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MatthewB

Salt Lake City Restaurants

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The SO & I are beginning to plan a fall trip centered on national & state parks in Utah & some surrounding areas.

Wonderful woman that she is, the SO has suggested that we fly into & out of Salt Lake City and dine there those two nights.

Neither of us have been to Salt Lake City. So . . .

Where should we eat?

(I would prefer recommendations that would be mid to high priced. I.e., no diners, etc. :smile: )

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In another life I'd live in Utah - I adore Salt Lake City - I'm not kidding. A friend of mine - Ted Scheffler - is the restaurant reviewer/food writer there. This is his exhaustive Best of Utah 2003 - looking for the best suckling pig? It's in there.

I decidely did not do high-end dining the two months I spent in SLC last year, but not for lack of choice. For two nights, I'd do the Tree Room at Sundance first, then The Globe Cafe by Moonlight the next.

Your SO's a wonderful and smart woman.

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Hi Matthew:

I live in SLC half time and Moab the other half (in case your park explorations will take in Canyonlands Nat'l Park and Arches Nat'l Park............I'll be happy to give you dining ideas in that area as well, if desired).

For two nights in SLC, I recommend:

1. Metropolitan...........premium dining experience and GREAT foie gras :smile: . 173 W. Broadway

2. The New Yorker.........very consistant, excellant dining. Large local following. The New Yorker is a private club, but you can buy a temporary membership at the door for about $5...........(t has to do with the Draconian Utah liguor laws) 60 Market Street

Both of these places are downtown, where I trust you'll be staying, and within walking distance from all downtown hotels.

There are many very good restaurants at the several ski resorts that surround SLC, such as the Tree Room at Sundance mentioned by loufood, and some very good places in Park City and Deer Valley. lt would require about an hour drive to any of these and I've found that service and quality can be sporatic depending on the season. When all is "clicking" they can be wonderful, though!

I will add one alternate place, also in downtown SLC, in case you wish sushi one of your two nights. The Shogun is drop dead fabulous!! Not much atmosphere but the best sushi...............well, just about anywhere. I've eaten sushi all over the world, and other than a few isolated experiences, I'd rather be at the Shogun eating Chef Takashi's creations! I'm also fortunate that it is less than half a block from my SLC office :biggrin: 321 South Main Street.

If I can be of any further assistance please let me know.

Have a great trip!!

Flocko

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Thanks, Flocko!

Moab is the primary destination behind this trip as the SO wants to visit there again.

Any recommendations in that area will be very welcome, too.

:smile:

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Matthew:

You should not go hungry in Moab. For 25 of the 33 years I've lived in Moab, it was a gastronomic wasteland...........as one would expect for a 6,000 population town in Utah, many miles and hours from the nearest urban center. However the tourist/retirement boom of the late 90's have brought change. The tourists and new residents have brought descriminating palates. Though still not a culinary hot spot cum Aspen or Taos, one can find more than the pizza or burritos of the '70s and '80s.

My first two recommendations would be a tie:

1. The Desert Bistro.............on Center Street. Culinary school trained young chef. Nouveau Southwest fare. Excellent

2. The Center Cafe.............on 100 West. The husband and wife chefs are grads of the California Culinary Institute...........have worked at Napa in Las Vegas and Acqa in San Francisco. Very innovative dishes................and great foie gras :biggrin:

You can't go wrong with either. Both are on a par with any place I've eaten in SLC or Denver.

Another place with a good chef is Buck's Grill House.........about a mile north of town on Hwy 191 toward the Colorado river. The chef founded the Center Cafe about 12 years ago and then sold it to do more of a "grill thing". ........larger, more informal, western food and atmosphere, with some game dishes. I ate there Wednesday night...............had a fabulous duck tamale and a buffalo meatloaf with mashed potatos. They have some elk dishes as well.......and great steaks.

The Sunset Grill, in the same area as Buck's can be a great place, but can be inconsistant. It does have a terrific view, as it's on a cliff overlooking Moab canyon and the Colorado river. If Chef Alex (who used to cook for the US ambassador to Austria) is there it is unbeatable..................but Alex kind of comes and goes. Might be worth a call.

