While many restaurant owners in Park City rent out their space and high-tail it to the Caribbean during the craziness of Sundance, many others drink an extra espresso or two and dive head first into the Sundance craziness.
Here’s a list of Park City and Salt Lake City restaurants that will be open, as well as applicable specials.
Check out some of the dining options around SLC and Park City to ring in the new year.
Oasis Cafe will greet revelers this New Year’s Eve with a special four-course prix fixe menufrom 5 p.m. Chef de Cuisine Efren Benitez’s creative menu includes starter options of ahi tartare or soy-sauce-infused tofu. Second course options of heritage mixed green salad with smoked bacon and a silky shrimp bisque tempt diners, while entrée selections of lobster bucatini, pan-seared filet mignon, honey chipotle glazed chicken breast and curried wild mushroom couscous round out the meal.
Diners can cap off their New Year’s Eve meal with a choice of espresso chai cheesecake, poached saffron pear with ginger gelato or a delicate pineapple upside down cake. Cost is $50 not including suggested wine pairings, alcoholic beverages, tax or gratuity.
Brunch will be served on New Year’s Eve from 8 a.m. – 2:30 and lunch will be served prior to 5 p.m. Reservations are highly suggested and can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or visiting www.OasisCafeSLC.com. Oasis Cafe is located at 151 South 500 East in downtown Salt Lake City.
New Year’s Daybrunch at Oasis Cafe is also a favorite with locals. It’s loaded with traditional breakfast dishes, soups, salads and sandwiches. Brunch is ala carte and will be served from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with lunch served from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.
Oasis Café will only be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Christmas Eve serving the regular brunch menu and then will be closed in the evening and on Christmas Day to allow their employees to enjoy the holidays with their families.
George (Formerly Finca)
Current Fish & Oyster
Chef Alan Brines and his culinary team are excited for Current Fish & Oyster’s New Year’s Eve celebration. His four-course menu is available from 4 until 10 p.m. on Dec. 31. Diners choose one selection from each course. First course options include a trio of oysters, crab cake, wagyu beef tartare or local burrata. Second course selections include an apple and barley salad, silky crab bisque, a house salad or Current’s famous clam chowder. For the main course, diners can choose from Current’s signature branzino, black cod, pan roasted sea scallops, Double R Ranch New York steak, Mary’s organic chicken or roasted cauliflower. Dessert options abound from pastry chef Amber Billingsley: orange semolina cake, chocolate torte or her famous gelato and sorbet selections. Wine selections by Mike Fayad will be presented tableside.
The cost per person for the four-course dinner is $75 and does not include beverages, tax and gratuity. “We are excited to ring in the New Year with our guests,” said General Manager Ryan Mickelson “This is a great opportunity to introduce some special menu offerings, guest favorites and some terrific wines that pair perfectly. We also want to thank everyone for a terrific year.”
Current Fish & Oyster will be open Christmas Eve for lunch from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and dinner from 4 until 8 p.m., serving the regular dinner menu plus some specials. Current will be closed on Christmas Day to allow their employees to enjoy the holidays with their families. Current will be open on New Year’s Day for dinner starting at 4 p.m.
Stanza Italian Bistro
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar’s celebrated chef Jonathan LeBlanc is proud to present a special four-course dinner on New Year’s Eve to be served from 5 until 10 p.m. The cost is $70 per person and does not include alcoholic beverages, tax or gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 801-746-4441, firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.stanzaslc.com. Stanza is located at 454 East, 300 South in Salt Lake.
Stanza will be open for Christmas Eve lunch and dinner, closed on Christmas Day and open for dinner only on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. They will be closed on New Year’s Day to allow their employees to be with their families.
Stanza’s New Year’s Eve menu includes an amuse bouche of Alaskan halibut pâté. Starter selections include a silky Australian Lobster bisque, lump crab and heirloom tomato, veal and prosciutto polpette or winter burrata. Main course entrée and pasta selections include a dry-aged New York strip, red crab agnolotti, Snake River Farms porchetta, quail bucatini, or scallops.
