Wow, seems like only a few seconds since our last new restaurants around SLC roundup. Let us know if we’ve missed any other interesting new restaurant news.
Chef Gao – Replacing Asian Isle (488 E 100 S) comes Chef Gao, from the same operators you might already know from Sweet Ginger in Midvale. The menu is unabashedly authentic (you can find a full Chef Gao menu here) and loaded with Sichuan spice and thrills.
Pictured above is a signature dish of the restaurant, Spicy Boiled Fish. The name hardly does this incendiary bowl justice. It’s like saying Rembrandt wasn’t half bad with a paintbrush. The dish is a riot for the senses packed with a gleeful abandon of chilli, garlic and oil, and just what you need while crying over the impending wintery doldrums. Every other Chinese restaurant in downtown SLC just got put on notice with the opening of Chef Gao, this is the real deal. Go.
Chow Truck – Everything’s cyclical in life, including restaurants. I swear if you wait long enough, you’ll see bechamel sauce making a bold come back (it’ll probably have kale or pork belly mind you). Case in point, SLC’s first true gourmet food truck is now setting up a bricks and mortar operation. Owner SuAn Chow’s latest venture opens at Station Park in Farmington. From the press release:
‘Echoing the look of the truck, the 241 square-foot space is a vision of stainless steel with accents of Chow truck yellow and a walk-up window that looks right into the kitchen. Located in the West Pavilion of the shopping center, Chow Station Park offers the option of fireside dining in the common area of a comfortable food pavilion, or outdoors, by a Bellagio-style fountain and play area. It’s within reach of the center’s movie theaters in the midst of retail extravaganza unlike any in the region’
“It’s exciting,” says Chow. “With more space and equipment, I’ve been able to add some fun new items to the menu. For example, we’re doing a grilled airline chicken breast with citrus aioli and plum-ginger sauce on rice or in a rice noodle bowl. All our proteins—pork to tofu—are now available on rice or rice noodles, too.”
Copper Kitchen – First there was Copper Onion, then there was Plum Alley, then there wasn’t Plum Alley, then there was Copper Common, and now, now there’s Copper Kitchen. Got that? Good. The latest eatery from chef Ryan Lowder and co. recently opened in Holladay at 4640 So 2300 E. The brash indulge yourself vibe of the Copper Onion gives way to a more reserved, slightly safer play for the suburbs – which will undoubtedly lead to another mega hit.
Kebob Stop – Spotted on a recent drive – this new Pakistani joint replaces the long gone Old City Bakery at 291 E 3300 S. We know virtually nothing more than what we saw on the Yelp listing for the business. What we did see was meat on sticks though. And we like meat on sticks – a lot.
Finca * – Finca is almost ready to open its new downtown location and spread its wings. On Saturday, November 29th the restaurant opens at 327 W. 200 S. and the old location closes. At nearly twice the size of the existing space, the restaurant aims to better execute on its vision for what a tapas restaurant in SLC can be. With that in mind there’s a new lounge area for the after-work and late-night downtown crowds – that will make taking advantage of Finca’s craft cocktail program all the easier. Maybe a quick drink after work with a friend morphs into dinner and after-dinner drinks with a group; it all promises to be much closer to Finca’s Spanish inspirations, in the heart of downtown.
A larger kitchen space means further expansion on the food side too including an expanded selection of traditional tapas items, platos grandes (including paella!), plus the addition of a regular bar and pintxos (or one-bite snacks) menu for in-between times. The new location will also serve as a central kitchen for house made items such as bread, pastries, desserts, and house made sausages for all of Scott Evans’ restaurants.
Finally, two separate private dining rooms, one with space for up to 24 people and the other with space for up to 32 people, will be on hand for both private parties and the fabulous dining events Evan’s routinely orchestrates (see picture above). What with Evans’ business nous, chef Phelix Gardner’s cooking chops, Scott Gardiner’s cokctail wizardry and the new location – this could be *the* restaurant for 2015.
Hub & Spoke Eatery – In the space of the then departed Finca at 1291 S 1100 E Evans’ hopes to keep the neighborhood well fed and happy. Via email he explained “not to worry, we still love the original 13th & 11th neighborhood and will continue to stay in the space with another concept, Hub & Spoke Eatery. You’ve been so good to us, we couldn’t bear to stay away for long. We’ve wanted to open a casual and modern diner – a re-interpretation of the traditional 7-day a week breakfast-through-dinner restaurant – and we think this is just the spot for families/neighbors to walk over for a bite to eat or a group to meet for a casual, late-night dinner and drink.” More details to follow but look for Hub & Spoke Eatery to open in early 2015.
Sushi Burrito – Yes, this is now a thing. And it’s probably a sign of the end times. The Roman empire most likely fell around the same time someone started pushing ocelot wraps with a sprinkling of jaguar earlobes. From the same folks behind Rice Basil, comes Sushi Burrito (180 E 800 S). The name is pretty self explanatory – mega-maki – copying a format set on the West Coast. Reviews seem largely positive but time will tell how solid the concept is, as the novelty wanes.
Taqueria 27 – Also empire building is Todd Gardiner, owner/operator of Taqueria 27, and now eying a third opening for his popular T27 concept in Jan-Feb 2015. The third Taqueria is set to open alongside Bar-X and Beer Bar in downtown SLC (149 E 200 S).
The new Taqueria will copy the winning formula of high end, creative tacos. Where else in SLC you can get a Wagyu beef taco with habanero mashed potatoes, onion reduction and gorgonzola cheese? Also, with his new neighbors in mind, Gardiner is musing a special late night menu too – more details to follow as we know ’em; beer, cocktails, cool tacos – sounds like another recipe for success to us.
See our latest post for 2015 new restaurants in SLC.
* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Finca.
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”. Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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4 thoughts on “News: New restaurants around SLC”
It’s fun seeing the various restaurants playing “musical chairs” over the years.
Definitely Val. One businesses misfortune/closure is just another plucky entrepreneurs chance to feed us some thing even more delicious 🙂
Jesus God, that chili fish at Gao’s is good! Close to perfect as I’ve encountered in some time. Gao needs to work out a bunch of service kinks (why in the world are they so tightfisted about their rice?! it’s not like they’re handing out premium grade sushi rice.), but this is definitely a good arrival on the SLC scene.
That stuff rocks right Stephen! I’m told their original joint, Midvale’s Sweet Ginger is a few percent points even better too. They also have a late night budget menu too that’s meant to be all sort of things great.