Evening dinner review
I love going to new restaurants. I think that’s probably true of most self-described foodies, but for many years I had to go to other cities to get my fix. That time has apparently come to an end here because Salt Lake has had so many new restaurants open lately I can barely make up my mind which to try first.
Tipica topped my list of new places to try though. This new nose-to-tail Caputo venture sounded pretty exotic compared to normal Salt Lake restaurants so I couldn’t help but wrangle some friends into going there recently.
We made reservations on a Friday night and from the buzz I’ve been hearing about the place I was expecting it to be packed. Luckily, it wasn’t too busy when we got there and the service was top notch until later in the evening when the place began to fill up. Then our waitress was definitely over stretched and we had long lags between visits to our table.
The meal began with an amuse-bouche of grilled watermelon, goat cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. I loved this. I’ve never had grilled watermelon before, but it was such a surprising taste, especially with the truffle oil. It was sweet, smoky, and tangy all in one. I’ll definitely be trying to grill some at home soon.
As a salad course, I ordered the Navel Oranges with Taggiasche olive puree, fennel pollen, and Ligurian olive oil ($6.00). Not exactly what I was expecting, but then that’s part of the fun, right? The oranges were tangy and matched perfectly with the olive puree, but words fail me when I try to describe the fennel pollen. It definitely added an herbal note to the oranges I’d never tasted before.
Jason and Danielle tried the Roasted Marrow Bone salad with pickled beef tongue, frisee, lemon-truffle vinaigrette, and grilled baguette ($11.00). They gave it mixed reviews. They both said the marrow was interesting to try, but the texture was strangely jelly like and very fatty. Good on the bread, but so rich it took over everything else. The tongue was very good though, with a texture like soft roast beef.
Wayne got the chilled Roasted Shallot and Sunchoke Soup with pickled shallots, black truffle oil, and Biellese pancetta ($6.00). I had a taste of it and was pleased by the light flavors and cool temperature.
For my entrée I ordered the Saffron Arborio Risotto with rock shrimp and cold lump crab salad ($16.00). This was so good. The rice and shrimp were cooked perfectly and the crab was a delicious accompaniment to the pronounced saffron flavor.
Danielle ordered the Smoked Pork Shank and Oregano Ravioli with pork-juniper berry jus, English peas, and onion jam ($15.00). The main flavor here was sweet and we thought the pork was overwhelmed by it. Interesting, but not balanced enough for our taste.
Jason ordered the Piedmontese Beef and Porcini Ragout with rosemary wheat pappardelle ($17.00). He really liked the texture of the pasta, but felt the ragout was a little one-dimensional. I tasted it and thought the hearty flavor would be great in October, but wasn’t working for me in July.
Wayne ordered the Arugula-Tarragon Pesto Bucatini with edible flowers and 3-year aged Parmegiano Reggiano ($13.00). It looked gorgeous, but I thought the tarragon overwhelmed the other flavors I was looking forward to.
For dessert Wayne and Danielle ordered the gelato – pistachio and coconut respectively. They reported it was tasty, but not overly sweet and a nice end to their meals. Jason ordered the Black Mission Fig Crostada with rosemary whipped cream and dulce de leche ($7.00). He ate the whole thing before I even snagged a bite, which is a pretty good review in itself.
I did something I’ve always wanted to do and ordered cheese for dessert ($3.00). They told me where specifically the blue cheese came from (you can buy it in the deli), but I really didn’t pay attention. I have never met a blue cheese I didn’t like and I was focused on my plate waiting for the waitress to leave so I could dive in. The cheese was peppery, creamy, and very blue cheesy. I loved it, and the roasted peaches and little toasts on the side were well paired to counter that unexpected hot tanginess in the cheese. It also came with a little truffle ($2.00 each) from Chocolatier Blue (I chose cherry flavored), and it was a nice sweet hit at the very end.
Tipica was a fun adventure for a Friday night, although with reflection I’m not sure this will be a regular stop for us. That said, since one of the main tenets behind Tipica is their use of seasonal and local ingredients I’m looking forward to their evolving menu and will definitely go back next season.
314 W 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Hours: 5:30-9:30 pm Wednesday – Saturday