Desserts by Salt Lake’s favorite pastry chef Amber Billingsley include a Meyer lemon panna elderflower panna cotta, pecan pie cannoli or raspberry semifreddo. General Manager Keith Foust’s knowledgeable service staff will guide diners through the best wine and craft cocktail pairings for each course.
Oak Wood Fire Kitchen
Café Niche on 300 South will be hosting a special four-course New Year’s Eve dinner celebration from 5 until 10 p.m. Chef Andy Morrison’s menu includes: a “first bite” of her famous sour cream and onion deviled egg; second course choices of cheesy cauliflower soup or roasted asparagus with lemon and local Romano; an intermezzo of seasonal granita; entrée selections of scallops and grits, pomegranate braised lamb shanks, pretzel-crusted chicken, horseradish flank steak or wild mushroom mac and cheese. For dessert, diners can choose between a chocolate peanut butter Bundt cake or Luxardo cherries jubilee cheesecake.
Cost per person is $55 and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Wine pairings will be offered tableside. Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 801-433-3380 or by visiting www.caffeniche.com.
Holiday Hours: Café Niche will open on Christmas Eve for brunch from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. serving the regular menu and closed for dinner. They will be closed on Christmas Day all day to allow their employees to spend time with their families.
New Year’s Eve open for dinner only from 5 until 10 p.m. On New Year’s Day, Niche will be open for brunch from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., closed for dinner, and will be open again for regular business on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
NewYear’s Eve is no exception when it comes to Table X’s commitment to serving sophisticated, modern cuisine with seasonal ingredients. Recently recognized by Salt Lake City Weekly for creating some of the city’s most innovative cuisine, the restaurant’s three chef-owners are collaborating on a special tasting menu to wow their guests’ culinary senses. The December 31 celebration features a seven-course tasting menu for $85/person (wine pairing – $35/person; non-alcoholic beverage pairing – $20/person). It will include Hudson Valley Foie Gras with blueberries preserved from the Table X Garden and Morgan Valley Lamb with sun chokes. The restaurant is now accepting reservations at www.tablexrestaurant.com or call 385.528.3712.
“We love helping our guests welcome the NewYear with our cutting-edge, artfully presented cuisine,” says Nick Fahs, one of the chef-owners of Table X. “The evening is designed for those seeking a more elevated, sophisticated way to close out 2018 while appreciating our seasonal approach to dining and sampling new dishes in a stylish, modern setting.”
The seven-course tasting menu also features house made items such as burrata cheese and sourdough bread, Clifford Farm soft egg with fermented mushrooms and farro porridge, Pacific Stripped Bass, and Persimmon & Drakes Farm Goat Yogurt Parfait.
For those looking for a truly special NewYear’s Eve, Element is offering a four-course prix fixe prepared and served at home. Surf-and-turf with braised short ribs and lobster tail is the star attraction – with an option of shaved black truffle – plus diners’ choice from six appetizers that include seared tuna tataki or duck confit, a choice of Caesar or peppery green salad, and dessert of ugly fudge cake, Mexican chocolate mousse or orange vanilla sponge cake.
Escala Provisions Company Restaurant at Hyatt Centric Park City
Adults $100 per person, Children (6-11 years) $40
Children (5 years and under) $10
Prices do not include beverages, tax or gratuity
Specials at Fireside Dining for New Year’s Eve include a selection of salads and soups including the Little Gem Salad, House-Pickled Beets, Antipasto, Roasted Brussels, Sprout Panzanella Salad, Chickpea Soup and Lima Bean Stew. Dinner specials include Wild Boar Schnitzel with smoked hibiscus jam, roasted gala and granny smith apples, Almond Flour Dusted Trout with sea beans and caramelized shallot thyme sauce, Veal and Wild Mushroom Stew with crimini, hen of the woods, shiitake, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, accented with fresh rosemary and lemon, Hand Grated Rösti Potatoes with fresh thyme, housemade fresh herb cream, Fire Roasted Leg of Lamb with rosemary jus, Juniper Rubbed Prime Rib with roasted garlic béarnaise, fresh herb au jus, horseradish cream, Purple Potato Gnocchi with roasted thyme wild mushrooms, Seahive Cheddar and miso butter and Roasted Butternut Squash with fresh pomegranate seeds, sweet potatoes and baby kale.
