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Six by Six Page all

Dining critic Ted Scheffler rolls the dice and comes up sixes.

By Ted Scheffler
 Braza Grill
Posted // January 5,2010 - Visit the extensive restaurant listings at and you’ll find eateries featuring all of your favorite cuisines, from African and Italian to Middle Eastern and Pakistani.

In addition to being sorted by type of cuisine, price, location, etc. on the Website, I’ve also put together some fun and helpful lists to assist you in zeroing in on that ideal eatery. And, I’ve included a sampling of six of those here. Most of the online lists contain a couple dozen or more restaurants, so this is just scratching the surface.

For all-you-can-eat fare, turn to Bodacious Buffets. (Hint: Many Indian eateries offer tasty, cheap buffet lunches.) Looking for a small, independent, homey, family-style operation? Then check out the Mom & Pop list. For quick food that you can eat with your hands, standing up—sandwiches, burgers, wings, frozen yogurt, etc.—look no further than Hand-to-Mouth, while if you need a cold beer to wash down your meal, turn to The Brew Crew for sustenance and suds.

Some of the best restaurants around are aimed at hungry travelers and visitors, and you’ll find them in our Resort/Hotel listings. And if you’re in the mood for posh, innovative, contemporary, eclectic cuisine with style and panache, simply check out Chic Cuisine.

Remember though, with only six lists of six restaurants here, this is a merely an iota of the 1,700-plus restaurant listings at And, for restaurants with more than one location, I’ve simply listed my favorite.

Bon appétit!

Braza Grill
Transport yourself to Rio de Janeiro at this authentically Brazilian churrascaria, where an all-you-can-chew parade of grilled meats is served rodizio-style (circular) until you say “uncle!” Servers with skewers bearing a variety of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and luscious grilled pineapple rotate among Braza’s tables delivering the goods. There’s also an extensive hot-and-cold buffet bar with tasty items like hearts of palm, feijoada, quail eggs, pastas, salads and a gazillion other options. Seafood lovers aren’t left out, either; there’s a special seafood buffet on Mondays. But try to swing by on a night when Alan Sandomir and his group are playing jazzy bossa nova and samba tunes live. Best bet: the awesome skewered and grilled chicken hearts. 5927 S. State, Murray, 801-506-7788,

Fireside Dining
Wednesday through Friday, in the evenings during ski season, Deer Valley Resort’s Empire Canyon Lodge morphs into Fireside Dining, a European-style all-you-can-eat extravaganza. It kicks off with warm Swiss raclette straight from the fireplace, accompanied by cured meats, freshly baked baguettes, and homemade condiments like mustards and chutneys. That’s followed by hearty stews and fricassees and buttery Swiss potato rosti. Fire-roasted leg of lamb is another specialty and you absolutely don’t want to miss dessert, featuring chocolate, caramel, and white chocolate Grand Marnier fondues. Horse-drawn sleigh rides are also available throughout dinner. 9200 Marsac Ave., Park City, 435-645-6632,

Ganesh Indian Cuisine
Order a tall Taj Mahal Indian beer and tuck into Ganesh’s yummy complimentary poppadum appetizer while you peruse the tantalizing menu. It’s filled with tempting dishes like Chicken 85, a fiery mélange of boneless chicken in a bright orange curry-yogurt sauce topped with zippy jalapeño slices. Garlic naan, freshly charred in the tandoor and sprinkled with sesame seeds and cilantro is the perfect tool for sponging up the creamy, rich masala curries. And don’t miss the fragrant Hyderabad special briyani, a uniquely delicious dish you don’t find in most Indian eateries. At lunchtime, pig out on all these great Indian dishes at the all-you-can-eat buffet. 777 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 801-569-3800,

Garden Café
If you’re looking for the most deliciously decadent brunch in town, head to the Garden Café on Sunday. Debonair general manager Ali Rafaati’s hands-on managerial approach ensures top-notch service in Grand America’s lush, fine dining restaurant. The Garden Café’s Sunday brunch buffet spans the culinary universe, from fresh seafood and sushi, to roasted meat carving stations and a cascading chocolate fondue fountain—not to mention an almost endless array of pastries, cakes, house-made confections and more. Obviously, the key to this epicurean extravaganza is pacing. 555 S. Main, 801-258-6708,

