The Phoenix and Dragon
After operating as a pop-up inside Jackson Whole Grocer for almost a year, husband-and-wife owner/operators Eric and Zarina Sakai, who have lived in the valley since 2010, wanted more space and a bigger kitchen. So, like many aspiring small businesses, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. Their campaign was to help fund a remodel of a former restaurant space at 140 N. Glenwood. The couple raised almost double their goal and The Phoenix and the Dragon opened January 9.
The Phoenix and the Dragon serves food inspired by what husband-and-wife owner/operators Eric and Zarina Sakai each grew up eating. Eric, a chef, has a Chinese mom and a Japanese dad and grew up in Oregon. Zarina is 100 percent Filipino but grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. “Our menu is a mash up of our Asian cultures,” they say. Expect beef Pho, several varieties of handmade dumplings, dan dan noodles, and (a favorite from their pop-up), Sichuan spicy lamb and rice. When asked which one of them was the phoenix and which one the dragon, Zarina says, “Depends on the day! We all have a little phoenix and a little dragon in us. There’s a strong belief in both our cultures that there is a balance to everything, like yin and yang. The phoenix typically represents a cooling, soothing energy and the dragon represents a fire element. Each is essential.
145 N. Glenwood St.
Open daily from TK – TK
Comfort food rules at the new lunch and après spot in the tram building at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The Backcountry Burger is topped with cream cheese and roasted chilis. The Korean beef bowl—steamed rice topped with roasted Brussels sprouts, kimchi, kale, and beef—proves comfort food crosses international boundaries. You can get sweet potato fries topped with bacon aioli and green chili, or a cup of the green chili, which is hearty and decidedly not vegetarian. Sure to become a local favorite is the fried chicken, which is brined in pickle juice and buttermilk, and available on several different sandwiches or as a plate.
RPK3’s specialty cocktail menu is short, but that’s just fine since it includes the best adult spiced hot chocolate we’ve ever had, Fireball spiked cocoa topped with cayenne and whipped cream. If Fireball isn’t your thing, honor local Betty Woolsey and try the Woolsey Woods, scotch and mescal with pine-infused syrup and pineapple. Betty was an early settler to the valley who was an avid skier and competed in the 1936 Olympics, she also founded Trail Creek Ranch at the base of Teton Pass. Oh, and did we mention that all the cocktails are only $10?
In the tram building, on the mountain side
Open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dustin Rasnick has been one of the valley’s best itamae (sushi chefs) for years at Sudachi on the West Bank. But, “there is so much more to Japanese cuisine,” he says. Rasnick, wife Liz (front-of-the-house manager), Jonathan Cohen (head chef), and
ShopCo (the owners of Aspens Market and Pearl Street Market), aim to show you how much more there is to Japanese cuisine at SUDA, which opened in downtown Jackson in late January. SUDA is inspired by izakaya, a type of Japanese restaurant that focuses on simple, good food and often has shared plates … but no sushi. Instead, look for things like kushiyaki, marinated chicken, beef, and vegetables on skewers, and katsu samos, traditional Japanese sandwiches on crustless white bread and stuffed with meat that is somewhere in between a schnitzel and a hamburger. “For us, katsu sandos is a take on hamburgers, being as we are in America,” Dustin says.
In what is sure to be a first for the valley, SUDA serves yakiniku, also known as Japanese barbeque. Order yakiniku and you’ll find a small grill brought to your table so that you can grill your choice of beef and vegetables. While the beef on grills is from Wyoming (either Carter Country Beef, which is based near Tensleep, or locally raised Lockhart Beef), the charcoal in the grills comes all the way from Japan. SUDA imports binchotan, a type of white charcoal made from oak and used in Japanese cooking since the 17th century, directly from Japan. “This is something we will spare no expense on. [Binchotan] has a distinct flavor you can taste,” Dustin says. “But not any ‘bad’ flavors, like those that come from gas or woods that impart their flavors on the ingredient being cooked.”
140 N. Cache
Open Monday through Saturday for dinner in the winter and, in summer, lunch and dinner
Persephone (In The Aspens)
Locals have long dreamed of a second location of Persephone, the popular bakery/café that opened on the Town Square in 2014. This spring, these dreams become a reality when Persephone opens an outpost in the Aspens. It will serve all of your favorite pastries and sweet treats from the downtown location and more. It’ll have “some West Bank specialties as well,” says Ali Cohane, who founded Persephone with her husband Kevin, a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. Inside, “it will still be a mix of rustic meets modern much like [the original] Persephone, but with more of a French cafe vibe,” Cohane says. We can’t wait!
3445 N. Pines Way # 102, Wilson
Open daily, hours TBD
Everest Momo Shack
As of January 9, locals’ favorite Everest Momo Shack finally has its own space in Jackson. The restaurant first opened by sharing space with Down on Glenwood (D.O.G., a walk-up take-away spot known for town’s burliest breakfast burritos). Eventually it got its own space, but in Teton Valley. But now Sange Sherpa and his wife Rita are back in Jackson, serving Nepali food, Thai dishes, and salads. Sange calls the menu “international cuisine” and says everything on it comes from Rita’s recipes. Rita’s brother Dawa that is the chef; Rita is the manager. We are lucky this one is across the street from our office, lunch meeting anyone?
245 W. Pearl Ave.
Open Monday – Saturday, lunch from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 – 9 p.m.
Roadhouse Brewing Company Pub & Eatery
The new Pub & Eatery opened on the Town Square by Roadhouse Brewing Company has regular chicken wings on its menu. But there’s also fried duck wings with plum sauce and spicy mustard. There is a flatbread topped with pomodoro and mozzarella and another topped with prosciutto and apples. And then there’s a Bahn Mi flatbread, which is exactly what it sounds like—a Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwich (crispy pork, hoisin, slaw, and pickled veggies), but served pizza style, and with white cheddar cheese. Tacos? Of course, and served on fresh, house-made tortillas. A partnership between Gavin Fine (a restaurateur; this is his ninth restaurant) and Colby Cox (a home brewer), Roadhouse takes its food as seriously as its beer. And it takes its beer seriously; it has 60 beers on tap, including many from other area breweries.
Behind glass walls running the length of Roadhouse Brewing Company’s dining room are eight five-barrel fermenters. “This brewing system isn’t just for show, it’s going to let us try more recipes and more styles,” Roadhouse co-founder Colby Cox told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “You’ll still see nice, big Belgians, and big, hoppy IPAs, but also lots of interesting new recipes. We’re looking forward to lesser-known beer styles from around the world, and even beers from ancient recipes.” While Roadhouse will be using the brewing system in the Pub & Eatery to make session beers, its flagship brews will continue to be produced in a bigger facility in West Jackson.
20 E. Broadway
Open daily 11:30 a.m. – midnight
Stillwest Brewery & Grill
Stillwest opened earlier this winter, and it’s great. But it’s going to be amazing in summer. This brewery and grill is right at the base of Snow King Mountain, aka the “Town Hill,” and has what might be town’s nicest deck. Until the deck opens, Stillwest’s rustic/contemporary interior is a cozy setting for a wide ranging menu that includes a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich, braised pork shank cassoulet, chicken marsala, Wagyu flank steak, and, during Sunday brunch, Southern eggs Benedict, Dixie waffles, biscuits and gravy, and a smoked bison sausage bowl. And then there’s the beer: year-round Stillwest pours its flagship brews—Kolsch, Malty Red Ale, American Pale, Pilsner, and Baltic Porter. The brewery also does seasonal beers.
45 E. Snow King Ave.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays – Sundays 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.