New restaurants – October 2016

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Black sheep Cafe: brunch dish
Black sheep Cafe: brunch dish
Black Sheep Cafe: corn and scallops
Black Sheep Cafe: corn and scallops
Black Sheep Cafe: new dishes coming to the SLC restaurant
Black Sheep Cafe: new dishes coming to the SLC restaurant

Black Sheep Cafe – Do you like great local beer? Do you enjoy creative Southwest cuisine? Like Sugar House? You probably don’t need to tick all of those boxes to get excited about this new partnership. Black Sheep Cafe will soon be opening their second restaurant in the former Epic Annex space in Sugar House. Epic however, won’t be moving out.

This means you’ll be able to enjoy a green chile pork Navajo taco and some hog jowl alongside an Epic Spiral Jetty, all under one roof. This is exciting.

1048 E 2100 S #110, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 742-5490
www.blacksheepcafe.com

Biscotts: cake counter
Biscotts: pastry counter
Biscotts: caramel eclairs
Biscotts: caramel eclairs
Biscotts: pistachio cake
Biscotts: pistachio cake
Biscotts: coffee cake
Biscotts: coffee cake

Biscotts Pastry And Chai – I know what you’re thinking, I need some insulin stat just looking through those pictures. Something tells me that tasting them in person will be worth every calorie though. Bicotts is the latest venture of Lavanya Mahate, who you might already know from the Saffron Valley restaurants.

Indeed, Biscotts has opened up in the same Peaks Center shopping center in South Jordan, that is home to the first Saffron Valley restaurant. Unlike Mahate’s previous ventures, Biscotts is markedly different, offering wraps, paninis, soups, chai and oh. so. many. pastries and cakes. Breakfast (starting at 7am), lunch and dinner are offered six days a week (closed Tuesday) but whenever you stop by the centerpiece here are the house brewed chais and freshly baked pastries.

1098 S Jordan Pkwy #110, South Jordan, UT 84095
(801) 890-0659
www.biscotts.com

Buzzed coffee truck
Buzzed coffee truck

Buzzed Coffee Truck – This next one, comes from a reader of the site, who wanted to share the news about a great new truck you should be seeing around the West side of town. I’ll leave it best put, in the words of the email I received”

Trina, Buzzed Coffee Truck’s founder and operator, has always had a passion for specialty coffee. She moved to Salt Lake’s west side 4 years ago and fell in love with her neighborhood and community. The only thing not to love was the complete lack of decent coffee within a convenient distance. During this time, she experimented with different brewing methods, ratios, and brew times to create the best cup of coffee rather than settle for gas station coffee. As she became more active in her community and met more of her neighbors, she realized she wasn’t the only one yearning for a good cup of coffee in the neighborhood. The Rose Park community has been crying out for a specialty coffee shop for years. While Trina’s ultimate dream is to open a brick-and- mortar coffee shop in her neighborhood, it was out of reach because of the sheer investment. Thus, the coffee truck concept was kicked around and researched. Nearly a year of research and planning ensued, and she realized the Salt Lake community as a whole was ready for a revolutionary coffee shop on wheels, and Buzzed Coffee Truck was born. Not only is Buzzed one of the first mobile coffee shops in Salt Lake City, it is the first to serve the delicious nitro cold brew out of the revolutionary technology JoeTap. Buzzed marries the ultimate in taste, convenience, ingenuity, and quality.

Trina is trained and educated by The Specialty Coffee Association of America, or SCAA. She is passionate about adhering to SCAA standards, continuing education for herself and employees, and educating her customers on the importance of buying air-trade coffee, resulting in well-informed, responsible consumers. Buzzed was created as a result of lots of love and passion for great coffee.

As ever with food trucks you can check out the changing location via Twitter, Instagram and
Facebook.

Chile-Tepin: exterior
Chile-Tepin: exterior
Chile-Tepin: carnitas
Chile-Tepin: carnitas

Chile-Tepin – The constantly bifurcating DNA of family owned and operated Mexican eateries continues with the opening of Chile-Tepin in the Crane building in downtown SLC. Left empty by Cafe Trang most recently, and Xiao Li before that, Chile-Tepin is is owned and operated by folks previously involved with downtown’s La Fountain restaurant.

The Chile-Tepin menu features plenty of popular standbys such as tacos, burritos and combos but also a number of oft overlooked dishes: parrilladas, molcajetes and moles to name just a few.