Roof Restaurant
Spectacular views of Temple Square and the Salt Lake Valley accompany dinner when you dine at The Roof Restaurant, located atop the historic Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This is buffet-style dining, but don’t be mistaken: It ain’t your typical Chuck-A-Rama. The gourmet dinner buffet features selections like tossed baby field greens, cold poached salmon, chilled jumbo shrimp, imported and domestic cheeses, baked ham, prime rib, a rockin’ dessert bar, and nightly specials. There’s also complimentary validated parking at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building parking structure. Reservations are strongly recommended. 15 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-539-1911,

Star of India
Star of India serves up authentic curry, masala, biryani and naans with all-natural spices. There’s also an extensive vegetarian menu. For dessert, finish up with the restaurant’s signature specialty Indian sweets. There’s also a terrific all-you-can-eat lunch buffet which usually features curries, tandoori chicken, veggie dishes, naan, and lots more. Very friendly service, to boot. 55 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-7555,

bayleaf_cafe.jpgBayleaf Café
At the friendly, downtown Bayleaf Cafe, you’ll find an interesting mix of cuisines, including American South, Filipino, Korean and Chinese. That’s because the couple who own Bayleaf Cafe are Asian and American, the latter from Alabama. So, the menu is dominated by American comfort food such as meatloaf (from Grandma’s recipe), fried and blackened catfish, po’ boys, hoppin’ John, cheese grits and chicken fried chicken. All that Southern goodness is supplemented by more exotic fare such as scallion pancakes, chicken adobo, bulgogi, congee and coconut shrimp tempura. For you late-nighters, Bayleaf Cafe is open 24 hours on Friday and Saturdays, making it a hot spot for clubbers. The breakfasts, which start at 6 a.m., are also terrific. Order the “trash” plate, which has a little bit of everything: eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, cheese and hash browns. And, for just a snack, be sure to try the boiled peanuts and fried pickles. 159 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-8490, Bayleaf-Café.com

India Unlimited
Located in Lamplighter Square on Foothill Boulevard, India Unlimited is, first and foremost, a market selling all sorts of hard-to-find Indian and Pakistani groceries. It’s a great place to buy inexpensive bags of basmati rice, fragrant spices, canned goods, jars of curry and even the kitchenware to cook with. The owners are super-friendly and always willing to help you create the perfect Indian meal. However, if you don’t want to cook, you don’t have to. That’s because India Unlimited also has a small kitchen off to the side and serves combo meals (two entrees, basmati rice and naan) for $7.99, to either eat-in or take out. The small menu changes daily but often features dishes such as chicken tikka masala, palak paneer (with homemade cheese), chicken biryani, vegetable korma, fresh vegetable samosas and chicken curry. 1615 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-583-3300

Koko Kitchen
Koko Kitchen is a small, friendly, neighborhood place specializing in Japanese and other Asian fare. There’s no table service. Just order at the counter and pick-up your food when it’s ready. There’s fresh sushi and sashimi, teriyaki dishes, yakisoba, tonkatsu, and surprisingly good homemade kimchi. Sit outside and enjoy your meal on the patio during warm weather. 702 S. 300 East , Salt Lake City, 801-364-4888

Mo’ Bettah Steaks
Kimo and Kalani Mack from Hawaii own and operate Mo’ Bettah Steaks. The specialty here is what in Hawaii is known as a “steak plate” or “plate lunch,” a protein served with rice and macaroni salad. At Mo’ Bettah Steaks, the macaroni salad totally rocks. And so does the Kahlua pork—juicy, shredded, heavily salted (authentically Hawaiian) tender pork that is so full of flavor your taste buds will be doing the hula. The teriyaki chicken lunch plate is a pile of boneless, skinless thighs that’ll instantly transport you to the islands. Best of all, Kalani and Kimo encourage all comers to arrive in shorts and “slippahz” (flip-flops). Just ‘cause this food is fast doesn’t mean it ain’t fabulous. 335 W. 1830 South, 801-466-3886, Salt Lake City,

Pho Chau
Pho Chau is a Vietnamese noodle shop in the Latino Mall, serving up terrific pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), along with bun (vermicelli bowls) and an amazing dinner special which is seven courses of beef, with sides. But pho is the real attraction and the basic pho tai (noodle soup with steak) is superb: Light homemade broth and oodles of rice noodles, topped with tender slices of beef, spring onions and cilantro. Sprouts, fresh basil and sliced jalapeños are served alongside. The owner, Lam and his wife, Chau are super-friendly and helpful. 2470 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-975-1050

