Winter Menu at Pallet
On the western end of Pierpont Avenue, at 237 South 400 West, sits an old building which was built in the early 1900’s and used as a loading dock for a creamery. The owners of Pallet, Drew Eastman and Rocky Derrick, worked tirelessly to preserve as much of the original building as possible, and they did a fantastic job. Drew told me of the many days it took to painstakingly strip the paint off the ceiling of the restaurant in order to bring it back to original condition.
Quite simply, this restaurant is designed like no other restaurant in Salt Lake City, and you owe it to yourself to check it out and get a unique perspective on refreshingly bold restaurant design. Old-time lightbulbs, rough-hewn wood floors, exposed brick, and original doors preserve the charm. I was especially excited to learn that the majority of the design work was done by one of my favorite people in Salt Lake — Cody Derrick of City Home Collective. Cody has an eye for style and design that is becoming more and more rare in a world of beige walls and white vinyl fences.
Pallet invited some local food bloggers to stop in and try out their new Winter menu. There were some definite hits and one unfortunate miss.
The seared scallops dish was very well done. The (huge!) scallops were perfectly cooked and served on top of delicious lentils (the new farro?) and the thick cut, house-smoked bacon was the cherry on top of this dish, so to speak as the savoriness of the bacon acted as a perfect counterpoint to the sweet scallops.
I was able to grab a bite from my dining companion’s plate to try the “Ocean Pasta” dish. Squid ink pasta was accompanied by a menagerie of seafood and rounded out with a lovely curry sauce that really added a unique aspect to this dish. Most people agreed that this was the favorite plate of the night.
The bison osso bucco was the dish I was most excited about. Bison is such a lean meat that I figured that preparing it as osso bucco would help boost the moisture and tenderness that is naturally lacking in this meat. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I wrote it off as “first night of the new menu” jitters in the kitchen, but I’ve recently heard reports from others that they also found it a bit dry. Perhaps cooking too long at too high of a heat? I hope they can dial this one in because the flavors of the dish, and the polenta it was served on, were spot-on.
We were able to try quite a few of their desserts, and I was very impressed with their warm oatmeal almond shortbread, which was rich and full of chocolate. Our server mentioned that it is their best-selling dessert, and I’m not surprised why. It was fantastic.
Eastman mentioned to me that in a prior life, he traveled extensively for work, and loved it when he found a unique space offering exceptional food in whatever city he happened to be in. When the opportunity presented itself to Eastman to make something similar in Salt Lake City, he jumped at the chance. I admire his passion, and can’t wait for my next opportunity to spend more time in this lovely space.
Disclosure: I was treated to this meal by the restaurant