A savory lineup
June 11, 2010
Often imitated, never duplicated. That may be the fate that befalls Park City’s summer kickoff celebration, Savor the Summit. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Event co-director Christie Dilloway was perusing Google listings under the event name when she came across a suspiciously similar event in Florida. She doesn’t mind – after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Savor the Summit was launched three years ago by the Park City Area Restaurant Association (PCARA) as a way to commence the summer tourism season and generate extra revenues for local eateries.
The main attraction of the event, The Grande Table – described as Park City’s longest dinner party – is an al fresco dining area that stretches from the bottom of Main Street to the top. Participating restaurants each set up a section of a continuous table that seats more than 1,000 people.
The event was inspired by the popular Taste of Park City events in the 80s. "We took that idea and resurrected it to meet the needs of [what Park City is like today]," Dilloway explains.
The third annual Savor the Summit event is scheduled for Saturday, June 19. Main Street will be closed to traffic for the afternoon and festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and continue into the night.
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Dilloway says about 30 restaurants are slated to participate, including a couple catering services. The Grande Table will extend the length of Main Street from The Mustang to Wasatch Brew Pub. She expects seating to sell out and diners to hit the 1,500 mark.
"We’re just really proud to bring this event back to Park City for the third year," she says. "Every year it gets bigger. More locals come, we get more national attention, and we attract more overnight visitors."
Savor the Summit started in June 2008 as a collaborative effort with the Park City Jazz Foundation. For the past two years, it has been designed as a two-day event with The Grande Table scheduled on Friday evenings.
This year, the event has been consolidated into one evening and will take place on a Saturday. The start time is earlier to provide ample time for shopping, a special mid-month gallery stroll, and pre-event receptions at select restaurants. Park City Municipal Corp. has agreed to provide free no-limit parking in the China Bridge lots located on Swede Alley.
Since the Park City Jazz Foundation is currently dealing with financial challenges, PCARA has programmed the live music for the duration of the event. Musicians will be stationed at least seven locations along the street. The main stage will be located across from the Post Office and the headlining act, soul/jazz/funk band Fat Soul, will play at 8 p.m.
Another new addition to this year’s event is a Spirits Garden that will be set up adjacent to the main stage. The garden will open at 4 p.m. and offer Wasatch and Squatter’s beers, wine, cocktails and small plates.
Those who do not have reservations at The Grande Table are encouraged to come enjoy libations and live music throughout the evening. "We’d love to see the street full, besides people who are eating at the table," Dilloway says.
Those who do want do dine at the table must make reservations through the restaurant of their choice. Each restaurant sets its own menu and price. Participating restaurants and contact information are listed on the event website, http://www.savorthesummit.com . Dinner will begin at 6 p.m.
Dilloway notes that Savor the Summit is not a fundraiser; it is a revenue-generating event for participating restaurants. For some establishments, the event is one of the highest revenue nights outside of the winter season.
Carly Axtell, a sous chef at Café Terigo, has participated in the event for the past two years and is gearing up for the third. Café Terigo will serve a special five-course meal to 40 people seated in its section of The Grande Table. "It’s really, really fun, she says. "We love doing it and it’s a great event for Park City."
The PCARA is looking forward to a successful event to celebrate what will be one of the longest days of the year (the summer solstice falls on June 21). Organizers also hope to hold to similar event this fall. For more information about Savor the Summit, visit http://www.savorthesummit.com or find the event on Facebook.
Bandits Grill & Bar Flanagan’s Talisker High West Zoom Blue Iguana Jean Louis Purple Sage Cafe Terigo Ciseros Easy Street Brasserie The Mustang The Riverhorse The Bridge 350 Main Shabu Royal Street Wasatch Brew Pub Yuki Arashi Bangkok Thai Wahso Chimayo The Egyptian Theatre catered by Kumbayah Kitchens Cuisine Unlimted (caterer) Bistro 412