Taqueria Lolita
Located adjacent to a spicy neighbor—Golden Trails Men’s Club—Taqueria Lolita offers up plenty of spice itself. For instance, the devilishly incendiary camarones el Diablo (shrimp in a fiery red chile sauce) will singe the enamel from your teeth. But there are milder options at this cozy restaurant as well. Tacos, for example, come in a multitude of flavors: pastor, asada, lengua, pollo, cabeza, carnitas, and more. The moles at Taqueria Lolita are terrific too; the chicken in rich, dark mole transports you to Oaxaca. And owner Jesus Sanchez is always standing by with a friendly iHola! to greet customers. Cold Coronas as well. 909 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4123

Barbacoa Mexican Grill
Locally-owned Barbacoa has been satisfying big burrito appetites since 1998, long before the faux-Mexi food chains came to town. It’s high-quality fast food with no fillers at low prices. Barbacoa burritos are always a surefire bet, filled with cilantro rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and a choice of salsa. Don’t feel like having a burrito? How about a burrito? There are also burrito bowls at Barbacoa, along with burrito salads and burrito soup. OK, if you must deviate from the holy burrito, there are also tacos on the Barbacoa menu. Multiple locations,

ChubbyToad.jpgChubby Toad Grill
Chubby Toad Grill is the sit-down venue of Greg & Kevin, the original “two dudes” of Two Dudes Catering. The Chubby Toad specializes in salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Caesar salad, candied pecan salad, the “Chubby Chef’s Salad,” and a create-your-own salad are healthy options to balance more decadent temptations such as Chubby’s pulled pork sandwich and the steak and cheese sammy. The boys get creative in the kitchen with wraps like the grilled Caribbean jerk wrap and the spicy Thai tenderloin wrap. Top it off with a green tea and a Chubby’s brownie. 310 W. Bugatti Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-466-4457,

Cotton Bottom Inn
Award-winning garlic burgers set this classic tavern apart from all other wannabes. The Cotton Bottom is the place where active folks gather to wind down after a day of skiing, hiking or any other adventure enhanced by Utah’s great outdoors. But the inactive are allowed in for a pitcher and game of pool, too. Nothing says comfort like a frosty mug of beer paired with Cotton Bottom’s legendary garlic burger. Take it out on the patio for maximum pleasure. The intimate pub is nestled in a scenic canyon that makes every visit feel like a grand getaway. 6200 S. Holladay Blvd. (2820 East), Holladay, 801-273-9830

Dolcetti Gelato
Sugar House always has a taste treat or two up its sleeves. But with Elizabeth and Mark England’s Dolcetti, a cream dream has been realized. The Englands learned how to make their frozen concoctions from Italian artisans, and the quality is obvious upon your first bite. Check out the exquisite flavors such as pistachio, pomegranate, chocolate mole and crocantino al rum, to name just a few. This ain’t your grammy’s ice cream. Dolcetti makes its gelato and sorbetto by hand using fresh, locally grown fruits and berries and milk from family-run dairies. It’s an edible art form, waiting for your lips and tongue to melt it. Go ahead, take a lick; it’ll be the best 5 pounds you ever gained. Located in the Tea Grotto building. 2030 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-485-3254,

The folks at Lunaberry are dedicated to the art of “groovy yogurt and crepes,” which probably tells you all you need to know. Everything served at Lunaberry is “all natural.” No canned fruits or veggies. The non-fat all natural yogurt is made from scratch, just the way you like it. Even the smoothies are made with fresh, wholesome fruit with no artificial colors, corn syrup, additives or preservatives. The mango chicken crepe, dark chocolate crepe, banana-strawberry smoothie, and frozen yogurt shaved ice are terrific. 358 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-359-0427,

Trolley Wing Company
Trolley Wing Company has been making chicken wing lovers happy at their historical Trolley Square site for 10 years now (as of November 2009). So you know these wings are special! And, with more than 25 varieties of chicken wings to choose from, there’s a wing option for everyone. The Trolley Wing Company’s wings are rated on a 0-4 red pepper scale, from mild to incendiary. Thankfully, there is also a good selection of cold beer to help extinguish the heat. You’ll need it if you order the hotter-than-hell wings called The Enema. It’s so hot that if you can finish your Enema order, it’s free! Not into wings? Trolley Wing Company also serves great bratwurst and other goodies. And, you can watch big-screen TV action on the tavern’s heated patio. By the way, Trolley Wing Company isn’t called that for nothing: This great little eatery is actually situated inside an old trolley car. 602 E. 500 South, 801-538-0745

