The Summit Smokehouse Gets a Fresh New Look

Northstar California’s mountaintop culinary experience is transformed after the ski-in, ski-out Summit Smokehouse was renovated physically and conceptually.

Improvements include perfecting the science of slow-cooked meats, taking a stance on environmental standards and serving up a menu you wouldn’t expect at a typical ski lodge.

Immediately noticeable, the indoor seating has increased by nearly 50 percent with a new flare. The dining space features a communal table, poised for shared meals, surrounded by classic family eating spaces and fixtures inspired by the Sierra. The design details left no stone unturned and thought of everything a skier or snowboarder would need to enjoy a meal, including coat and helmet racks placed throughout the restaurant and on chair-backs for ease. On the walls, a regional chalk artist crafted custom murals depicting mountain scenes and honoring BBQ cuisine.

The Summit Smokehouse is leading the way in waste diversion, minimizing the impact on our beautiful Lake Tahoe environment.

Behind the scenes the Summit Smokehouse is leading the way in waste diversion, minimizing the impact on our beautiful Lake Tahoe environment. By introducing reusable drinkware, on top of continuing to use reusable plates and silverware, the restaurant will cut down on significant tableware waste. The kitchen is also expanding post-consumer composting efforts, the food leftover after a meal is finished, to continue reducing the impact to landfills. Finally, the Summit Smokehouse will be the first Vail Resorts location to not offer plastic bottles, with the exception of water.

In the middle of all the upgrades, some things never change. The Summit Smokehouse remains a mountaintop mixer where Tahoe locals and travelers can rub elbows and celebrate good times at 8,610 feet elevation. It continues to be a place with great food, this time serving smoked macaroni and cheese, pork belly small plates and a fried green tomato that will win the table over. Not to mention the BBQ platters, smoked low and slow for 12-14 hours, with perfectly paired savory, sweet and spicy sauces.

It’s the perfect spot to wait for the Backside to open, have a Bloody Mary or soak up the views from an Adirondack chair outside. With the sweet sounds of country rock and bluegrass, a game of corn hole or dominoes at the picnic table was never more inviting.

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