Tipica: A sneak preview

Apparently in Italy, Tipica is commonly used to refer to restaurants that best typify a regional style or flavour. Tipica is also the name of one of Salt Lake’s most eagerly anticipated new restaurants. Much like the Italian phrase, the restaurant seeks to embody something unique to SLC.

We had the good fortune to attend an evening’s introduction to Tipica, which occupies Caputo’s day-time deli space, this week. Due to the one-off nature of the event, I won’t be reviewing the restaurant in full right now. We do plan to go back, but I thought I would share some thoughts on this new restaurant.

Firstly, it puts chef Adam Kreisel back on SLC’s culinary map. Formerly of Globe By Moonlight and then Acme Burger Company, Adam is well known and loved by many in SLC. Tipica is Adam’s latest venture and is backed by the legendary Caputo’s. A renowned chef with such a fabulous pantry from which to select items should result in great things.

One of Tipica’s goals is ambitious and promising to say the least, as they aspire to be Utah’s first “nose-to-tail” restaurant. This means utilizing nearly every edible part of the animal, thus minimizing waste. While this way of eating has been the norm for centuries in other parts of the world, it is a relatively new idea locally, and may require some getting used to by local diners. Tipica’s more encompassing goal of ensuring all produce used is sustainable, sourced locally, and seasonal when possible should go down a little easier with locals. Because of the restaurant’s aims, the menu is likely to change on a weekly basis and offer many new tastes and treats on a regular basis.

Aside from the food, the space was a surprising treat. The deli space’s outer edges are shrouded in billowing golden drapes, hiding the space’s day-to-day operations. Tables are covered in crisp, white linens and best of all, the front of the restaurant space can be completely opened to the elements. Indeed on this particular night it was a pleasure to look out across a sea of greenery, while being cooled by lovely evening breezes. There were even lights twinkling in the trees surrounding the outdoor area. I can see the space becoming a romantic destination, no small feat for a day-time deli.

I don’t think it would be fair to comment specifically on any dish we ate that evening. It suffices to say, some were great and others may have been for the braver palate and took some getting used to. Hands up, I will confess! I am, unfortunately, no lover of sweetbreads.

Roasted Cauliflower (Balsamic Glaze, Micro Licorice Basil):

tipica roasted cauliflower

Scallop Crudo (Braised Kale, Dandelion, Lobster Vinaigrette):

tipica scallop crudo

Lamb Sweetbreads (Celery Risotto, Chive oil):

tipica lamb sweetbread

Chocolatier Blue Chocolate Truffles with Gelato:

tipica chocalatier chocalates

We will be watching progress at Tipica with keen interest and definitely visiting again after the official opening this Wednesday, May 20. The ambition and boldness of the menu looks set to be the making or breaking of Tipica. Is SLC ready for regular offal offerings on it’s menus, or even a menu so quickly changing that new favourites come and go in the blink of the eye? Time will surely tell, in the meantime, I certainly look forward to more of this unique dining experience.

Tipica
314 West 300 South, Salt Lake City
(801) 328 0222
Hours: 5.30 p.m. Wednesday’s through Saturday

Website: www.tipicacaputo.com/

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