beerhive_pub.jpgBeerhive Pub
At the Beerhive Pub, you’ll find a vast array of imported and domestic beers available - more than 100 of them - both by the bottle and on tap, all selected specially by beer aficionado and owner Dell Vance. And to keep your suds cold, there’s even a strip of ice called an “ice rail” the length of the bar to rest your chilled glass or bottle upon. Downstairs, there is a nifty room full of pool and foosball tables. As for food, well, the Beerhive is a step up from your typical pub fare. That’s because it’s located next door to Vienna Bistro and the food served at the Beerhive comes from Vienna Bistro chef/owner Frody Volgger. That means you can feast on a terrific Reuben sandwich, wiener schnitzel, spaetzle, strudel and more, all whilst sipping a unique brew. While you’re there, pick up a copy of Vance’s terrific book Beer in the Beehive. 128 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4268

Bohemian Brewery & Grill
In the vast, sprawling desert of fast food and strip malls that is Midvale, Bohemian Brewery is a beer-lover’s oasis. Owned by a family with roots in Czechoslovakia, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Bohemian Brewery produces the finest Czech-style lagers in the state, all brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot German Purity Law. (This is a good thing.) The food options are terrific, too: Bohemian goulash, Bavarian bratwurst, pirogues, chicken paprikash and Old World roast pork are my favorites. Be sure to check out the Vespa collection and the cool artwork while you treat yourself to an award-winning Cherny Bock. 94 E. 7200 South, Midvale, 801-566-5474,

Fiddler’s Elbow
Fiddler’s Elbow has been a solid fixture in the Sugar House neighborhood since opening adjacent to its sister eatery Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta in 1996. The reason: good no-nonsense food, pool tables, free Wi-Fi, 30-plus beers on tap and a very friendly staff. There’s great bar food at this private club, including smoky chipotle hummus with a Southwestern zing, a great Mediterranean chopped salad, blackened ribeye, really tasty French dip sandwiches and excellent home-style meatloaf with mushroom sauce. Give the Key lime pie and “Chocolate Thunder” desserts a whirl, too. And what the hell, you might as well round out the evening with a Kahlua and coffee. 1063 E. 2100 South, 801-463-9393, Salt Lake City,

Hog Wallow Pub
Pizzas, nachos, hot wings & beer in a lively, friendly club atmosphere. The Hog Wallow Pub has evolved a great deal from its origins as a funky, rough-&-tumble biker bar—these days, you’re less likely to encounter the brass knuckles of Harley riders looking to settle a grudge than the loosened ties of middle-managers unwinding after a day at a nearby office park. Expect standard, polite service and a better-than-average beer selection. Its woody, log-cabin décor is warm and welcoming but, despite its yuppie expansion—including a spacious, multilevel patio which is wonderful in the summer—it’s sometimes possible to catch a nostalgic whiff of the diehard bikers who still frequent the place. Live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday features local bands, tending toward bluegrass, new folk and acoustic rock. 3200 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, 801-733-5567,

The Point After
Armchair quarterbacks get your forearms ready — you’ll curl plenty of pints at this suburban sports bar located in the Sports Mall in Murray. There’s a nice brew selection, including Modelo from Mexico. The spacious club really fills up on game nights, with patrons following major and minor league action on wide-screen TVs complemented by the sweet taste of lager and grease. Work off the fried fare with a bracing round of billiards. The full menu includes burgers, salmon, prime rib, and more. 5445 S. 900 East, Murray, 801-266-9552

Red Rock Brewing Co.
Red Rock Brewing Company’s Matt Davis brewed the 2008 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal Winner Belgian Wit, just one of the many accolades Red Rock has garnered for their brews. There’s Honey Wheat, Hefeweizen, IPA Junior, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout and much more, including homemade root beer. But man can’t live on beer alone, so there’s a wide array of good grub at Red Rock, too. The wood-fired pizzas are surefire winners, as are the fish & chips, made with fresh Alaskan center-cut halibut. Almond-crusted red trout and Gorgonzola-topped flatiron steak are good entree options. 254 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7446,

Christopher’s Seafood & Steaks
Christopher’s is known for slow-roasted Prime rib, but the “baseball” cut Kansas City sirloin is a crowd pleaser, too. And then there’s the classic Delmonico steak—a true center-cut rib eye that weighs in at more than a pound. For seafood aficionados, line-caught wild Sockeye salmon, cioppino, and grilled Alaskan halibut are but a handful of the many appealing seafood selections available—all flown in fresh. The portions here are generous, but since Christopher’s is conveniently located in downtown SLC’s Historic Peery Hotel, you can always get a room and sleep off your lunch or dinner. 110 W. Broadway (300 South), 801-519-8515,