The AAA Four-Diamond restaurant will be offering specials in addition to its regular à la carte menus, including selections such as Maine lobster, 22-ounce dry-aged bone-in ribeye, Maui Nui Axis venison, foie gras with burgundy winter truffles, and a selection of domestic and imported caviar with traditional accompaniments
NYE: 3-course prix fixe, $79.75 per guest
Park City’s beloved steakhouse is serving a sumptuous three-course dinner for NYE.
For New Year’s Eve, choose between the Caesar, wild rice and mushroom soup, or the salad bar, followed by surf-and-turf of herb-roasted striploin with a forest mushroom demi glace and Maine lobster tail. Dessert is a classic: chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries.
$160 per person. Wine pairing available for an additional $65 per person
To celebrate the new year, enjoy Osetra Caviar with roasted corn flan and king crab, puffed sorghum and yuzu, Chestnut Soup with warm winter vegetable salad, wild mushroom spiced orange espuma, Char Sui Boa with Niman Ranch beef, black garlic-soy and radish baby bok choy. Selections also include Cassoulet with sucking pig, toulousian sausage, flageolet bean and roasted duck, Veal Chop with sweet potato risotto, picked peaches and verjus. The dessert is a Citrus Rum Baba with Valrhona white chocolate mousse and blood orange caramel champagne pomegranates. A vegetarian menu is also available.
Powder at Waldorf Astoria
New Year’s Eve: Five-course prix fixe, $95 per person
Powder’s famed New Year’s Eve celebration returns. The evening opens with caviar blini and oyster, followed by a choice of yellowfin tuna and scallop tartare or beets and goat cheese. Enjoy porcini mushroom consommé and a champagne intermezzo, then an entrée of either venison and veal loin or Chilean sea bass, followed by NewYear’s Surprise for dessert featuring Tahitian vanilla, fromage blanc and raspberries.
Adults $75 per person, Children (6 – 11 years) $30 per person
Children (5 years and under) complimentary
Deer Valley’s Seafood Buffet will feature a special New Year’s Eve dinner offering appetizers such as Niman Ranch baby back ribs with cilantro glaze or housemade ancho and agave BBQ sauce, Niman Ranch braised beef short ribs with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, housemade brown sugar cured bacon, Littleneck Clams and PEI Mussels with white wine, garlic, tomato and housemade focaccia crostini, Beet Cured Aractic Char Crostini with horseradish cream cheese, crispy shallots and everything flavored baguette and Grilled Shrimp and Crispy Grit Cake with roasted tomato salad, Gold Creek Farms feta and mint and lemon chimichurri. Featured soups will include Carrot Ginger Bisque, Lobster and Fennel Chowder and Curried Cauliflower. Hot specialties offered will include Honey Soy Glazed Sablefish with ginger rice and orange ginger sauce, Pan Seared Sea Bass with tomato, eggplant, artichoke and caper ragout with crispy chickpeas, Crispy Skinned Ora King Salmon with pesto whipped potatoes and lemon compound butter, Lobster, Crab and Uni Risotto with roasted mushrooms, sweet peas and sherry vinegar, Sea Scallops seared to order with truffle crème fraiche and black garlic aioli and Ahi Tuna seared to your taste. A selection of desserts will also be included in the evening’s special menu.
Two new restaurants are making their debut this season in the Park City area, and an impressive new gingerbread display has been erected at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. Read on to find out more.