The vibe, decor and plating is more upscale than most of their direct competitors and on a recent random mid-week evening I stopped by for dinner, the restaurant was already pleasantly busy and buzzing. I could see this place generating a popular following quickly. $8.50 cadillac margaritas don’t hurt either…

307 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 883-9255

Cucina Wine Bar: pork belly
Cucina Wine Bar: pork belly pozole with freeze dried corn, watermelon radish
Cucina Wine Bar: fried chicken lollipops, tofu agedashi, galangal sweet and sour sauce
Cucina Wine Bar: fried chicken lollipops, tofu agedashi, galangal sweet and sour sauce

Cucina Wine Bar – October sees the reworking of Cucina Deli in the avenues coming to completion. The business was recently revamped with a whole new focus on wine. Indeed, as of a few days ago the wine bar now features fifty wines by the glass; all stored safe, secure and snugly in a temperature controlled climes below the restaurant.

What does remain from the from the previous incarnation of Dean Pierose’s business is chef Joey Ferran’s small plates menu – perfect for pairing with a glass or three.

1026 E 2nd Ave, Salt Lake City, Utah
(801) 322-3055
www.cucinadeli.com

Encore Bistro at Rice Eccles Theater
Encore Bistro at Rice Eccles Theater
Encore Bistro: food counter
Encore Bistro: food counter

Encore Bistro – Located on the ground floor of the new Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City, is this quick casual eatery operated by local catering whizzes, Cuisine Unlimited. The restaurant is now open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, with some great deals for downtown workers and dwellers.

For breakfast, diners can choose from plenty of wallet friendly options such as the Encore Waffle Sandwich (house-made chicken sausage, scrambled egg and Utah cheddar cheese) at just $6 or the Carnegie Breakfast Wrap for $5.50 (sausage, bacon, ham, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, green chilies, hash browns, egg and cheese in an herb wrap). Breakfast is served from 7 – 11 a.m.

Soups, salads and sandwiches are offered 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. and the Stage Left Sliders with slow-braised beef, spicy BBQ sauce, toasted cumin and apple slaw I tasted at a recent open house event was great. Sandwich prices range from $9 – $10.50 and include a choice of chips or fresh greens.

Dinner won’t be offered every night, but will be served on performance evenings with executive chef Stacey Rosati crafting special menus specially tuned to the theme of each performance. And yes, according to the team, that definitely means funeral potatoes for when the The Book Of Mormon is in town.

131 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, 84101
http://www.cuisineunlimited.com/encorebistro

Garage Grill: interior
Garage Grill: interior
Garage Grill: interior
Garage Grill: interior

Garage Grill – Start your engines, grease your sprockets and put the pedal to the spark plug. Or something. Gear-heads, you might want to write your own intro, which you can do while you pass the time taking in the extensive automotive decor at this new Draper restaurant; which bears more than a passing resemblance to Billy Blanco’s in Jeremy Ranch. Hey, imitation and flattery like they say.

Unrelated to The Garage on Beck, Garage Grill is part of the group that also runs Toscano, Cafe 222 and the now departed Bistro 222. The menu is stacked with pub grub: burgers, pizza, various fried things and also – their own micro brew operation, RPM Brewing.

1122 East Draper Parkway, Draper, UT 84020
(801) 523-3339
www.thegaragegrill.com

Blue Sky Ranch: entrance
Blue Sky Ranch: entrance
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery brunch patio
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery brunch patio
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery brunch and bar
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery brunch and bar
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery bar tender
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery bar tender
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery whiskey and various fixins
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery whiskey and various fixins
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery, a meaty brunch plate
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery, a meaty brunch plate
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery, whiskey flight
Blue Sky Ranch: High West Distillery, whiskey flight
High West Distillery: whiskey shop
High West Distillery: whiskey shop

High West Distillery – Now offering a seasonal Sunday brunch, the High West Distillery at the Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship. Open seasonally (do call ahead to make sure they’re open) brunch is served 10.45 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.

A recent brunch I happily sampled* featured smoked brisket, perfectly poached eggs Benedict (courtesy of sous vide magic), bacon, sausage, pastries, charcuterie, smoked salmon, chicken salad, french toast and more. Cost for the all you can eat brunch is $35 which also comes with some stellar views of the surrounding scenery. Those come for free with the price of entry.