Copper Canyon Grill House & Tavern
Located in the downtown Radisson, Copper Canyon Grill House & Tavern is the latest in a long line of restaurants to occupy the space. Visually, Copper Canyon is a big improvement over its predecessors. Once inside, you’ll find the restaurant to be sleek and contemporary: a long, rectangular space with a glassed-in private club at one end and a private dining room at the other. Copper Canyon features an “After 5 slow-cooked meat & potatoes” special which is said to be “braised all day and priced to sell out.” Other menu items include high-end burgers: a Niman Ranch cheddar burger and a Kobe beef burger, along with a bone-in Berkshire pork chop; vegan saute; and free range poulet rouge. Beer, wine and cocktails are available. 215 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7800

Located in the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, Elevations offers an elegant atmosphere for special events or a night on the town. Try signature fish & chips with a glass of wine, or the great all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in a ski-town atmosphere, filled with antique skis, vintage ski posters, and a warm, cozy fireplace. Porcini-crusted New York steak is one of Elevations specialties and the chicken pot pie is also a crowd favorite. Also give the white bean chicken chili a try. 75 S. West Temple, 801-531-0800

Silver Fork Lodge
The joy of breakfast at the Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon begins when you hit the road at the mouth of the canyon. On the way up to Solitude or Brighton for skiing, boarding, hiking or biking, there are few places to fuel up beforehand nicer than Silver Fork Lodge. Grab a table in the rustic dining room next to the fireplace during winter or dine al fresco on the patio in warm weather. Whenever you visit, dig into the wonderful homemade waffles or flapjacks, sausage and eggs made with Snider Brothers’ scrumptious mild Italian sausage, the sensational seared Utah trout and eggs, or maybe just a freshly baked cinnamon roll. The Lodge has been around for quite some time, and the sourdough starter is well over 50 years old! So be sure to try Silver Fork’s sourdough cakes with apple compote. Eggs Benedict Florentine arrive topped with perfectly runny poached eggs under a light hollandaise and atop fresh sautéed spinach, with a tomato slice. When the sun goes down, give “Elmo’s” meatloaf a try. 11332 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton, 801-533-9977,

Sky Bar
Great views of Salt Lake City accompany customer favorites like cheese fondue and the Sky Bar’s shrimp bowl: chilled, peel & eat shrimp with cocktail sauce. Seafood specialties include macadamia nut-crusted halibut, shrimp & scallop scampi, lobster with tarragon butter, and the popular swordfish steak with balsamic, honey vinaigrette, and parmesan potatoes. For meat lovers there’s hand-massaged Kobe beef, Steak Theodore, rosemary lamb, double-cut pork chops, and even classic Chateaubriand prepared tableside. 600 S. 200 West (13th Floor), 801-530-1313,

Watson Shelter
Like the original 1939 Watson Shelter restaurant, the newest installment—located in Collins Gulch at the angle station of Alta’s Collins lift—is made primarily from wood and granite. But unlike the older versions of Watson Shelter, this one isn’t cramped: 5000 square feet of dining space on three different levels and abundant deck dining means fewer lines and quicker meals to get you back out and skiing that phenomenal Alta powder. Grab a pitcher of suds and a deli sandwich, pizza, salad, or 100% ground chuck burger, then sit back and enjoy the magnificent mid-mountain views of Mount Superior and Mount Baldy. Alta Ski Area, Alta, 801-799-2297,

Bistro 258
In summer, the airy, sun-drenched patio is a lovely place to dine, filled with fresh flowers, shrubbery and good vibes. And in colder weather, Bistro 258 takes on a cozy, warm hue that befits bistro fare like their New York steak dressed with Gorgonzola and balsamic vinegar. Like any authentic bistro, Bistro 258 wasn’t just conjured from the ether on an architect’s table. The restaurant is located in one of Ogden’s oldest historic buildings, and adorned as a true bistro/brasserie should be, with a marvelous antique wooden bar and beautiful brasserie-style mirrors. It’s just a little slice of Paris in Ogden. 258 25th Street, Ogden, 801-394-1595,