Hearth and Hill
Hearth and Hill, a 192 seat upscale casual restaurant will open its doors on December 16th. Brooks Kirchheimer, the former manager of Daly’s Pub at Montage Deer Valley and Sundance’s Zoom restaurant, is the proprieter, with Mia Yue (formerly of Firewood and High West) as the GM. Chef de Cuisine is Adam Walker (formerly of Handle and Yuki Yama). The restaurant is located in Kimball Junction and will offer an eclectic selection of food, such as a daily gyoza selection, hamachi crudo, seasonal soups of the day, ramen, burgers, Korean fried chicken, Utah trout, and filet mignon. Sounds intriguing!
The restaurant has a full bar, a large patio, and a 36-seat private dining room. The restaurant will be open year-round for lunch and dinner, and offers takeout.
1153 Center Drive, Newpark Retail Center (between Jupiter Bowl and Best Buy). More information at www.hearth-hill.com
RIME Raw Bar
Matt Harris, chef/owner of Tupelo Park City, is opening RIME Raw Bar, the world’s first ski in/ski out seafood and raw bar. RIME opens December 20th, and will offer an oyster happy hour ($2.50 oysters from 2-3pm). The menu includes ahi tartare, chowder, crudo plates, chopped salad, lobster rolls, French dips, tacos, and more, along with a selection of various beers, sparkling wines, reds, and whites.
With a tagline of “Where Powder Meets Chowder,” it’s already off to a great start in my book.
RIME is located at the top of the Jordanelle gondola, and is open Thursday through Sunday, 11am – 3pm.
Viking Gingerbread Display at the Stein Eriksen Lodge
The incredible pastry chef team at Stein, led by Executive Pastry Chef Jeremy Garcia and Corporate Chef Zan Holmquist, have done it again, creating a huge Viking ship made out of gingerbread. The ship features a 13-foot candy cane mast, and 8-foot dragon figure, and 9 feet of gingerbread stretching from bow to stern on each side.
The ship features hundreds of pounds of fresh-baked gingerbread, fondant, cookies, and candy.
“Our annual gingerbread display is one of my favorite ways to impress our guests during the holiday season,” said Jeremy Garcia, Executive Pastry Chef at Stein Eriksen Lodge. “The level of creativity and passion for such an enormous display – entirely constructed of pastries – is a testament to our team’s dedication to ensure the holidays spent at Stein Eriksen Lodge are an unforgettable experience.”
The display is located in the Mountain Lodge at Stein Eriksen. For more information, see their website.
You’d be hard pressed to find higher quality dining at any ski resort in the country than the culinary selections at Deer Valley. Not only does their food blow away most other resorts’ offerings, they also compete with some of the state’s best restaurants, period. Don’t believe me? Their contemporary cuisine restaurant, Mariposa, was recently named by Zagat as Utah’s best restaurant. Not best ski resort restaurant. Best restaurant. From coffee and baked goods at Deer Valley Grocery Café, fresh sustainably-sourced seafood at the Seafood Buffet, brick oven cuisine at The Brass Tag, or their AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Goldener Hirsch, Deer Valley always sets themselves apart from the rest of the ski world with their culinary offerings.
The resort recently rolled out their new winter menu for the upcoming ski season, and I was able to attend a media tasting event to check out their new offerings. Although the famous chili and incredible baked goods will of course remain on the menu, a variety of locally-sourced and environmentally-conscious ingredients have found their way on the various menus across the resort.
See the photos below to get a small glimpse of the resort’s newest offerings. Not shown are the Silver Star Farms wagyu short ribs, with fall squash, Matsutake mushrooms, celeriac, burgundy truffles, and truffle-soy jus from Goldener Hirsch. It was the best plate of the night.
I was saddened to hear that the growl of Chow Truck’s engine will no longer be heard roaming the streets of Salt Lake. Chow truck was the very first “non roach coach” food truck to enter the dining scene in Utah. Culinary pioneer SuAnn Chow knocked the socks off of hesitant diners with bold marketing and innovative flavor mashups. Calamari, taro root chips, lemongrass chicken, pineapple ginger tacos, brisket tacos–it was innovative for the Salt Lake restaurant scene and unconscionable to be coming from a food truck.
After a while, SuAnn sold the truck to her main chef, who then ran it for a few more years. Diners’ tastes may have shifted, marketing and social media from the truck became spotty, and you know the rest of the story.
