It’s A Wrap – January 2018

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Stanza - Bucatini alla Carbonara
Stanza – Bucatini alla Carbonara

Stanza Italian Bistro – The downtown Italian restaurant is currently offering a Winter “express business lunch” menu that looks to save you a bunch of cash and time all in one go. The three-course menu is priced at just $15 and changes weekly. Moreover the team aim to provide start-to-finish lunches in just 45 minutes. Of course, you’re free to linger longer if you like, but if you’re time pressed and want more than just the same old fast food, this could be the ticket. Items from the rotating menu include:

The Capri: heirloom tomatoes, basil, whole milk mozzarella, arugula, aged balsamic, ciabatta
Chicago Italian Beef: 10-hour roasted top sirloin, house made giardiniera, Provolone, red peppers, Italian roll
Portobello: aged balsamic, pickled red onion, roasted garlic aioli, marinated tomato, baby arugula on a ciabatta
Gnocchi Al Fungi: mushroom, squash, parmesan, oregano
Bucatini Alla Carbonara: black pepper, pancetta, peas, local egg
Rigatoni alla Bolognese: pork and prosciutto ragu with Parmex

Choice of soup or Caesar salad and dessert included.

454 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 746-4441
stanzaslc.com

Spencer's 20 year menu
Spencer’s 20 year menu

Spencer’s – Ten years in the restaurant trade is a lifetime, so SLC’s best steak house celebrating twenty is to be applauded and then some! In honor of the big two oh, Spencer’s is offering a special menu all week long – packed with customer favorites from down the years – all priced the same as when they first hit the menu. If you’ve not checked out this classic steakhouse in a while, this is the perfect time.

255 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 238-4748
www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/utah/hilton-salt-lake-city-center-SLCCCHH/dining/spencers.html

Caffe Molise and BTG on the move
Caffe Molise and BTG on the move

BTG / Caffe Molise – Almost an institution you could say, Caffee Molise has been a main stay of 100 South for as long as I can remember. More recently BTG too joined in on the fun making for a great date night destination of Italian food followed, or preceded by a wine or three.

That’s all now set to change though as Caffé Molise and BTG Wine Bar have announced their move to 404 South West Temple – the historic Eagle Building. Here’s the official press release with all the details:

Caffé Molise and BTG Wine Bar are excited to announce that Salt Lake City’s historic Eagle Building at 404 S West Temple will be their new home. Renovations have been underway since August 2017 and are due to be completed by late Spring 2018. The restaurant and wine bar’s current location at 55 West 100 South is slated for redevelopment in the future.

When looking for a new location, owners Fred Moesinger and Aimee Sterling were thrilled to find the Eagle Building available, despite its superficial yet daunting state of disrepair. “It’s a grand old place. Aimee and I are excited to be restoring it to its former glory. We have been looking to buy a building for over three years but nothing we saw met all of our needs. It was important to us to have a downtown location, and a building with charm, as well as a patio. We feel fortunate to have found all those qualities in the Eagle Building. Our business has grown, thanks to the support of our customers over the last 25 years, and we look forward to better serve them in our new space.”

The grand staircase on West Temple will enter into Caffé Molise’s main dining room while the upper floor will offer expanded seating options including banquet space and increased capacity for private events. An original antique awning on 400 South covers the entrance for BTG Wine Bar. With a nod to Caffé Molise’s original (current) fabled patio, a landscaped courtyard and two balconies will be open for dining al fresco during patio season. A portion of the patio will offer BTG Wine Bar’s patrons an outdoor option as well.

These establishments have been host to thousands of special occasions such as weddings, engagements, and first dates over the past 25 years. Patrons who have special memories are encouraged to visit the locations on 100 South before the move.

With the closure of Naked Fish / Ikigai and the long since gone Oxford Shop – this presumably paves the way for the much awaited mega-conference hotel to take shape. I’d expect the whole site gets flattened pretty quick sometime later this year.

Utah bites with Ted Scheffler
Utah bites with Ted Scheffler

Ted Scheffler leaves City Weekly – Long term observers of the food scene in Utah might’ve noticed the changes with food coverage over at the City Weekly lately. After 24 years covering the food and beverage scene for both City Weekly (and more recently Devour) Ted Scheffler left the organization recently. If search traffic to this site is anything to go by, people are both surprised and intrigued.