Chef/owner Emily Gassmann has created a strangely un-Utah-ish bistro in the Capitol Hill neighborhood serving up simple and wholesome food in a cozy bistro setting. Potato pancakes with creme fraíche is a great Em’s appetizer and how could you go wrong with phyllo rolls stuffed with goat cheese and duck confit? For dinner, red wine-braised short ribs, leek-stuffed wild salmon, free-range chicken, and Morgan Valley rack of lamb all compete for attention. Thankfully, there’s also a brief, but well-constructed wine list to accompany the range of flavors at Em’s. And do check out the popular Sunday brunch, which is especially appealing in warm weather on the spacious patio. 271 N. Center Street, 801-596-0566, Salt Lake City,

Forage is the brainchild of chef/owners Viet Pham and Bowman Brown, who’d previously cooked at San Francisco’s The Fifth Floor and Gary Danko restaurants, respectively. There are two dining options available at Forage: a 3-course menu and an extensive chefs’ tasting menu. It’s crystal clear at Forage that food is the emphasis. It’s the star. The small dining space itself is clean and uncluttered; there’s almost nothing, including wall art or music, to distract from the dining experience. It’s not dinner and a show; dinner is the show. The “poulet rouge” is wonderful: It’s a two-way chicken dish of Niman Ranch chicken in a bacon emulsion and as a thigh terrine, with five or six dainty Napa cabbage leaves strewn about the plate. But then, each and every dish at Forage is special, including a dessert of local peaches presented with homemade peach ice cream, pistachio cake, elder flower and oatmeal cream. Forage isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a food enthusiast, you’ll definitely want to foray to Forage. 370 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-708-7834,

Lodge Bistro
Located on the pool level at the Lodge at Snowbird, the Lodge Bistro and Lounge offers innovative contemporary fare with a French influence. The seasonal menu at times includes wild salmon with herb couscous, shaved apple & fennel salad, green-lip mussels, or tender Wagyu steak. During the winter ski season, there’s also afternoon tea at The Lodge and a lively apres ski scene. The Lodge Bistro, with its combination of chic cuisine and professional service, is an especially cozy, intimate restaurant. Enjoy superb views and the lovely deck dining in summer. Highway 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, Snowbird, 801-933-2145,

Meditrina Small Plates & Wine Bar
What’s not to love about this offbeat eatery? It’s an uncluttered, minimalistic space adorned with purple ceilings, jet-black tables and chairs, and a mix of exposed brick and avocado-colored walls which are hung with provocative local art. At Meditrina, you’ll likely order two or three dishes to share, depending on the size of your party, then repeat as necessary. It’s not set up in an appetizer/entrée/dessert format. The small-plates concept lends itself beautifully to informal, unrushed, and unstructured dining. Start out with Meditrina’s antipasto plate, a generous selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives and crusty bread. Hoard any leftover bread because you’ll want it to soak up every last drop of the scrumptious tomato-basil-wine broth from the bowl of plump and tender steamed mussels and clams. Other classic tapas include a whole steamed artichoke with a zippy tomato aioli, lemon and drawn butter; prosciutto di Parma-wrapped melon; and a roasted red pepper hummus plate. 1394 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-485-2055,

Oasis Café
Tucked beside a new-age bookstore, the bright, comfortable space fills with health-conscious diners in the mood for nut burgers, beet tower salad, salmon crostini, omelet of the day and seared ahi tuna. For a special treat, try an Oasis salad. The Oasis Cafe has long been a hub for people who care about what they eat. And the salads here are sophisticated greenery, to say the least. There’s the traditional spinach salad made wonderful with Gorgonzola cheese and candied pine nuts. The Mediterranean grilled salad combines Yukon gold potatoes, onions, olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and hummus with various fish or meat. The Imperial features crab cakes and a sticky rice roll with greens. But, to really impress yourself or others, order the roasted beet tower topped with arugula and goat cheese. It’s “salad elevated.” 151 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-322-0404,

Billed as a “nose-to-tail” restaurant, Tipica features seasonal, sustainable, organic cuisine sourced, when possible, from local artisans and growers. Located at Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli, Tipica is open only in the evenings for dinner, Wednesday through Saturday. According to chef Adam Kreisel, Tipica “pays homage to chefs and restaurants that capture the distinctive soul of a region - using localized techniques, ingredients and recipes that come from millennia of rich culinary traditions.” The ever-changing menu features pasta and risotto along with seasonal salads and delectable desserts. Be sure to order the roasted cauliflower with balsamic glaze and, for sure, Kreisel’s hearty Piedmontese beef and porcini ragout with homemade rosemary-wheat papparedelle. 314 W. 300 South, 801-328-0222,

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