I know you didn't want any budget places, but let me throw in this one: The Branding Iron. It is about 5 miles south of Moab on 191. It has hamburgers to die for.............and the best crispy real, cooked to order, fries..............tons of them. It's a real cowboy joint................oilcloth on the tables......................you can stick around and watch the locals sing karioke. Definitely not the "new Moab"..............nary a Hummer in the lot..............lots of pickups with gunracks. My wife and I had burgers and fries there Friday night......................great................and an $11 check :shock:

Have a blast!

If I can help with any other Moab info please don't hesitate to PM me.

Flocko

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I'll be in Salt Lake City from August 22-27th and Telluride, Co from August 28th- September 5th and would like any restaurant recommendations you might have. All cuisines and price ranges welcome.

Thanks,

Tom

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Whenever I'm back in SLC, I always, always, always go to the Training Table for cheese fries (with fry sauce).

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A few places to consider looking at in the SlC area:

Bambara in the Hotel Monaco - New Executive chef came in June, was executive sous chef at Emeril's in New Orleans. Haven't been yet, but has gotten good reviews in the short time he has been there.

Chef's Table in Orem (about 30 minutes south of SLC, before you reach BYU.) Executive chef/owner was my former boss at where I work now. He has received extremely good reviews for his take on American food . Known to come out of the kitchen and visit with guests. Great view of the mountains also.

Good luck

McKay

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I'm stuck in downtown SLC twice a year on business, and while it's not the total culinary wasteland some people make it out to be, it's damn close - especially on Sunday, when many restaurants close. Here are a few quick recs. of places to keep you out of the hotel coffee shops (which in SLC are generally awful):

The Gastronomy Group ( http://www.gastronomyinc.com/restaurants.html for addresses, menus, hours etc for all these - their site even has a good selection of recipes) runs several reliable downtown restaurants. The New Yorker is the 'place to take clients' expensive steakhouse, and while it's often full you can sit in the cafe section in front and still order off the main menu. Baci Trattoria is quite decent semi-upscale Italian, and they have a few seats at the pizza station so on busy nights you can sit and watch some poor sweaty Utah boy hopelessly in the weeds - great fun. For some reason they seem to keep the Latino pro cooks hidden up the line and torture a local kid by putting him on the pizza oven. Avoid their 'Mexican' Cafe Pierpoint - it's the dud of the lot. Their Market St Grill and Oyster Bar are your 'open on Sunday' options.

For the best Mexican, the place is definitely the downscale Red Iguana (not the so-so Blue Iguana). Not exactly downtown but a short cab ride, or about 40min walk, away. Details and menu here: http://rediguana.citysearch.com/ They don't take reservations, so come early or late or you'll be waiting outside for an hour - which is a problem in the winter. But the food is worth it, I can recommend the moles. Open 10am-11pm, 7 days. Thanks to 'venusv' on Chowhound for turning me on to this place.

A modern Italian option, also a short cab ride, is Trio. Also no reservations, but good value - mains $10 - 18, all wines $24, and a professional operation both front and back of house. The clam apps were so good we ordered a second round, and the server did a great job with a table of bunch of loud drunken business people (us, sadly - but we tipped big time). 680 South 900 East, 533-8746. Lunch and dinner, but closed Sunday.

And for fast food, I love the local Crown Burger chain. They have 5 locations, I've only been to the one at 118 North 300 West, tel 532-5300. They have a bizzare menu - a mixture of burgers, old-skool sandwiches, and Greek food, and the decor is, well, kind of like the menu. The specialty is the (duh) Crown Burger, which is a proper 1/4 pound burger with quite a lot of pastrami. Surprisingly, it's fantastic. Sort of like a bacon cheeseburger, but with a twist. There's a photo of one here: http://utah.citysearch.com/profile/11362720/ Don't expect to be hungry after you eat it. Their fries are great, and the milkshakes are big and thick - forget the straw, you need a spoon. This is fast food as it should be, even better than In-n-Out. And they're open Sunday!

- Hong Kong Dave, on the road again.....

