If you don’t follow Gastronomic SLC on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you might not have seen our very first featured showcase. If that’s the case please do take a moment to review your life choices up until this point. Good? Let’s move on.
Throughout June we covered the sterling cuisine of The Annex By Epic in Sugarhouse. Chef Craig Gerome is now over a year into his stewardship of the kitchen, and as such, at this point I don’t think we can call him the new guy anymore. Still, plenty of people are continually surprised to see the new food coming out under Gerome’s supervision, which is light years removed from what came before. If you’re one of those, please take notes, there will be a test later.
So what sets this restaurant apart? Two things: excellent product, excellent execution. Without sounding like a starry-eyed-hipster, Gerome’s cuisine isn’t just seasonal, it’s micro seasonal. O.k. that did sound like I have my skinny jeans on, but frankly it’s a solid term (note: skinny jeans are a practical impossibility for me at this point anyway). Gerome now prints a new menu on a daily basis. Sure there are staples like the Bouchot mussels overnighted from Stonington, Maine, that you will find more often than not – but much of the menu is in flux and flow based on product that might arrive daily in the restaurant.
Case in point, at a recent beer pairing dinner, one dish was composed from a single batch of produce from Sweet Valley Organics in Idaho – picked, cooked, eaten, boom, gone. If you we’re there, it was fabulous and ephemeral. If you weren’t, you simply can’t have it. Ask your server what is great on any particular day you visit and you won’t be disappointed.
Of course, all this would be for zilch if execution wasn’t on point; but you guessed it, Gerome and his great crew have this nailed down too. There’s the basics from perfectly cooked steaks and lovingly prepared fish. And then there are the bells and whistles, used with nous and restraint only when it makes sense. See that grilled octopus below, it hits the sous vide machine first, making for lusciously tender meat.
The Annex By Epic is one of the current culinary gems in Utah, if you’ve yet to sample it, make it a priority. Extra bonus reason while you melt in this heat: their AC is really good too. Here are those pictures again from our June social showcase:
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 a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many 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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