Kudos to SuAnn for being brave and sticking her neck out to bring food trucks to our community. I remember seeing her frequently, hustling non-stop even in the freezing cold. The next time you see her, give her a hug and a hearty thanks.
Nibble, nosh, sip and swirl the evening away while listening to live music on Tracy Aviary’s cool, green grounds at Eat Drink SLC 2018 on July 12, from 6:30 to 9:30pm. Festival-goers, aged 21 and over, sample seasonal fare from many of Salt Lake’s leading restaurants and purveyors; sip from a selection of 80 wines from an international assortment of family-owned wineries; taste craft cocktails from small-batch distilleries, including several which are locally owned and operated; and enjoy local beers from award-winning Utah craft brewers. Each of the three distinct festival pods feature its own culinary mix and musical genre, allowing patrons to chart their own course through the evening.
Eat Drink SLC is a response to a new sense of urbanism in Salt Lake. As the valley changes, its tastes are changing with it. The growth of chef-driven and -owned restaurants and rise of craft beverages, urban wineries and distilleries are elevating the city’s palate. “Eat Drink SLC is a delightful way to celebrate our community’s coming of age as a culinary hotspot and raise visibility for the vibrant food and drink scene with both locals and tourists,” according to Tracey Thompson, President of Vine Lore Wine and Spirits, the event’s Presenting Drink Curator. Thompson notes that Eat Drink SLC marries food and drink in a way not found in other Utah events. “Eat Drink fosters an appreciation of the synergy between food and drink,“ says Thompson “not just one or the other but how the marriage of the two.”
Vine Lore Wine and Spirits is joined by an impressive list of award-winning Salt Lake City restaurants and food businesses. Eat Drink SLC is hosted under a nonprofit partnership umbrella consisting of Tracy Aviary and SB Dance. These two organizations represent, respectively, a place and an arts-maker that contribute to the unique character of our community. A third nonprofit – Neighborhood House – represents an organization that empowers underserved youth from Salt Lake’s west side, many of whom are from families involved in the food and beverage industry. Eat Drink SLC’s mission is to honor the entire industry’s food chain including customers, business owners, managers, servers, culinary professionals, purveyors and agricultural workers.
With tickets priced at $90, this summer evening social is an approachable, affable and appetizing night out while supporting three local nonprofits that enhance Salt Lake’s community: Tracy Aviary, Neighborhood House, and SB Dance. Admission includes all food and drink and a complementary signature wine glass. Guests must be 21 years old and over. Please buy tickets early, as the event sells out days in advance.
Alamexo Cantina in the iconic 9th and 9th district will now be open seven days a week and is adding a new “Cantina Happy Hour” menu of $4 Botanas that will be served from 3 until 6 p.m. throughout the restaurant. Each week will feature a rotating selection of small bites available a la carte in addition to the regular dinner menu. “I’m going to serve some additional treats in the afternoon – things you’d usually find in at a bar in Mexico,” said Matt Lake, owner and executive chef.
New Operating Hours are Monday – Saturday from 3 until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 3 – 9 p.m. with the Cantina Happy Hour menu served daily from 3 – 6 p.m. “It’s a new neighborhood to us, and we listened carefully to our customers since opening,” said Susan Bouldin, operations manager. “Everyone has really embraced the Cantina and our gorgeous patio in the afternoon and evening and that’s clearly the time of day they want to enjoy the restaurant.”
The Cantina Happy Hour Menu, available from 3 – 6 p.m. in addition to the dinner menu (highlights below), will change weekly to take advantage of the freshest ingredients from local farms and ranches. Drink specials will be offered with selections changing weekly. Sample $4 Botanas offerings include:
Huarache Plantanos: corn and ripe plantain masa topped with refried black beans, lettuce, cabbage and cashew salsa
Quesadilla con Queso y Hongos: two white corn quesadillas filled with mushrooms, jalapeño & Oaxaca cheese served with salsa verde cruda
Jalapeño Rellenos: pickled jalapeño filled with beef barbacoa, topped with queso fresco & crema
Taquitos de Pollo: crispy rolled tacos filled with adobo chicken
While the Cantina will not open until 3 p.m., Lake and his crew are happy to open for groups mid-day. “It’s actually the perfect answer for us because we can’t accommodate private groups in our downtown location and have a huge call for mid-day lunch meetings and events,” said Bouldin. “We can host any type of private party during the day now and offer a truly private space.”
