Last Updated on November 9, 2023
When I think of dining out in a ski resort town, my mind drifts to burgers, pizza, chili, and hearty comfort fare.
After a visit to FIGS restaurant in Jackson Hole, I’ll be dreaming of creamy, garlicky hummus and smoky eggplant after a day on the slopes. This Mediterranean tapas-stye venue located inside family-owned luxury Hotel Jackson has moved to the top of my list of favorite restaurants in Jackson Hole.
A Breakdown Sparks a Family Enterprise
In 1977, a young Boeing engineer from Seattle was heading for Yellowstone when his Volkswagen Westfalia broke down in Jackson, WY. Little did Jim Darwiche know that this unplanned road trip pit stop would change the course of his life.
Waiting for his van to be repaired in the foothills of the Grand Tetons, he fell in love with the small mountain town and the people who lived there.
Darwiche returned to his home in Seattle, but was so smitten that he ultimately left his successful career and returned to Jackson with his wife to follow his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
Over the past four decades, Darwiche realized his vision, operating a successful Mexican restaurant, BBQ place, several retail stores, and commercial developments. He started the Jackson Hole Farmers Market in 2001 in an effort to bring the community together around food and provide a place for small businesses to get their feet wet. It’s now the oldest farmers market in Wyoming.
The luxury boutique Hotel Jackson opened in 2015 and joined his collection of successful ventures.
A Taste of Lebanese Hospitality at FIGS
Darwiche was born in Southern Lebanon and came to the United States to study engineering. Hospitality is deeply rooted in Lebanese culture, so for Darwiche, making people feel welcome and entertaining them with food came naturally. When thinking of a restaurant for Hotel Jackson, a Lebanese-inspired venue just made sense.
FIGS Restaurant at Hotel Jackson serves hotel guests and visitors a vast array of “shareable mezze,” or small plates that are a popular part of Lebanese cuisine.
The menu holds a wide selection of flavors, colors, and textures making for an exciting dining experience. I love not being limited to one entrée, but rather sharing four or five hot and cold small plates paired with a glass of wine.
My husband and I had to try the hummus after learning it’s a Darwiche family recipe. I think the olive oil imported from Lebanon had something to do with the fluffy, creamy texture with just the right touch of garlic. Paired with puffy pita just out of the oven, the hummus would have made a meal itself.
Then there was the shankleesh, a thick feta spread with cucumber, and an order of warm lamb grape leaves with a hint of cinnamon. Next came the Za’atar fries – crispy and gently seasoned – and the chicken shawarma.
The dishes kept coming like a parade of tasty offerings.
Last, and my favorite, was the grilled eggplant. Planks of smoky eggplant arrived topped with creamy labneh (cheese), tomatoes, olives, and mint. It was such a pleasing tapestry of flavors and textures that we finished every bite.
The FIGS theme and touches from the region are woven creatively throughout the menu like Turkish coffee in the Espresso Martini and a signature fig syrup in the Figs’ Fashioned cocktail.
In addition to a warm welcome from our server and a convivial atmosphere of passing delectable small dishes, the décor in FIGS added to the feeling of hospitality. From flickering candles, flowers on the table, pillows behind me and plush copper and gold fabric seating, the space enveloped me like a warm blanket. If this is what Lebanon is like, I want to go there.
Hotel Jackson Leads the Way in Sustainability
The feeling of rustic elegance extends beyond the restaurant into the hotel’s public spaces with welcoming bowls of fruit on the tables and wildlife paintings by local artist Amy Ringholz on the walls. A quick peek into the rooms revealed luxury with a Western touch. Gas fireplaces, cozy corner nooks, Bulgari bath amenities, and Nespresso machines with cup warmers would make it challenging for me to leave the room.
Beauty is not just skin deep; a look behind the scenes uncovers the hotel’s commitment to sustainability.
Hotel Jackson was the first LEED-certified hotel in the area. An efficient HVAC system that recirculates and filters air, and an almost exclusive use of LED lighting, means the building consumes about 20% of the energy of a typically sized building.
The wood walls that give the rooms such character are made from boards recycled from barns in the region, incorporating 25,000 linear feet of repurposed wood. The carpets are all wool, another sustainable material.
Leather, natural stone, and wood are combined into an elegant, modern motif paying homage to the town’s Western heritage. It’s no surprise Hotel Jackson was named by Architectural Digest as the “Most Beautiful Hotel in Wyoming.”
Exploring Jackson Hole
This 55-room, AAA Four Diamond property lies in the heart of Jackson Hole, just steps away from the famous antler arches of the town square. If you’ve come for skiing or snowboarding, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Snow King Resort are within easy reach. Take advantage of the hotel shuttle to the lifts, and arrange for a visit from Ski Butler, who will come to the hotel and fit you with gear.
Other winter delights include snowmobiling, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, winter horseback riding, and sleigh rides. Yellowstone National Park is one hour away by car, and winter is a magical time to see steamy geysers in a snowy landscape.
Hotel Jackson’s concierge offers curated experiences for guests, including stargazing expeditions, shotgun clay and rifle shooting, wildlife watching, and much more.
If you’d rather explore town on your own, you’ll find dozens of shops, galleries, and restaurants within easy walking distance. Stop by Wyoming Whiskey for a taste or browse Spirits & Spice to sip and savor olive oils, flavored liqueurs, and other culinary treats. Coffee lovers should try the Mexican Mocha at Cowboy Coffee or a Lavender Latte at Persephone Bakery.
Add in Hotel Jackson’s rooftop jacuzzi with views of the slopes, a fitness center, an onsite gym, and warm chocolate chip cookies in the hotel’s library, and my next reservation at FIGS might just include an overnight stay.