Marketplace: Rime Raw Bar serves mid-mountain seafood fare near Deer Valley slopes
February 19, 2019
Since moving to Park City 10 years ago, Matthew Harris has had intermittent cravings for fresh seafood. He satisfied his appetite by starting a restaurant and filling the menu with natural ingredients, including fish, but the idea of launching a bar that served raw oysters and other seafood persisted.
So, on Dec. 20, he opened Rime Raw Bar.
The restaurant is located inside the Deer Crest Cabin at the top of the Jordanelle Gondola at Deer Valley Resort. It serves fare such as oysters, shrimp cocktails, lobster rolls and chopped ahi tartare at the ski-in, ski-out location. The restaurant is open to the public.
"It's the food that we like to eat," Harris said.
Harris, who is also the owner and executive chef of the Main Street restaurant Tupelo, said he wanted to open a unique restaurant, and he figured a seafood bar on the mountain fit the criteria. He and Maggie Alvarez, his wife and business partner, secured the location last winter and spent the last year creating a menu and a brand.
As someone who thrives in the kitchen, Harris enjoyed the challenge of testing out different recipes to construct his ideal menu. Finding a supplier for the ingredients was simple, since he already had relationships with seafood providers for Tupelo. The hard part was bringing the food and the restaurant's vision together to create something that stood out.
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Harris, who is from Georgia, has helped open nine restaurants from New York to Atlanta to San Francisco, and he said the process has become easier over time.
Harris and Alvarez arrived in Park City 10 years ago so he could be a chef at the J&G Grill at the St. Regis Deer Valley. Then, there was an opening on Main Street and Harris took the opportunity to start his own restaurant. He opened Tupelo in 2015 and, soon after, he began looking into opening another restaurant. He was glad to find an opening at Deer Valley.
Rime's menu is inspired by recipes popular in New England and Coastal European cities. Harris said he and his wife learned about New England fare while living and working in restaurants in Boston and Nantucket for a few years.
After all his years in the industry, he still finds joy in serving guests and receiving positive feedback. At Rime, he said providing quality food and a quality brand is what he is after.
"We really strive to bring that flavor and freshness that you can get in New England, or wherever you are close to the ocean," he said.
He said owning a restaurant also makes him feel like he is part of a community. Opening another establishment in Deer Valley allows him to be even more involved in the Park City community and interact with a larger pool of guests, he said.
"The reception of Rime has been fantastic," he said. "It's very satisfying and gratifying, because we kind of did fill a niche."
The space was previously used as an office and sales room to sell real estate in Deer Crest and around Deer Valley. Now, skiers can come in to "grab a dozen oysters or a glass of champagne," Harris said.
"I think it's something that people are like 'Wow, this is different,'" he said.
The restaurant is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is set to close at the end of the ski season and reopen in the winter. Harris said he hopes to use the space to host events during the summertime. And if he has any other ideas for unique restaurants in the future, he said he will likely chase after them.
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