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Grilled eye of rib steak is one of the many kosher dishes on the menu for Bistro at Canyons. COURTESY OF CANYONS RESORT Rabbi Mendel Wilmovsky washes produce in the kitchen of Bistro at Canyons. COURTESY OF CANYONS RESORT

Keeping kosher on the slopes First kosher restaurant at a ski resort opens in Park City BISTRO TANTALIZES THE PALATE

By Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin For The Spectrum & Daily News

As the sun sets on a Friday evening, a Jewish congregation gathers together in an Orthodox synagogue to worship. A rabbi leads them through prayer, then leads them next door to eat a sabbath meal cleansed and blessed by the rabbi and prepared under his direction to meet kosher standards going all the way back to the Old Testament. No cell phones, tablets, laptops or any other electronic devices are allowed. As everyone eats and welcomes the sabbath, they bond together and renew their ties to their faith. It all happens at a Park City ski resort. “We’re not just serving a dinner, we’re serving a religious experience,� says Ryan Skowron, manager of Bistro at Canyons Resort in Park City, which opened in December 2011, as the only kosher restaurant in America located at a ski resort. Although Skowron, has managed other restaurants before, as someone not of the faith, “One thing I enjoy is that I’m learning something new every day in this job.� For one thing, “I don’t have a key to the front door,� he says. “There is not a minute that we’re in the building that the rabbi is not here.� Since the rabbi is ultimately responsible for the food, he opens and closes the restaurant. Rabbi Yosef Kirszenberg and Rabbi Mendel Wilmovsky hold the keys to Bistro, both literally and figuratively. Wilmovsky, who goes by “Rabbi Mendy� and wears a yamulke with the Canyons

Bistro at Canyons recently opened in Park City as the first kosher restaurant in America located at a ski resort. COURTESY OF CANYONS RESORT

IF YOU GO

BISTRO AT CANYONS

Âť WHERE: Silverado Lodge in the heart of Canyons Resort Village, Park City. Âť CUISINE: American kosher bistro. Âť FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 855-444KOSHER or log onto www.canyonsresort.com.

logo on it, hails from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, known for being home to Chabad Lubavitch, a Chasidic movement of Orthodox Judaism. When he told friends and family he was

going to Utah to work at a kosher restaurant at a ski resort, “They were shocked,� he says with a laugh. “I didn’t know what to expect, but so far, things have been great.� Wilmovsky typically works 10 to 12 hours per day at duties in both the restaurant and at the shul located next door, where he conducts the sabbath service on Friday and also daily prayer services. In Bistro, he makes sure food and wine is coming from kosher suppliers, washes See BISTRO, Page D4

Those not familiar with kosher dining might have visions of traditional dishes such as chicken soup with matzo balls, or believe it might limit their options, such as no bacon or mayonnaise on your burger. Bistro at Canyons proves that kosher cooking can result in fine dining and gourmet dishes and is only limited by your imagination. Even those who don’t know a yam from a yamulke can enjoy dishes prepared following the Jewish tradition. The restaurant identifies it’s menu as “New American Kosher Bistro,� and every word of it is true. The appetizers menu includes the modern dish of sliders served with house-made pickles and tomato jam. Another popular starter is franks in a blanket, served with Sriracha ketchup and apple cider mustard. A variety of soups are available, and those who can’t decide can get a soup sampling that includes tastes of smoked cauliflower, roasted tomato and white bean and vegetable bean chili. Main course offerings range from modern gourmet (beef cheek gnocchi or veal and beef Bolognese over fettuccine) to American (rib-eye steak or prime steak burger with fries) to East Coast classics (pastrami on rye with slaw). The dessert menu is highlighted by a flour-less chocolate souffle and a panna cotta made with coconut milk in order to meet the restrictions of mixing meat and dairy in a meal. There is even a selection of kosher wines. Bistro shows that a kosher menu can offer everything from traditional comfort foods to new food combinations that tantalize the palate. — Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin

Grandma’s slumber party builds bonds A

few weeks ago, I agreed under duress to watch two of my young grandsons overnight. By “duress� I mean that I’d announced several times to my far flung posterity that my longterm babysitting days were over — unless the children were old enough to be left on their own for at least 10 minutes. This particular son was hard to deflect and he really wanted to give his wife a kid-free celebration of their anniversary. I could tell because he used all the effective Grandma-convincing tools at his disposal: “We haven’t been alone for two years. We only trust family members. We never see you (they live 500 miles away). We need to talk more.�

Corrie Lynne Player Heaven Help Us

Then the clincher: “The boys are so excited to spend time with you.� My son promised they’d help us get dinner into the boys and settle them into our hotel room — and they’d pick them up before lunch time the next day. They forgot to point out that the 3-year-old wasn’t completely potty trained. I’d never spent more than a half hour with either child without their parents but I’d

observed how much energy the two required. Just watching them in action made me tired, and I didn’t relish expending the effort to keep them from climbing out windows, crawling under tables, wrestling each other or testing how much weight curtain rods could hold. Most of my misgivings didn’t come to pass, however. I dusted off my little kid managing skills, which I coupled with clear statements such as: “No screaming or fighting. Listen and obey the first time. Put toys away when you’re through with them. Etc.� I forestalled some mayhem by insisting the boys chase each other on all fours, rather than upright. Gary took them down to the beach for about two hours

as soon as they woke up. They returned tired and covered with sand. We brushed them off, washed their hands and faces, and changed their clothes — then took them to the breakfast buffet. Before we left the room, I looked each of them in the eye and said, “We’re going to eat in a nice restaurant and we’re going to use our best manners, right?� “Right,� they chorused. I gave them the choice of holding my hand or Grandpa’s. They both chose Grandpa because “he lets us swing from his arm,� which they did until we arrived in the lobby. Then I told them to stand up straight and walk like gentlemen. Gary shepherded the 8-year-

old and I took charge of the 3year-old. They both spread their napkins on their laps and used their forks. The 3-yearold even asked me to cut up his bacon. I had to help him with the goblet of orange juice — I don’t think he’d ever drunk out of one before. No kid cups in this fancy place! As much as I enjoyed myself, I was more than ready when my son and his wife returned and took over. The boys declared they’d had a great time then reverted to their usual wild, demanding behavior. I did notice, though, that the 3-year-old stopped in mid-rampage when I asked, “Do you need a Time Out Ten?� I’ll tell you more next week.

RACHEL BARNEY • SPECIALTY PUBLICATIONS EDITOR • 674-6248 • RBARNEY@THESPECTRUM.COM

 

    

    

             

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Kosher Bistro at the Canyons