I fielded more than a few questions regarding the interest and coverage of Mar | Muntanya – the Spanish-informed fine dining option nestled on the sixth floor of the sparking new Hyatt Regency. Why did I care? Why did so many Utahns care? It’s just a bajillion dollar chain hotel right? Why the rabid attention?
People claim we’re obsessed with chains here in Utah; wait, did we just pass an In-N-Out, quick turn back. Numerous studies – you can dig them up – suggest we’re actually fairly ordinary and without distinction in this regard. Plenty of states beat Utah for per-capita density of fast food. Nope, what we really like, what everyone likes – shiny new things to poke and prod. Fresh paint and menus that aren’t yet sticky and shriveled.
In a pre-2008 life I covered the goings on of Vegas in micro-detail. Mega-resorts and soaring towers would overshadow even oil emirates when it came to building boom. I’m minded of several certain exchanges a month or two after the opening of the glittering Vegas CityCenter assemblage; one plucky questioner, “o.k. I just went, what’s the latest new place I can go now?”, incredulously suggestion the multi-year, multi-billion dollar project was already passe just a month after opening. The fact of the matter is, people everywhere just crave novel experiences. Oh, and probably some degree of, “oh you haven’t hear about Fancy McSplant Pants yet? I can tell you, I’ve already been…”
Well here’s one more for you, and I guarantee another that many will make a beeline for. And I don’t blame them, I’ll be there too with a martini glass. Side note, keep your distance when I’m holding one, I don’t have close to the dexterity to not spill those things. Anyway. Come 2023 another new hotel, two in fact, will open in downtown Salt Lake City and bring with them – a destination skyline bar. So far there’s been nothing formally announced by the brand, though there’s been the odd release here and there in industry press.
Le Méridien Salt Lake City is set to open in mid January and according to said presser the property will be a dual facility (a first for Utah we’re told) with both Le Méridien and Element calling the building home (both are Marriott brands). Located at 131 S 300 W, it’s within stumbling distance of Vivint Arena as well as some solid food choices like Carson Kitchen and Chile Tepin.
Crowning the 144 room Le Méridien will be a brand new rooftop bar – Van Ryder. The enthusiastic release best explains the concept and naming, reading as follows, “the first full-scale hotel rooftop experience in Salt Lake City. Offering sweeping views of the city and the Wasatch mountains, the menu features artisan crafted libations with cocktail cuisine. The bar gets its namesake from Jack “The Rambling Kid” Van Ryder, an American cowboy and western artist. His soft, pastel-colored paintings captured the dusty, brooding Western twilight skies, and the venue keeps his art and legacy alive. A private dining area is also available.”
As I say, actual cold hard concrete facts have been hard to come by so far; the company have yet to respond to my queries for further info on menu and pricing. As soon as I know more, so will you.
Also coming alongside Van Ryder is Adelaide, the central restaurant for both of the adjoining hotel concepts. The release for the upcoming opening tells us this will be “an urban brasserie — French and New Orleans inspired with Cajun undertones. Located on the ground floor, the unique architecture of the brasserie creates a charming ambiance as guests savor delectable flavors and pairings. Globally influenced and locally curated, every meal is a work of art. Adelaide also features a full bar, oyster and raw bar, as well as a private dining room and outdoor patio space.”
The release signs off with info on the exec chef, one Jacqueline Siao who moves to the heart of SLC following a stint as top toque at Hyatt Centric Park City and the W Aspen Colorado before that.
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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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