Saddle Peak Lodge
By Isabella Breda
For years, Saddle Peak Lodge has been known for providing guests with an entirely unique dining experience. With Chef Adam Horton’s exquisite menu of exotic wild game guests can take a trip through history. And now, the restaurant offers an extensive collection of rare and vintage whiskeys at the new Double Barrel room, where guests can relax amidst the soft glow of antique crystal chandeliers, a cozy wood fireplace and warm staff.
From its beginnings as a welcoming rest-stop for weary travelers on the rugged mountain trails, to its later incarnations as a hunter’s lodge, Pony Express stop, summer resort and roadhouse for nearby Warner Brothers Ranch, Saddle Peak Lodge’s long history of romance and tasteful dining has enchanted everyone from cowboys and hunters, to today’s local families. With the comforting heat of the stone fireplace, you’ll feel less like you’re in a fine dining restaurant than an intimate, beautifully-appointed living room.
But don’t let the unpretentious design fool you — the dining experience at Saddle Peak is anything but plain. Chef Horton’s ingenuity and working under culinary master Gordon Ramsey has allowed him to craft a menu true to Saddle Peak’s long-standing tradition of serving wild game while infusing the dishes with an artistic take on new flavors.
Owner Deep Sethi says he gives Horton free reign to get creative in designing the menu. “I tell him he should be fearless in what he wants to do,” Sethi said. “I will never question it.”
His exotic dishes vary seasonally, with a consistent emphasis on wild game. For a unique experience, Horton recommends trying the Chef’s Tasting Menu which allows him the freedom to experiment with ingredients and techniques that are “a little bolder”. Not only are the dishes served at Saddle Peak exceptional, but their ingredient sourcing is specifically curated to meet their high standards. Thus, Saddle Peak’s delicacies are unique in their sourcing. Horton says he feels lucky to work as a chef at a restaurant that has “30-year relationships with [their] game purveyors”, making rare products easily accessible to Saddle Peak Lodge. Moreover, Horton explains that Saddle Peak has a ‘produce first’ philosophy.
“We never look to build a ‘filet mignon dish,’” he said, “Instead, we build a dish around the vegetables available to us, then decide filet would be a great addition to those ingredients.”
Saddle Peak Lodge was acquired by Sethi in 2016, a veteran in the restaurant industry with 33 years of owning his own restaurants, including Bombay Palace and Nirvana in Beverly Hills. Like many others he was, “drawn to the history of the restaurant.” Since his takeover, he has worked to maintain the charm and history of Saddle Peak Lodge while making improvements such as the Double Barrel Room. Now, diners can make their way upstairs to the cozy, attic-like, whiskey bar hideaway, the Double Barrel Room after dinner. There you can enjoy a personalized experience with host Jeffery Baker, an expert in fine whiskey.
This room bears a selection of hundreds of cherry-picked new, vintage and rare whiskeys. Imbibers are asked to purchase a bottle in full and leave it in one of their designated lockers for future consumption. This serves not only as a unique opportunity for connoisseurs to indulge in some of the finest whiskeys on (and off) the market but, invites you to become a part of Saddle Peak’s ever-evolving history. MM