In keeping with the traditional Mexican values and roots, Alamexo’s culinary teams source only the finest organic and natural produces for their menu. They feature Niman Ranch and Snake River Farms meats, responsible seafood and buy from local farmers in season. All their suppliers are locally owned and operated.
At both Alamexo Mexican Kitchen downtown and Alamexo Cantina in the 9th and 9th district, they offer a wide, hand-curated selection tequilas: blancos, reposados and anejos; as well as an all-new cocktail menu, mezcals, cervezas and licor.
The dinner menu will be served from 3 p.m. until closing. The Para la Masa offerings include popular selections of their classic Guacamole and Guacamole Verde con Carnitas, Queso Fundido, Cantina Nachos or Quesadilla Grande, both of the latter having options to add shredded short rib barbacoa or chicken tinga.
The Platos Principales are served with rice and beans and include the Enchiladas Suizas with roasted pulled chicken in a tomatillo cream sauce; Enchiladas Mole Poblano with pulled chicken adobo with traditional mole poblano; Carnitas con Salsa Verde with tender pork carnitas, the Jaiba y Camarones with lump crab and Gulf shrimp, Hongos y Queso with wild mushrooms and Oaxaca cheese, and the Con Queso y Aguacate with mashed avocado and melted Chihuahua cheese.
Tacos include the Pollo y Adobo with chicken in chipotle adobo, Pescado Mixtos with wild mahi mahi filet and Gulf shrimp, Barbarcoa with tres chile beef barbacoa, Al Pastor de Alamexo with braised and pulled pork, Vegetales with roasted cauliflower and seasonal vegetables and Carne Asada with adobo marinated steak.
A Cantina Salad with Romaine hearts, baby spinach, tomato, avocado and jĭcama can be made into a meal by adding adobo chicken or beef barbacoa. Lados (or sides) include Cantina favorites of Papas y Chile Molido, smashed russet potatoes, Platanos con Crema, fried ripe sweet plantains; Elotes de la Calle, Mexican street corn off the cob with lime aioli, queso fresco and chile molido or Coliflor, roasted cauliflower with chile recado.
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar’s first wine dinner of the summer features wines from Vosca, Roncúsand Dolfo paired with Chef Jonathan LeBlanc’s four-course Italian tasting menu on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is just $85 per person (or $55 per person without wine pairings). Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 801-746-4441. Reservations may be made on www.stanzaslc.com, but a notation about the wine dinner needs to be included.
After a refreshing Vosca Chardonnay DOC upon arrival, the pairing of Chef LeBlanc’s menu includes: Dolfo Rose 2016 with Chef’s new Brûléed Melon, Prosciutto and Burrata with frisée salad and Cavalli balsamic; Dolfo Pinot Noir 2012 with Tiger Prawn Risotto Rucolawith heirloom tomato and pecorino; Dolfo Merlot 2013 with a juicy Rack of Lamb with orzo, mint pistachio pesto, cucumber créme fraîche and oven roasted Campari tomato. The dessert course will feature Roncus Rilolla Gialla with pastry chef Amber Billingsley’s Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with roasted stone fruit, local wildflower honey and candied walnuts.
“While backpacking Europe a couple years ago, I was blown away by the wonderful wines being produced along the border of Italy and Slovenia. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to form a relationship with some of these winemakers, and to help in making their delicious product available in Utah,” says Hillary Merrill, general manager. “These wines are very dear to my heart, making this an especially exciting dinner for me.”