I recently spoke to Ted and asked him about the change and his future food writing exploits in SLC. Here’s the full skinny direct from Ted:

It’s still a bit of a mystery to me. I was abruptly informed by the publisher of Devour Utah in November that there was consolidation going on at Copperfield Publishing and that I was being replaced as Devour editor by an ex-City Weekly editor whose specialty isn’t food or drink. It was baffling to me, since Devour was doing very well critically and financially. As for my writing for City Weekly, the publisher had replaced me in June with other writers for the paper’s Food Matters and Drink columns, and had diminished the pay for the restaurant reviews I wrote to the point where I was lucky to break even after I paid my own dining expenses. So, I decided to make a clean and complete break from Copperfield. I can only guess, but it seems to me that they’ve decided to double-down on millennials as their target audience, having sent myself, Bill Frost and Stephen Dark packing in the past year. Maybe we’re too old for independent weeklies…

Rich Markosian, publisher of Utah Stories, showed an interest in having me come on board with his publication and to help expand the food and drink coverage in Utah Stories and beyond. We recently launched a subscription-based (free) online newsletter called Utah Bites, in which I review restaurants, share food news, write about wine, beer & spirits, and post some of my favorite recipes. I am also writing about food, chefs and restaurants for the print version of Utah Stories and will be launching a food & drink podcast called Sound Bites with Ted Scheffler & Utah Stories in February. I’m excited and reenergized to be working with Utah Stories. It’s a publication I’ve admired for a long time and it feels good to have my experience and expertise as a food and wine writer be valued and appreciated.

If you want to keep up with Ted’s latest thoughts and advice on the food and beverage scene here in Utah you can do so at the following link (subscribe button top left): https://mailchi.mp/utahstories/peeling-an-onion-at-sundance-new-spots-to-nosh-seductive-wine-dinner-and-more

Quarters Arcade Bar logo

Quarters Arcade Bar – Recently granted their liquor license and gearing up to open soon is this grown up arcade bar. Yep classic arcade games and booze. Opening up in the former Manhattan club space the business is also trying to bring something very unique to Utah – the bar friendly, multiplayer Killer Queen game.

The game costs a not insignificant $12,000 apparently and this would be the first of its kind in Utah, something the guys behind quarters feel would anchor the whole project – really tie the room together as it were. In an effort to generate the required funds, the business is currently running a kickstarter. Check out the video below for info on the new business and the guys behind it:



5 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
quartersslc.com

Inside Bountiful's recently remodelled Mandarin, credit Mandarin
Inside Bountiful’s recently remodeled Mandarin, credit Mandarin

Mandarin – Ring in the Year of the Dog at the Bountiful’s best Chinese restaurant. During the two-week celebration (Friday February 16th through Saturday March 3rd) in addition to the regular dinner menu – the restaurant is offering a Chinese New Year menu for parties of 4 or more people. Priced at $20.00 per person the menu includes:

Salmon spring roll with sambal aioli
Chicken soong imperial lettuce wrap
Chicken creamed corn or hot sour soup
Beef with asparagus
Spice girl chicken
Mongolian pork with chinese sausage
Coconut thai curry vegetables
Steamed white and brown rice
House-made ice cream trio: saigon cinnamon, lychee-raspberry and passion fruit
Cookie of good fortune

Specialty beverages such as gingerita, pomegranate spritzer will be available in addition to wine, Asian beers, ginger brew and hot tea. (for an additional charge).

Additionally a traditional lion dance will be performed by an 8-person troop with a spectacular performance at 6.00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21st and Monday February 26th The dance is thought to ward off evil spirits and welcome the New Year with a bang. The lion makes its way through the Mandarin interacting with guests and eating lettuce for good luck. Reservations are accepted for 8 or more people. Parties fewer than 8 may call ahead and have their name placed on the waiting list.

348 900 N, Bountiful, UT 84010
(801) 298-2406
mandarinutah.com

Magic Cake by Ashikat Kitchen
Magic Cake by Ashikat Kitchen

Spice Kitchen Incubator – Show your significant other some love this Valentine’s Day with a gourmet cake with twist by Ashikat Kitchen or M Bake Shop – both part of this small business incubator. Choose from an intimate 2-person cake or invite others over to share the delicious experience. Options include:

M Bake Shop – chef Michaela specializes in using only organic and natural ingredients where possible and can accommodate many dietary restrictions. Her free-hand designs offer a special touch. Gourmet Chocolate Hazelnut Cake for 2 – enjoy layers Scharffenberger milk and dark chocolate mousse, chocolate hazelnut cake, and a crunchy hazelnut praline base ($24). Gourmet Exotic Passion Fruit Cake for 2 – get swept away with a crunchy white chocolate Lindt base topped with lemon cake and a layer of passion fruit mousse ($24).

Ashikat Kitchen – chef Saadiyah brings exciting flavors from the Middle East to her cakes and desserts, creating a moist cake that will leave you wanting more. Creamy Chocolate Magic Cake for 2 or 12 – a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake topped with custard and choice of strawberries, shredded coconut, or crushed pistachio ($15 or $50).

