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FEED ME!: Ascent Lounge: Love at first bite
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – I have a bit of a love affair with Four Seasons in Jackson Hole. The hotel’s Ascent Lounge is awesome. Called the Lobby Lounge until a couple of weeks ago — nothing but the name has changed, really — Ascent Lounge is Teton Village’s best après-ski option when you’ve: 1) outgrown the Mangy Moose; 2) aren’t hardcore enough for the Village Cafe scene; or 3) want to feel like you’re the most important person in the world. (Four Seasons service is that good.)
Of course, in terms of value, Ascent Lounge can’t compete with the Village Cafe, where you can get a slice of deliciously greasy pizza for $4. Après-ski food at Ascent Lounge, unless you catch a sushi special, averages about $20 per roll, sandwich or salad.
If you catch a sushi special, you’ve hit upon one of the valley’s greatest bargains. In the past the restaurant has done a sushi special of two rolls and two glasses of wine for $22, the usual cost of one signature roll.
Four Seasons hasn’t announced this season’s sushi specials, but keep your eyes open. They do advertise them. They only run from now until the week before Christmas. They often return in the spring.
Also, in addition to possible sushi specials over the next couple of weeks, look for hotel-wide specials. This coming weekend is the property’s 10th anniversary and they’re doing “10 for 10” to celebrate. Ten days of specials to celebrate ten years here.
General Manager David Bernand wouldn’t divulge details, but says that specials will include not only Ascent Lounge, but also The Handle Bar and Westbank Grill. There might even be some sort of pool party open to the public with poolside s’mores served. This last option is really awesome as the hotel pool is usually reserved for its guests.
Back to Ascent Lounge. Imagine the world’s cushiest down pillow. Now wrap it in the world’s smoothest velvet. That’s Ascent’s Snake River Wrangler roll. It is the perfect blend of textures. The velvet is Wagyu beef, the down is tempura king crab and the extras are avocado, watercress, and ponzu.
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I challenge you to not moan as you take your first bite.
If you would rather your raw fish has some kick, look no further than Ascent’s salmon ceviche. Salmon, sweet shrimp, poblano peppers, avocado, jicama, and coriander lime dressing are not the most obvious after ski combination, but once you have them you will wonder what took you so long.
If you are looking to fully refuel, Ascent Lounge has “real” food under the “West Face” section of its menu. Sushi and other Asian-inspired fare is the “East Face.”
Buffalo cheesesteak spring rolls and grilled bruschetta topped with braised lamb and fontina cheese are my West Face favorites. And then of course there is Ascent’s bison burger: a focaccia bun, white cheddar cheese arugula, garlic, Parmesan aioli, and bacon onion jam. That’s right. Bacon onion jam.
I guess I should have lead with that. Screw the sushi.
Open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Inside Four Seasons in Jackson Hole. Reservations not needed. http://fourseasons.com/jacksonhole