccable. They allowed me to take my time and savor each course.
This was one of the highlights of my meal. I can now add Guyere Fondue to the same category as bacon. Let me explain. If you add bacon to any meal in my book, it automatically makes it better, and guess what? I’m going to eat it. This Guyere Fondue dip was so good, I literally would have dipped anything you set in front of me and eaten it and it would have been delicious. After all, here I was eating VEGETABLES and eating them like they were cookies. The little white cauldron of magical Guyere cheese was so tasty. If it were any bigger, I would have planted Tiki torches around it and done Lord of the Flies style dances around it while wearing a grass skirt and seashell jewelry.
Let me set the stage for you as to why Z Chop Haus absolutely made my night. I was literally crying tears of joy over how good my Guyere Fondue was, but sadly I had already finished off my chilled vegetables and was down to my last baguette. One of the staff members perceived the predicament I was in, and offered to bring out more piping hot french bread slices so that I could continue to dip them in the fondue cheese. I was so happy. At that very moment, the piano player started playing the song “Memory” from Cats. As I started in on the last bread slice, I could imagine Barbara Streisand standing next to my table singing the last verse of “Memory” . My last bite coincided perfectly with the end of the song. I felt like I was part of some movie, and we had just reached the climax. I couldn’t have directed it better myself, it was magical.
I wish I had better lighting on my camera for these last few photos, because this is where the main courses began. We tried a few side dishes with our main course. I actually have tried Spaetzle before when I went to a German deli Siegfried’s in downtown Salt Lake City. Spaetzle is like a dumpling made from egg noodle typically in the shape of pasta. It is quite popular in Germany, and Z Chop Haus did it justice.
This wouldn’t be a Swiss/German steakhouse if they didn’t serve this dish. I like how the side dishes offered by Z Chop Haus were delicious, but with some local flavor from the regions they came from. This plate was tremendous. It was a bubbling hot bowl of creamy, cheesy potatoes, smothered with more melted cheese. I think I gained a few pounds just thinking of them.
Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of this post that our waiter brought out this special wooden box with really nice steak knives and set it in front of me? When he did that I immediately started to drool because I knew what was coming. It reminded me back in high school when we were learning about Pavlov’s dog. Sure enough, out came the executive chef from the kitchen, with this beautiful piece of meat, who then promptly carved it up into 4 thick and juicy slices and set it in front of me. Each of those slices are around 4 ounces, so this plate is really enough for 2 people, but being the carnivore I am, I decided to take it on myself. If it weren’t for the plethora of other tasty dishes I had that night, then I would have finished it. This meat was absolute heaven. The steak was cooked to perfection which isn’t always easy to do. I’m just going to say it. This steak was the best I’ve ever had.
To end the night we decided to go with a slice of the house cheesecake. To my dismay I failed in my duties to take a picture, but just know that it was cheesecake, and it was damn good.
That sums it up folks. One of the best dinners of my life. One of the best experiences of my life. This is fine dining at its best. If you are like me and don’t get out to places like this, then you know that if and when you do, it usually for an anniversary, first date, high school dance, or wedding rehearsal. You want these moments to be special. It is not all about the food, although Z Chop Haus has you covered. It is about the entire experience, from the moment you walk in the door, until the moment you leave. Z Chop Haus won’t let you down. You will be transformed in those few hours you spend there to royalty.