You can pay and pick up your cake at Spice Kitchen Incubator (2180 South 300 West, Unit 102) between 9am-5pm on February 13 or 14th, or 9am-6:30pm on February 15th. (to pick up outside of this time, please call 385 229-4703 to schedule). All orders are due by Monday, February 12th at 9am.

For The Love Of Cheese 2018
For The Love Of Cheese 2018

Utah Cheese Awards – For the Love of Cheese will be the title of first annual cheese plate food competition and expo which is returning after a successful inaugural year. The contest will have an expanded scope with additional categories and community involvement says Steve Jerman who was exposed to the world of cheese as a farmstead apprentice in 2016. Jerman writes:

Last year was a bit of an experiment, but all things considered worked out really quite well. However, the goal all along was an annual event that could grow yearly. I think I proved the concept and almost immediately I got feedback from those waiting to see what would come of it – I got over some hurdles that way, and feel I have some of the best possible allies, early on.

Changes will be minor this year with three classifications for cheese being added to the roster; swiss, blue and mozzarella. In addition to a category for vegetarian rennet. Another change will be in regards to adjuncts, which are non-dairy additions to the cheese which can range from a coffee coating to herbs and spices all the way to cured meats. The majority of the submissions last year were cheddars with adjuncts, in 2018 cheese containing adjuncts will only be allowed in one category.

To further its outreach beyond professional fine food companies, the Utah Cheese Awards is adding a non-commercial or home category for amateur cheesemakers around the state. And in the non-cheese categories, sauces will have two separate categories – sweet and savory – to cover the range of Utah-made jams, sauces, and spreads. Producers will again be able to submit up to three products for free. The organization is also looking for additional judges according to Jerman:

Getting judges was a catch-22. The more educated people didn’t want to do it, but then seemed a bit unsatisfied with the level of expertise. I wanted a broader scope of opinion. The industry people are great, but the average consumer pays a much more crucial role in a product’s success. Anyone who wants to nominate a judge can write utahcheeseawards@gmail.com direct.

Forms, dates and sponsor information will be posted in the coming months on the UCA website http://utahcheese.info, where you can also see last year’s winners. Once again the Dairy Council of Utah and Nevada will help sponsor the effort.

Food Rescue US
Food Rescue US

Food Rescue Utah – Finally, this national effort to solve the issue of food waste and hunger in one fell swoop – is trying to come to Salt Lake City. More details can be found on www.foodrescue.us but the details are impressive; to date, the volunteer based organization has rescued and delivered over 23 million meals, saving 34.7 million pounds of food from landfill. The service is coming soon to SLC, stay tuned!

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.

This article may contain content provided by one of our Partners or Sponsors. These are some of the best businesses in Utah. The current businesses we work with include:

Alamexo, Avenues Proper, BGR, Bourbon House, BTG Wine Bar, Caffe Molise, Cafe Niche, Cuisine Unlimited, Current Fish & Oyster, Kyoto, Feldman's Deli, Log Haven, Meditrina, Oasis Cafe, Porch, Proper Burger, Proper Brewing Co, Red Rock Brewing, Spencer's For Steaks And Chops, Saffron Valley, Stanza Italian Bistro, Vida Tequila, Vine Lore, Whiskey Street, We Olive, White Horse.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Yikes! I was wondering why the food & dining coverage at City Weekly and its sister publications had devolved into the shitacular. The new writers seem to know little to nothing about food, much less good food journalism. Bad, bad move.

  2. Just pick up the last Devour issue – February. Blah. Poor photos, no article that is worth reading. And they’re too old? Mary Malouf is in her 60’s and running Salt Lake Magazine beautifully. I think there’s a money issue here. Agreed bad, bad, move.

  3. My group of friends and I always looked forward to Ted’s articles. We are not “foodies” in any way, but we trusted Ted’s reviews and found some of our favorite restaurants from his advice.We will definitely be following Utah Bites now.
    City Weekly has lost it’s luster for me too. I won’t bother picking it up at all. I also agree that Devour has little to none to offer this month- lots of words-but not much said.

  4. Thanks for another great post! Good on City Weekly for refreshing their content. It was a peasant surprise when I picked up an issue a couple of weeks back and saw the new byline. Ted had gotten stale and was always too elitist for his own good (read him for 10+ years). Cheers to the new blood!

  5. Good riddance to Old Ted Scheffler. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but when he walked into a restaurant to do a review with his buddy who owned a competing restaurant I was dubious. Then he absolutely gave this new restaurant a horrible review. At which point I knew he had zero integrity. OMG, what a piece of crap.

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