While you’re there you’re pretty much honor bound to delve into the hard stuff, so take advantage of specialty cocktails at the bar or a whiskey flight, which is detailed by the well drilled and educated staff; also remember, type five package agencies can sell their wares by the bottle on Sundays 😉

27649 Old Lincoln Hwy, Wanship, UT 84017
(435) 649-8300
www.highwest.com

Kolaches
Kolaches

Hruska’s Kolaches – The pastries from Hruska’s look as addictive to wrap your lips around as the name is difficult to say. Apparently, a Kolache (pronounced co-la-chee) is a Czech-Texan pastry that comes topped or stuffed with sweet or savory food items.

Priced at three bucks or less each they come in a a mesmerizing variety: sausage, egg, and cheese, sausage and gravy, carnitas, buffalo chicken, maple pecan cinnamon , fruit and cream cheese and endless more options; they all run a measly $1.25-$3.00 each. If you see me struggling with the pronunciation its cos my mouth is stuffed with a BBQ Brisket kolache. Honest.

Hruska’s recently opened their second location in the Sugar House neighborhood, adding to their existing outlet in Provo.

2030 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(385) 309-4379
www.hruskaskolaches.com

J Dawgs SLC: exterior
J Dawgs SLC: exterior
J Dawgs SLC: seating inside
J Dawgs SLC: seating inside
J Dawgs SLC: service counter
J Dawgs SLC: service counter

J Dawgs – Keep it simple stupid, so goes the maxim. And so goes the menu at J Dawgs which couldn’t be simpler. Diners get to make one simple choice: Polish or beef? O.k. you can add chips for a buck, a drink for two or make it a combo for seven bucks – but that’s pretty much the long and short of it.

The business has come a long way since its first hotdog stand a decade ago, a 12 by 12 red shack. The operation now has five locations including their latest, eye popping downtown SLC space. The new outlet keeps to the simple format that’s driven the local chain’s sucess to date: 100% beef dogs, fresh locally baked buns, and a Special Sauce.

341 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 438-6111
www.jdawgs.com

JINYA ramen bowl: cha cha cha ramen bowl
JINYA ramen bar: cha cha cha ramen bowl
JINYA ramen bowl: spicy umami miso ramen bowl
JINYA ramen bar: spicy umami miso ramen bowl
JINYA ramen bar: takoyaki
JINYA ramen bar: takoyaki
JINYA ramen bar: pig ear chicharron
JINYA ramen bar: pig ear chicharron

JINYA Ramen Bar – Opening their first Utah branch comes this mini national chain. Popping up next to Braza Grill on State Street, the focus is ramen bowls and a range of Japanese dishes. Normally, I’d skip chain openings but in this case I’ll make an exception for what seems to be a high quality brand. After all, who am I to argue with famed food critic Jonathan Gold who is a fan – heck, he lists JINYA in the top 10 ramen joints in Los Angeles.

This from his review of JINYA ramen in LA: “Best of all was an odd, strong-smelling tonkotsu ramen, whose pork broth had been pumped up with industrial quantities of dashi and dried fish, a broth on steroids, a broth that seemed to be trying to establish the record for the most umami per milligram. Can tongues pant? After a few bites, you may feel as if yours had just run a half-marathon without bothering to notify the rest of your head.

5905 State St, Murray, UT 84107
(385) 474-6818
jinya-ramenbar.com

Meditrina: shrimp with cheddar grits
Meditrina: shrimp with cheddar grits
Meditrina: scallops from new menu
Meditrina: scallops from new menu

Meditrina – While not a new restaurant, you’ll want to pay attention to the new location and updated menu of Jen Gilroy’s popular small plates restaurant. Upping sticks from the previous home near the Bee’s stadium, Meditrina is now open and cooking in its new digs in the up and coming Central 9th area.

The menu keeps much of what made Meditrina a favorite, for example three select small plates are just $10, 3-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; and there’s plenty of locally sourced items too such as Utah trout, peaches, Creminelli salumi, local cheese and veg etc. Pictured above, one of the recent specials: seared diver scallop, with Crenshaw melon broth, heirloom tomato, cucumber, Hungarian black pepper and crispy speck.

Also set to open alongside Gilroy’s restaurant soon; Laziz Kitchen, a sit down cafe/deli featuring Lebanese cuisine, and a cool looking bar concept from local bar tenders Scott Gardner, Matt Pfhol and Sean Neves – Water Witch.

