A lot of great pictures have recently hit my desk, and I just had to share them. First up, one of my all time favorite dishes, at one of Utah’s most lauded restaurants – that’s gotta be a sure fire hit! If you’ve never tried Peking Duck before, its a fantastic dish, one that not many places in Utah prepare.
The duck is stuffed with fresh ginger, scallions, star anise and other spices before being hung to dry in the cooler for 20 hours. After the initial drying, the duck is sauced and glazed in the woks before being hung for two hours, to roast up to a golden brown perfection.
Once cooked, the duck is delicately carved and deboned by chef Peter Ye (pictured left). The entire duck, with it’s perfectly crisp skin is served to the table with traditional Mandarin pancakes, scallion onions and house made duck sauce.
At the Mandarin, 24 hour advanced notice is required to order this dish ($29.99), but it also guarantees guests a reservation too. Mandarin uses 4-5 pound Pekin (yes, spelled correctly) Duck from Maple Leaf Farms in Indiana. Maple Leaf Farms prides itself on it’s commitment to raise ducks without any added hormone or antibiotics.
348 E 900 N, Bountiful, UT 84010
Two new eye popping restaurants
If you are headed Zion National Park anytime soon, you might want to check out, Chez Bison. Christina, a reader of the blog sent me the following: “I wasn’t expecting much from the place when I went there — it’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere, there are no other restaurants around for miles, how good could it be? But this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere blew me away. The kitchen is run by Chef Shon Foster, a self-taught chef who cooked up some mean dishes using vegetables and herbs from the Ranch’s garden and locally sourced meats.
The interior of the restaurant just underwent a redesign headed up by LA-based architect-designer Dustin Miles (designer of Venice Beach Wines; also worked on the design of Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur). Like myself, Dustin randomly stumbled upon Chez Bison and the (Zion Mountain) Ranch while on vacation last year and was so enthralled by the food, the people and the great energy of the place that he wanted to give something back. The new space features communal tables, wood salvaged from the Ranch’s property, Edison-style bulbs and lots of pioneer backcountry accents. Everyone at the restaurant had a hand in this redesign — from the chopping and sanding of wood to the hanging of lights (the leather accents were created by the Ranch’s horseback tourguide, and the chairs were re-upholstered by a mother of one of the waiters) — a true team effort.
If you wondered what food accompanies that space, here’s a sample of a recent fascinating looking tasting menu too:
Avocado Fry with Louisiana Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Curried Crema and Cilantro Chip. Garnished
with Guajillo Chili and Spring Onion Oil.
“Sashimi Surf N Turff” sashimi Ahi Tuna , sugar baby watermelon, togarashi shichimi, ginger aioli, cilantro, heart of kombu umami glaze, sesame seed.
Humbolt Fog on Lemonade Gelee with ZMR Baby Greens, Watermelon Radish and Supreme Arizona Navel
Orange. Garnished with Utah Honey Comb, Raspberry Pearls, Pistachio Dust, Pink Peppercorn Oil and Ver
Dijion Mustard Crusted Scallop with Summer Truffle. Garnished with sunny side up qual egg, grilled cantaloupe vinaigrette, & Peaches & Cream Cigar Smoke
“Breakfast” Smoked Pork Belly, Sous Vide Fried Egg and Steamed Pork Bun. Garnished with Char Tzu,
Bleu Cheese Smoked Cabbage Slaw, House Bearnaise and Homemade buttered toast and Peach Jam reverse
“Cimelio Pomodoro” Zion Mountain Heirloom tomatoes, garlic and avocado aioli, black pepper oil, mixed Zion Mountain garden greens, garnished with cojtia crumble, aceto balsamico
“Duck & Dumplings” Duck Confit, ricotta and tarragon dumpling, duck jus lie, garnished with Chanterelle mushroom & local apple.
“East Meets West” Butter Poached Main Lobster Tail over Rosemary Beurre Noisette wilted Broccoli Rabe.
Garnished with Fried Oregon Blueberries, Taragon Crisp, and Berry Vinaigrette
“Fireside” Zion Mountain Ranch Buffalo Filet, Seared Foie and Mexican White Shrimp Campari Tomato
Scampi served Tableside on Sizzling Granite with Wild Mushrooms, mixed grains and Scallop Potatoes
“A Study of Chocolate” Chocolate Fondant Bouchon with Toasted Coconut Crusted Vanilla Ice Cream and
Raspberry Coulis~Butter Shortbread with White Chocolate Cheesecake Rochet. Garnished with Berry Salsa
and ZMR Taragon~Red Velvet Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnished with Housemade Honey-
Agave Ice Cream, Chantilly Cream and Pistachio Dust.
Zion Mountain Ranch
Closer to home, right here in SLC is the new downtown restaurant, Pallet. Equally eye catching, its another heavily designed restaurant. From the restaurant website: “Our restaurant’s name pays homage to the building’s roots. Constructed in the early 1900’s, Pallet was originally the busy loading dock for Salt Lake Valley’s first creamery. We’ve updated the interior, but preserving the building’s heritage was vital, and we’ve taken measures to ensure that the history of the space remain intact.
The artwork in Pallet was commissioned specifically to speak to the era, and 100-year-old, reclaimed wood was used to create the dining-room flooring, tables, and the frame around our mirror over the bar. Even more notable are the many authentic details inside. Gashes in the brick, caused by loading trucks, are visible on our north wall. The concrete flooring near the bar marks the receiving dock area, and the original wood ceiling was repurposed on the south wall of the restroom corridor”.
237 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Patio at Faustina
The always popular patio at Faustina is now open, and is another treat for the senses. Check out these pictures of the newly revamped space. What’s more if you stop by on Sunday evenings, you can even snag a free appetizer too. Faustina is rewarding Sunday evening diners with a complementary appetizer from Executive Chef Billy Sotelo’s kitchen. Specially created just for leisurely dining on the newly renovated patio, each mouth-watering appetizer will be free to each table ordering entrées. The soft polenta cake with lamb sausage and stewed bell peppers with Sotelo’s pomodoro sauce will be served during dinner hours (4:30 to 9:00 p.m.) as a perfect starter for his award-winning nightly menu.
454 East Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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