My wife and I visited Waterville Valley a couple weeks ago and found ourselves not wanting to drive far to seek out good chow. I'm very glad we stayed on 'campus' and ate at Coyote Grill. I remember eating in Waterville Valley when I was little and enjoying the generic resort food that most 10 year olds probably enjoy. I would have been happy with even a decent meal but we ended up with a truly wonderful experience.
For one, they are making good efforts to source locally and that's immediately evident on the plate. The salads and herb garnishes pop with flavor and while dressings were pretty full flavored, the greens definitely came through. I appreciate when vegetable dishes are that well prepared when eating out in such a hot time of year (we also had tennis class and hiking the next morning and wanted to lighten it up a bit). We shared the venison chop sourced from a nearby farm and cooked perfectly. I don't mean the dish was merely tasty, I mean it looked like the creation of a Michelin starred chef armed with a sou vide machine and a 1500 degree broiler. The chops were cooked exactly medium rare with a gorgeous char that made the bones even better for nibbling at the end. The mashed potatoes were far lighter than I expected and made for a nicely balanced but lighter 'steak and potatoes' plate.
It's possible that the dishes are always this balanced but if the chef has deliberately lightened up the food for the summer, he's done it brilliantly. The bar service is also very good. We shared a Chopin martini served in a mini shaker with a nicely chilled glass and better than necessary olives.
Looking forward to going back in the fall when the trees should be prettier and it's unlikely to be over 95 degrees. : )
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