Park City offers a glimpse of culinary variety during Savor the Summit
June 17, 2014
If you set up a mile-long dining table in the middle of Historic Main Street and have nearly 30 restaurants from the Park City Area Restaurant Association serve hundreds of people on a Saturday night, you’ve got the basics for Savor the Summit.
This year, Park City’s largest dinner party will take place on June 21, said Ginger Ries, executive director of the Park City Area Restaurant Association
"It always comes up so fast and we’re excited to be celebrating our seventh year," Ries told The Park Record. "Can you believe it?"
Savor the Summit is one of the many events planned by the Park City Area Restaurant Association, which was established in the early 1970s, Ries said.
"It was created with an idea of giving the restaurants a forum to share what is working in their structures or business models with their neighbors," she explained. "It is also a way to give menu suggestions and other tips, and just come together as a group to brainstorm, share experiences and make sure all of us are collectively are presenting a good culinary message about Park City out there so people will come back."
The reason events such as Savor the Summit work well is that the restaurants support each other in Park City, according to Ries.
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"While there are some restaurants that can’t participate in the event because they are located too far from Main Street, they still support the culinary community, and that benefits all the restaurants," she said. "I think it’s great to have that camaraderie among restaurateurs, so they can see the big picture.
This year, more than 25 restaurants will be involved. (See accompanying list titled "Restaurants participating in Savor the Summit 2014").
"We’re excited to have St. Regis among the restaurants, because this is the first time they have been able to participate," Ries said. "They will be preparing their dishes from the 350 Main restaurant location.
"This speaks to the support and camaraderie that we talked about earlier," she said. "It’s my understanding that 350 Main has extra kitchen space, so it’s great that a neighboring restaurant has allowed St. Regis in."
Not only has Savor the Summit expanded with its restaurant list over the past few years, but more people are also enjoying the food.
"Each year, we serve more folks on the street and the event just continues to grow in popularity," Ries said. "We feel the event structure is good and the success of the event speaks to that.
"Our main focus is the showcase the culinary options Park City offers in a fun and celebratory fashion," she said.
Another aspect of Savor the Summit is that it gives a good overview of what types of food, beverages and price range these restaurants offer, Ries said.
"There is something for everyone to come out and enjoy the event, regardless of their tastes or budgets," she explained.
Ries also believes Savor the Summit has allowed participating restaurants to step into the spotlight.
"The restaurants are doing amazing things, not just with their culinary talents, but also how they have creatively set up their tables in the street," she said. "I think this is a great showcase of the spirit of our community."
To add some ambiance, live musicians will perform unamplified music at different locations on the street, Ries said.
"These will be what we call pocket performances," she said. "And the music will be enjoyed by the diners, and the other people who are visiting Main Street during the event. We have found that folks who aren’t dining still come up and enjoy looking at the table settings."
Mountain Town Music, as it has in the past, organized Savor the Summit’s main-stage entertainment at the Spirit Garden, which will be located in front of the Kimball Art Center.
The music there will begin at 5:30 p.m.
"The Spirit Garden will offer both mixed and nonalcoholic drinks for adults and kids," Ries said. "We will put wristbands on those who are 21 and older."
One of the biggest misconceptions about Savor the Summit is that diners have to buy a ticket in order to enjoy meals on the Main Street table.
"That’s not the case," Ries said. "All you have to do is make a reservation through a participating restaurant. [You will have to pay for the meal].
"I do encourage folks who haven’t made a reservation to do so as soon as they can, because these slots do go quickly," she said.
If a Savor the Summit slot is sold out, it doesn’t mean the restaurant has stopped serving dinner.
"There are no more dining opportunities available inside the individual restaurants, because they will still be open," Ries said.
During the past few months, Ries and the Park City Area Restaurant Association have received a number of calls from different communities around the country asking about Savor the Summit.
"Some of these people have read about our event or heard about it from people who have experienced it," Ries said. "I think people are taking note about what we are doing and I think their communities in different areas in the nation want to duplicate what we are doing. So, I’ve shared my insight about what we have gone through in the planning process and why it works so well for our community."
Ries said she can’t imagine Park City without Savor the Summit.
"It’s a great celebration kickoff of the summer season for the Park City community," she said. "It’s our benchmark event and we’re happy to be part of that kickoff."
The Park City Area Restaurant Association will present its annual Savor the Summit on Saturday, June 21, beginning at 6 p.m. The event, which features 28 restaurants will feature a mile-long dining table set up in the middle of Historic Main Street. Live music will be provided by the Changing Lanes Experience and the Patwa Reggae Band. Reservations can be made by calling individual restaurants. A list is posted on http://www.savorthesummit.com.
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