Best of Utah 2007 | Food & Drink 

BEST QUICK MOUNTAIN BREAKFAST
No Worries Café & Grill
A rapid way to escape the winter blahs of the valley, No Worries is located at the top of Parley’s Summit, just high enough to be out of the inversion and see the mountains. Inside is a cozy eatery serving simple, good food. Interstate 80 exit 140, 435-658-5007, NoWorriesCaféAndGrill.com

BEST JAPANESE VALUE MEAL
Koko Kitchen
We’re not talking about some fast-food tempura dollar-menu monstrosity, or the prepackaged sushi that’s been sitting on the discount shelf of your grocer’s deli. We’re talking about the affordable yet authentic Japanese cuisine of the Koko Kitchen. With a nice café atmosphere and reasonable prices, it’s easy to take a chance on some unique Japanese dishes. Try the Tonkatsu curry (breaded pork) or the Obento dinner with chicken, pork or grilled salmon and pickles, noodles, steamed vegetables and Miso soup for $9.95. Sushi is also available; $5.75 will get you an 8-piece Kenji roll topped with teriyaki chicken, spicy sprouts, cucumber, onions and avocado. 702 S. 300 East, 364-4888

BEST MEXICAN Readers’ Choice
Red Iguana
You just have to see the crowd waiting outside for a seat to know this perennial favorite doesn’t disappoint its legion of fans. Inside, the conversations are loud and the décor is bright, but it’s the food that’s the draw. Nachos, chili verde burritos and moles too numerous to mention are all stand-out menu items, as are the margaritas. When they’re in town, Tex-Mex band Los Lobos eats there. If that isn’t a recommendation, what is? 736 W. North Temple, 322-1489, RedIguana.com
2. La Frontera
3. Café Rio

BEST SPORTY SALADS
Jersey’s Sports Grill
Not just because owner Jersey Reseska is a former City Weekly staffer—dude barely even let us know he opened his own place next to Brewvies earlier this year. Surprisingly, since salads aren’t necessarily the first item you think of ordering in a sports-themed eatery, Jersey’s are fine-and-fresh winners; the Canton Chicken Salad (red onions and wanton noodles with sesame-soy dressing) and Chili Lime Cobb Salad (chili-lime sauce over breaded chicken) are especially tasty. Also of note are the kids’ items, known here as the “Future Athletes Menu”—aw, cute! 677 S. 200 West, 355-3598

BEST GREEK OPEC
Greek Market
It may hurt the feelings of many Italians to learn this, but for many years, while the world regarded the best olive oil as coming from Italy, a dirty little secret was that a good deal of that oil was from olives exported to Italy from Greece. Greeks are slow to catch on, you know. Not anymore, especially when it comes to the finest of olive oils: first-press, extra-virgin olive oil. A natural place to find it, especially in the big gallon cans, is at Greek Market and Deli. Ask owner Mike Limanzakis for his take on the better brands from Crete or mainland Greece. Your arteries will thank you. 3205 S. State, 485-9365

BEST DOWNTOWN/CENTRAL RESTAURANT Readers’ Choice
Bambara
Perhaps it’s that enormous bank of windows overlooking 200 South or the hush of conversation at the table, but Bambara has something oddly hallowed about it. While the á la carte menu it’s out of our range—unless we’re on an expense account—there’s a very reasonable $11 lunch, the menu for which never ceases to intrigue. With a glass of wine and the tip, there’s no change from a $20, but don’t you deserve a little pampering now and then? 202 S. Main, 363-5454, Bambara-SLC.com
2. Caffé Molise
3. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

BEST GNOCCHI
Cucina Toscana
Once you taste Valter Nassi’s homemade gnocchi at his lovely Cucina Toscana restaurant, you’ll swear you’ve died and gone to heaven. Gnocchi such as these surely must have been made by angels. If you’re used to gnocchi that lands in your belly with a thud—heavy little lead pasta bombs—then you haven’t tried Valter’s. His gnocchi are light and delicate little potato pillows that are as tasty in pesto as in a traditional Italian red sauce or ragu. Like everything else at Cucina Toscana, the gnocchi are always in top form. 307 W. Pierpont Ave., 328-3463, Cucina-Toscana.com

BEST ATMOSPHERE Readers’ Choice
Caffé Molise
Named after the Molise region of Italy, this downtown restaurant boasts full service gourmet Italian cuisine in a relaxed and charming setting. The walls are adorned with local artwork from the Utah Artist Hands gallery next door, the bar has a superb wine selection and the John Flanders Trio provides live jazz every Friday night. The patio area opens up into a beautifully lit outdoor setting, and with the lights, wine, sumptuous meals and the soft jazz filling the night air, you’ll feel as if you were brushed into some impressionist Van Gogh painting. Maybe it’s the wine … drink up and enjoy! 55 W. 100 South, 364-8833, CafféMolise.com
2. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
3. Trio

BEST BASQUE DINNER
La Caille
Most people equate the lavish La Caille near the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon with exquisite French dishes and lush surroundings—luscious surroundings, if you consider the bustier-adorned waitresses. That’s all wonderful and true, yet if you really want a fine and unique La Caille experience, try La Caille on a Sunday night. With meals served in the Basque family style (where diners help themselves to the plates of food before them), La Caille offers up a single price per person meal that from start to end fulfills and satisfies. Ladle up some soup, heap the salad and pile into the mounds of meat and veggies and you, too, will know why we’d rather do this on Sundays instead of watching another 60 Minutes nail-biter. Oh, it’s wise to order a bottle of wine, too. 9565 S. Wasatch Blvd., 942-1751, LaCaille.com

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