Under Current Club – Salt Lake’s newest chic cocktail bar proudly announced its grand opening just over a week ago. Located on the newly redeveloped 300 South corridor at 279 East, Under Current adds a contemporary, comfortable option for entertainment and conversation in the newly refurbished historic building.
Inspired by famous cocktail bars in New York and the Pacific Northwest, the bar complements Current Fish & Oyster next door. Under Current provides craft cocktail and a thoughtful wine program with cuisine from the adjacent Current kitchen – already making waves (sorry who could resist that one) around town.
The cocktail program is the brainchild of Amy Eldredge, who was trained and mentored by internationally recognized Sasha Petraske in New York City, and offers both classic and unique flavors and beverage offerings that will change with the season. Jim Santangelo, the LaSalle/Trio Group’s beverage director created the overall wine program.
“We wanted to create a space unlike anywhere else in Salt Lake,” said Eldridge. “We have a collection of all types of spirits, many of which are unique to our bar exclusively. I’m excited to introduce some new, fresh tastes to Salt Lake.” Seasonal ingredients drive the cocktail program, with a variety to match each season, affording for an ever evolving menu. “Our cocktail menu for the summer consists of a coastal concept, highlighting pineapple, rum, absinthe, housemade infused syrups, and other unique spirits,” said Eldridge. “We have a collection of all types of spirits, some of which are unique to our bar exclusively in Utah. Our spirit program is highlighting absinthe and pastis, as well as amari and gin.”
James Santangelo, beverage director for LaSalle Restaurant Group oversees the wine side of things with a menu that includes white and red wines on tap with a handy array of white, bubbly and reds by the bottle and the glass – all served table-side. There is also a selection of beers available in the bottle and on tap.
On the food side of the equation, bar friendly small plates from the kitchen of Current Fish & Oyster include picks such as local artisan cheese and meats, pickled Gulf shrimp, smoked clam dip and signature selections of Under Current Tacos and steamed Asian buns with soy-sake roasted pork belly or spicy Tabasco shrimp. “Oysters are a specialty. The culinary staff likes to highlight regions and educate people about different profiles and pairings and watch with delight as our guests discover some new favorites,” said chef Crew.
From the west coast, oysters from the waters of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington State are offered. Nightly specials will come from Fanny Bay, Gold Creek, Chef Creek and Boutique Oysters (Shigoku, Kusshi, & Kumamato). East coast offerings include oysters from the waters of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Maine and Massachusetts. Nightly menus will include Malpeques, Wallace Bay, Riptide and Belon.
With a main floor seating 95 along the bar, banquette and a unique round table near the rear there are ample conversation areas to relax and revel. The mezzanine seats 40 comfortably and looks out over the lower floor of Under Current. A glass wall separates this from the mezzanine area of Current.
279 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Avenues Proper – Also with a trio of seasonal additions just hitting now, this popular North side gastropub. On the beer side of things a new Fever Pitch Saison just hit the taps. Co-owner Liam Connelly writes, “This session strength version of a traditional country beer from Belgium/France is brewed with rice and wheat malt in the mash for a very light crisp body. Nelson Sauvin (NZ) and Hallertauer (German) hops in the boil as well as a dryhopping period with the Nelson Sauvin give the beer a balanced bitterness and a fruity, wine-like finish. A light straw color and hazy from the wheat and the dryhopping period, the beer is also brewed with a spice called Grains of Paradise in the boil which have a bright, peppery flavor accented by the dry, slightly funky saison yeast.”
Over in the the kitchen two new dishes should be making their way to the summer menu as I write; a warm broccoli salad comes with sorrel, almonds, lemon aioli, pickled golden raisins, radish, potato chips, Grotte Caputo cheese and an asparagus & brie grilled cheese (pictured above) comes with truffle aioli, sunny side up egg, scarlet frill and red onion.
376 8th Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Oasis Cafe * – Chef de cuisine Efren Benitez has created special weekly three-course meals for June that are light, healthy and perfect for patio dining under the stars (patio pictured above). Priced at $25 and changing weekly to take opportunity of the freshest ingredients, the nightly dinner special includes a choice of soup or salad and changing entree and dessert options.
“It’s such a refreshing combination of flavors and ambiance,” said Will Keesen, general manager. “Our beautiful courtyard patio is absolutely popping in a profusion of color and once the stars come out, there is a magical feel.” Oasis Cafe’s June 3-Course $25 Specials come with a starter course of soup or salad and change weekly:
Sautéed tiger prawns over saffron risotto and heirloom tomatoes with Mexican style flan
Blackened mahi-mahi over grilled vegetables with chive oil and mango salsa and blackberry cheesecake
pan-roasted escolar over basil infused potato and red bell pepper puree with pineapple salsa sabayon with mixed berries
151 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Oasis Cafe.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.