165 West Harvey Milk Boulevard, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 485-2055
meditrinaslc.com

Mid City Pub And Grill: brunch burger
Mid City Pub And Grill: brunch burger

Mid City Pub & Grill – Sports, booze, food, what more do you want. Just rinse and repeat, liberally as required. This new sports bar in Midvale packs a menu that hits up all your pub favorites: burgers, wings, nachos, tacos etc. Word to the wise, brunch promises three dollar mimosas.

7101 S Bingham Junction Blvd Midvale, Utah
(801) 566-0505
http://midcitypubslc.com/#pub

Pretty Bird
Pretty Bird

Pretty Bird – Not quite ready yet, but one to keep tabs on for sure. Mentioned on Twitter by local celeb chef Viet Pham, this Nashville fried chicken concept should hit SLC in early 2017. While there’s part of me that winces at the trendy and faddy there’s a stronger part of me that uncontrollably salivates, pavlovian style at the very mention of fried chicken.

Another tweet seems to suggest the restaurant will open up on the recently rejuvenated Regent Street, as part of the Eccles Theater development.

SoCo: interior
SoCo: interior
SoCo: fried chicken plate
SoCo: fried chicken plate

SoCo – Speaking of, or drooling of should I say, fried chicken – if you can’t wait till 2017 check out this other new downtown SLC restaurant. Promising “Southern vittles that you’re going to love“, SoCo offers up home made fried chicken, shrimp and grits, collard greens braised in cola, fresh and tangy cole slaw, buttery corn bread, berry and lots more.

319 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 532-3946
www.socoslc.com

Sabaidee Thai Cuisine: interior
Sabaidee Thai Cuisine: interior

Sabaidee Thai Cuisine – Meanwhile, over in Lehi, a (relatively) new Thai restaurant. While the menu reads fairly routine, the reviews are consistently strong. Worth checking out by locals and passers by.

250 W State St, Lehi, UT 84043
(801) 766-4076
www.sabaideethaicuisine.com

Saigon Sandwich: banh mi
Saigon Sandwich: banh mi

Saigon Sandwich – I feel like I trot out the same old adage about banh mi sandwiches every time we do a roundup. So here we go again. One upon a time, this sandwich was almost mythical in SLC. Quests were forged on brave Internet forums; the banh mi was hunted down, captured and feasted on in hidden, hard to find hole in the walls. Arguably propelled in some part by Oh Mai’s successes, and the fact these Vietnamese meets French influenced sandwiches are just awesome – these days its all change; you can find a banh mi on every corner. Kind of.

This latest option for banh mi, brings the umami delight of the banh mi to Sandy residents. As well as the headline item you will also find plenty of other staple Vietnamese dishes such as noodles, pho and rice dishes.

8528 South 1300 East, Sandy, UT 84094
(801) 281-7400
https://squareup.com/store/saigonsandwich

Spitz: Cottonwood
Spitz: Cottonwood
spitz downtown salt lake city
Spitz: downtown Salt Lake City, doner and a beer

Spitz Cottonwood – The world domination of Spitz continues unchecked; well, ok, the Salt Lake valley at least, with the opening of a new Cottonwood Heights outlet. At any rate, I for one welcome our new doner masters and their insanely tasty concoctions. Seriously the mix of flavor, price, fun and free flowing local beers and cocktails – the recipe Spitz has mastered is killer.

3158 E 6200 S Holladay, UT 84121
(801) 930-5114
http://spitzslc.com/cottonwood.html

Sweet Lake Biscuits And Limeade
Sweet Lake Biscuits And Limeade. Credit, SLC Eats.

Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade – Biscuits and gravy guys, do you really need any more information? This brick and mortar offshoot from their popular farmer’s market stand now offers breakfast and lunch six days a week. The aforementioned breakfast classic is just three bucks, but if you want to get some serious arterial hardening going, check out the $10 “hoss” with fried chicken breast, egg, bacon, cheddar, sausage gravy and green onions.

54 W 1700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 997-9220
www.sweetlakeslc.com

Table X
Table X
Table X
Table X

Table X – Table X is the work of a trio of chef-owners and set to open in November. Mike Blocher, Nick Fahs and David Barboza are the team in question and the press release assures that they are, “dedicated to creating a top tier culinary experience without a pretentious atmosphere. The Table X menu will be driven by the seasons and thus, change often. Diners can rest assured they will get to interact with the owners and chefs on a regular basis – something that is a main priority for this culinary team.”