The Salt Lake craft cocktail game is growing, thanks to La Barba Coffee co-founders Josh Rosenthal and Joe Evans, with the exciting announcement of Seabird Bar and Vinyl Room. Seabird, set to open doors this fall, is part of a rapidly growing number of new and unique tenants at The Gateway.
Seabird will be located next door to La Barba, which began serving customers earlier this month.
“Seabird is exactly the kind of concept we’re excited to bring to downtown,” says Jenny Cushing, Vice President of Leasing at Vestar. “What they can do with coffee is second-to-none, and now, they’re going to bring that same level of quality and uniqueness into the cocktail scene. We’re so excited for it to come to life here at The Gateway.”
Seabird will feature lavish seasonal renditions of craft cocktails, while music is played from a classic turntable. “We’ve just started construction on a Seabird location in Draper,” says Josh Rosenthal, co-founder of La Barba and Seabird. “Once we signed the deal to come to The Gateway, we knew it would be another perfect location for us.”
One thing I’ve always respected about Chef Matt Lake is that he’s not afraid of change. After his first SLC restaurant, ZY, wasn’t performing up to his standards, he took one weekend to completely redecorate, rebrand, and the following Monday the city was introduced to Alamexo downtown.
Though not as dramatic a change, Chef Lake has listened to customer feedback at Alamexo Cantina, and has introduced a brand new menu. Shared plates as originally envisioned for the cantina are still available, however diners are now able to order their own entrees as well. Some classic dishes from Alamexo downtown have also found there way to the Cantina menu. And what started as one menu for both lunch and dinner has morphed into two separate menus. Those that enjoy adult beverages need not fear: Alamexo Cantina continues to offer its top-shelf selection of various tequilas as well.
On a recent visit I was able to try the larger entree portions, as well as some of the classic dishes. Queso Fundido with guajillo-marinated lobster was a rich, gooey revelation and is highly recommended (and coming in at a similar price as the guacamole, I think it’s a no-brainer which one I would choose, despite my love for a huge bowl of guac).
Fans of Alamexo downtown will be happy to see that Chef Lake’s famous Enchiladas Suizas are now on the cantina menu. These are my go-to enchiladas, and they never disappoint. I also tasted the Enchiladas Jaiba y Camarones (enchiladas with lump crab and gulf shrimp, baked in a roasted habanero cream sauce). Rich, sweet, and spicy, these delightful enchiladas hit all of the right notes. I had a hard time choosing between the seafood enchiladas and the Mole Poblano enchiladas. Mole Poblano is my all-time favorite mole due to the sweet, rich, chocolately notes. I had the server bring me out a small taste of the mole Poblano, and I would suggest it for only the biggest spicy fanatics out there. It was a bit past my comfort level.
Some of the other classic cantina side dishes remain. The street corn, cut from the cob and covered in lime aioli, queso fresco, and chile molido, remains one of my favorite dishes. And the Platanos con Crema remains on the menu as well, although the new versions are large chunks of plantain that are then fried, as opposed to the old “crab cake” style plantains from the old menu, which were diced up and formed into patties, then fried. I preferred the old style, but plantain lovers will really enjoy the new version as well.
In celebration of the new menu, and for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration, Chef Lake is rolling out a few specials for Cinco de Mayo. Both Alamexo Cantina and Alamexo downtown will feature carnitas tacos with salsa verde, avocado, and jalapeno escabeche. Another special menu item will be enchiladas enfrijolatas with achiote chicken and asparagus. Both locations will also feature a special drink menu, including one named Medicina Botanica: Espolon reposado, ginger agave, lemon, and a Wahaka mezcal float.
In the mood to win a free dinner to Alamexo Cantina? I’m giving away $100 for the cantina (drinks and gratuity are not included) to celebrate the new menu, and to celebrate SLCeats reaching 1,000 followers on Instagram. All you have to do? Go to the SLCeats Instagram page and leave a comment on the giveaway post. That’s it! I’ll pick one commenter at random and the $100 is yours!
Disclaimer: $100 gift card provided by Alamexo Cantina. I was an invited guest to try the new menu.