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GREAT. Thanks HK Dave.

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Thanks HKDave for the information.

I posted a while ago about where to eat in Park City but there was not a single response. So It looks like I'll try some of your recs for SLC. How long a drive is it to Park City from SLC?

Thanks again.

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Tried to get a reservation at Log Haven via e-mail. Sent an e-mail twice and never heard back from them. I am quite annoyed as they do advertise that you can e-mail for a reservation. Looks like I will be dining someplace else.

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Rosie, the setting at Log Haven is worth making a call for a reservation. Chow Guy, in park city try the Sage Grill (in Kimball junction), the Riverhorse (especially if you can score a table outdoors on the upstairs deck that overlooks main street) or go to Heber/Midway for a dinner or brunch at the Inn on the Creek (expensive, though). The drive to SLC is about 30 minutes.

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Thanks HKDave for the information.

I posted a while ago about where to eat in Park City but there was not a single response. So It looks like I'll try some of your recs for SLC. How long a drive is it to Park City from SLC?

Park City is about 45min drive from SLC.

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I'll be in Salt Lake City from Oct 16 to 21 for a conference. I'll have at least one free night, possibly two. Where can I find a great restaurant or two? No fish, but anything else would be great!

:smile:

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I'll be at the Grand America Hotel, which I think is close to downtown although a bus ride from the Conference Centre. No budget in particular. I am of course, very partial to red meat :biggrin: , and I'd be interested in Japanese, Indian or Thai as well. I'm just not a fish lover.

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If you are dining alone, japnaese is probably the way to go. There are several good choices: Mikado, Ginza, Ichiban Sushi. For Thai, Lemongrass is ok. For Indian, there's a place on 4th South just below main street (I think the name is India Palace) that is ok. Bambara at the Hotel Monaco is excellent food, but I'm not sure I would want to dine there alone. The New Yorker is first rate. Next door is a sister restaurant, the Oyster Bar, which is lively and fun. And it has plenty of meat choices. Martine is also right downtown (a ten minute walk from your hotel) and features tapas. It was just featured in Bon Appetit. Salt Lake tends to look deserted at night, but if you want a destination where there will be people walking around and several restaurants to choose from, go to the Gateway center. The restaurants are basically high end chains (i.e. Flemings).

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For a solo carnivore near the Grand America (a situation I experience twice a year), I agree with Rooney on the New Yorker. Expensive, but first rate. If you're by yourself you can usually get a seat in the bar/cafe area without reservations, and then order off the main restaurant menu. If you want a tablecloth, definitely get reservations. I've been treated very well as a solo diner here.

I usually go for rib-eye prepared as a pepper steak, and their chopped salad, and a couple of manly cocktails and a bottle of the well-priced Guigal Cotes du Rhone, a full bottle of which is cheaper than ordering 1/2 bottle of anything else. I'm sure the dishwasher doesn't let the remaining 1/2 bottle go to waste.

They've got a website (with decent recipes) here: http://www.gastronomyinc.com/ny/

Closed Sunday, along with much else in downtown SLC.

An Italian option is Baci, same owners as New Yorker, also nearby. They have a few bar-style seats at the pizza station that are great for soloists.

I did a small SLC report a while ago here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=38408

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thanks everyone! The New Yorker sounds exactly my style. I'll have Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights to dine on my own.

Italian and Japanese are likely going to be my other two choices.

Thanks for the review Dave that was most helpful. :smile:

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The New Yorker website says it's a private club for members?

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The New Yorker website says it's a private club for members?

Don't worry, this just means you pay a few bucks for a temporary membership to 'join' when you arrive. It's one of Utah's many silly liquor licensing rules. The New Yorker membership is good at all of the Gastronomy Group restaurants (Baci, Oyster Bar etc).

There's an explanation of the nonsense here: http://utah.citysearch.com/feature/33004/private_clubs.html

Basically, all you need to know is that the hostess will deal with it and it will cost you about $6.

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Terrific! I have now requested reservations for the New Yorker for Monday night and Baci for Wednesday night, so now I just need something for Saturday night.

:smile:

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