Snake River Grill on the Town Square

This is a terrific restaurant in Jackson Hole that I highly recommend for both its great wine list and the brilliant cooking of Chef Jeff Drew. The ambience is right out of the Wild West, and the food is as good as anywhere in the country. The service, overseen by owner and maitre ‘d August Spier, is impeccable. It is a superb spot for hedonistic and enjoyable dining. The food included a steak tartare pizza that was to die for as well as the best onion rings I have ever had. I also enjoyed the Parmesan truffled shoestring potatoes, the sensational crispy pork shank, and the horseradish crusted halibut.

As for the wines, we began with a tasty, pleasant non-vintage Veuve Clicquot, followed by four Châteauneuf du Papes. One of my favorite Châteauneufs, the 2000 Vieilles Julienne Réserve, was corked. But that was easily forgotten by the rich, fruity, full-bodied 2003 Chapoutier Barbe Rac, the tannic, backward, inky/purple, Mourvèdre and Syrah-dominated 2000 Clos du Caillou Réserve, and the piece de résistance, the monumental 2003 Pégaü Cuvée da Capo. The latter wine was a blockbuster in terms of texture, richness, complexity, and pure intellectual and hedonistic enjoyment. We finished with a brilliant Syrah from Sine Qua Non, the 1998 E-Raised Syrah, which was just beginning to strut its stuff. Inky/ruby/purple with notes of tar, blackberries, white chocolate, and mocha, it is a rich, powerful as well as impeccably well-balanced red. This was a superb night of food, wine, and great ambience in one of the most distinctive restaurants in the United States.

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