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Dining out: Caffe Niche

caffe niche irish coffee french toast
caffe niche exterior

Caffe Niche: exterior

Never content to rest on their laurels, The LaSalle Restaurant Group (Oasis, Faustina, Current, Kyoto etc.) continues to evolve at a fair ol’ clip. Caffe Niche, a long time locals favorite, is the latest restaurant in the group to see something of a face lift. Original chef and owner Ethan Lappe has now moved on and in his place, new chef Andy Morrison is heading up the kitchen crew. Additionally, Joseph Gee is now GM and Sarah Fults – previous of the Grand America – recently joined The LaSalle Restaurant Group as operations manager.

caffe niche dining room

Caffe Niche: dining room

caffe niche pickle plate

Caffe Niche: seasonal pickle plate

“Everything served all day, every day” is the mantra for the new menu. That means breakfast for dinner, sandwiches for breakfast, and cocktails for lunch. The concept is a tad schticky, but does offer some interesting combinations. For example, during a recent meal we eschewed the actual dessert menu and to end our meal instead ordered up the breakfast dish, Irish Coffee French Toast. A criminal masterpiece, no doubt soon to be labelled by the WHO as deleterious to health – Bailey’s battered challah bread is dipped in espresso and served with house made whipped cream, whiskey, caramel espresso syrup and chocolate shavings. Just throw your diet in the garbage can now, and resolve to make amends in 2016, it’s as good (and bad) as it reads.

If you’ve not already bolted out the door to grab that dish alone…

caffe niche whole roasted artichoke

Caffe Niche: whole roasted artichoke

caffe niche wild mushroom scramble

Caffe Niche: wild mushroom scramble

Prices are fair, especially so in a market that currently seems to gleefully race upward on a weekly basis; cocktails stubbornly refuse to bust into two digit territory. Small plates offer plenty of items to share such as gently picked seasonal veggies ($6) or whole roasted artichoke with aioli ($8). Breakfast dishes run $8-$12 and lunch items $11-$13. Entrees don’t go much farther North than twenty bucks and a plate of Morgan Valley lamb tenderloin with fingerling potatoes was rock solid. Cooked perfectly pink and slathered in a mix of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dijon and oregano the dish also showcased the kitchen’s remarkable sense of style with the salt shaker.

caffe niche morgan valley lamb

Caffe Niche: Morgan Valley lamb

caffe niche irish coffee french toast

Caffe Niche: Irish coffee french toast

The restaurant space remains a comfortably chic one and would serve just as ably for a business lunch or after work hang out. Just on the outskirts of the city, the location is also worth keeping in mind too for when downtown is flooded with the latest pyramid scheme wielding conventioneers or plaid emblazoned ORshow-sters. There’s a workable patio, but I guess that’s truthfully past us now till next years spring. Well not unless you take me up on my suggestion of cocktails for lunch and Irish Coffee French Toast for dessert – those calories will keep you all aglow through the flurriest of snow storms.

779 Broadway S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 433-3380

* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Caffe Niche, and the food portion of this meal was comped.

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