Coy website aside, the info so far points to a seasonal driven menu, and one that will source from their own on site garden. “The garden is a key part of what we are doing here,” says Fahs. “It reminds us of the seasons, and what can be produced and preserved for other times during the year.” The garden is also the focal point of a private dining area with floor to ceiling windows that look over the spacious garden. This private seating area accommodates up to 14 guests and is named, rather on point, the Garden Dining Room. Stay tuned for more info.

1457 East 3350 South, Salt Lake City, 84106
www.tablexrestaurant.com

Terra Mia: from scratch pizza
Terra Mia: from scratch pizza
Terra Mia: gelato
Terra Mia: gelato

Terra Mia – Building on the success of their initial restaurant in Orem, comes this sophomore effort in Draper. Their mission, in their own words, “We want to make people happy through our food. As Italians, we know our flavors are not for everyone. However, we are also confident that we will have a dish you love. That’s why Terra Mia offers a 100% guarantee – if you try something new and aren’t enjoying it, you can exchange it for another dish, no questions asked. So be adventurous. Go beyond the typical Chicken Alfredo. We want you to try something different, with no risk to you.” Amen to that, you have no excuse Utah, please stop with the Alfredo obsession now Utah.

Also, more than 30 gelato flavors are available. Whut. The restaurant is slated to open next month.

12361 S. Minuteman Dr. Draper, UT 84020
www.terramiapizza.com

Trestle Tavern
Trestle Tavern
Trestle Tavern: pierogies
Trestle Tavern: pierogies
Trestle Tavern: goulash and spaetzle
Trestle Tavern: goulash and spaetzle
Trestle Tavern: trestle burger and fries
Trestle Tavern: trestle burger and fries

Trestle Tavern – Bohemian-inspired cuisine is the muse for Scott Evans’ latest foray into the SLC restaurant scene. The popular restaurateurs projects such as Pago, Finca and more recently Hub & Spoke and East Liberty Tap House have a nous for following national trends, and Trestle Tavern is no different.

Eastern European cuisine is increasingly in vogue across the country, plus, SLC has very little options if your hankering for a taste of the of old world. That means the restaurant, open in the petite space left empty by the now departed Fresco might be your goto place for goulash, spaetzle, pierogies, borscht, paprikash and more. As with Evans’ other restaurants there’s a thoughtful selection of craft beers, ciders, cocktails and spirits.

1513 1500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 532-3372
www.trestletavern.com

Marco Stevanoni (right) in the kitchen at Veneto
Marco Stevanoni (right) in the kitchen at Veneto

Veneto – With Forage now long gone, the owners of the space (foodies themselves) have launched their own restaurant, a classic take on the cuisine of the Veneto region in Northern Italy; Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Venice, Verona, and Vicenza therein. Owners Marco and Amy Stevanoni have serious chops too, Marco himself a local wine broker of some renown. The menu takes no prisoners and forces diners to embrace tradition, some examples from the current menu:

* bigoli pasta with duck ragú
* salted cod style in milk, spinach, grana padano sauce and polenta
* veal sweet bread, veal liver and polenta

This is no bad thing in my book frankly, and I’ve long been cheer leading for more restaurants to take a ballsier approach to their menus. I think SLC palates are more than read to support more authentic dining experiences. If the Copper Onion can routinely sell out of bone marrow apps, I think we’re good to go right.

Another talking points around Veneto, is that tipping is not allowed. In equal nods to trends across the states and Italian tradition itself, a small “coperto” (“covered” in Italian) of $3 per guest is added to each check. And that’s it. No complex math equation to end your meal, just hand over your hard earned.

For newcomers, check out their Facciamo Noi Monday promo that takes the challenge out of ordering from a potentially challenging menu for some; the kitchen chooses your dishes, 2 courses are $35, 4 courses are $60.

Zillas: interior
Zillas: interior
Zillas: club sandwich and fries
Zillas: club sandwich and fries

Zillas – I kinda wish there was an apostrophe before the Z, that way I could imagine this is the place Godzilla kicks back with a beer and burger. He yet might, that is still unconfirmed. What I do know for certain is that Zillas in North Salt Lake offers a menu of classic American cuisine. That means pulled pork, club and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and hearty fare like pizza, pasta, meatloaf and country fried steak for dinner. Someone give me a heads up if they try that chicken fried steak, I’m still on the hunt for a really great executed example here in SLC. Oh, let me know if you spot the green guy too.

2080 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
(801) 419-0622
https://www.facebook.com/Zillasdiner

* – my brunch at High West Distillery was comped as a media invite.

Stuart avatar

Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you!  I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune.  I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.

I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade.   I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand.  I ate all the pies.

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