Best of Utah 2012: Faves & Raves 

Best of Utah winners past & present share some of their own personal picks

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Tony’s Favorite Appetizers
The Copper Onion
The Copper Onion has cemented itself as one of downtown Salt Lake City’s favorite dining gems, winning BOUs for the past three years. Among its tasty and creative small plates served amid a bustling atmosphere are some amazing appetizers. “Their pork deli appetizer, which I like to call a salad” is the reason Tony Caputo, right, of Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli (multiple BOU winner for Best Deli and Best Sandwich) returns time and again.
111. E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3282, TheCopperOnion.com

Walter’s Favorite Dinner
The Grand America Hotel’s Garden Cafe
When it comes to hotels in Salt Lake City, The Grand America does it well, known for astounding hospitality, superior brunch at its Garden Cafe and afternoon tea. “If I’m not cooking for guests at home, I go to The Grand America—their dinner is the best,” says Walter Nassi, owner of Cucina Toscana (BOU winner for Best Italian in 2008 and 2009) of this truly grand hotel.
555 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-258-6557, GrandAmerica.com

Richard & Duncan’s Favorite Cocktail
The Red Door
When searching for a mean cocktail in downtown Salt Lake City, The Red Door is a readers’ favorite, winning 2012’s Best Glamorous Scene. The swanky Red Door is there to start your night off right. Bar-X owners Richard Noel and Duncan Burrell, past BOU winners for Best Tavern and Best Dive Bar, and 2012’s winner for Best Cocktails, both agree that, “Dustin from the Red Door is our favorite bartender. He made a specialty drink for New Year’s called the bees’ knees. It was spectacular.”
57 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-6030, BehindTheRedDoor.com

Ian’s Favorite Vegetarian
The Kathmandu, House of Tibet & Café Shambhala
“I just love the energy of the people and food at Kathmandu, House of Tibet and Cafe Shambhala,” says Ian Brandt, Salt Lake’s vegetarian restaurant guru (winner of multiple bests for his Sage’s Café, Vertical Diner and Cali’s Natural Foods). "These restaurants make you feel so loved in their spaces and the food is great."
Kathmandu, 3142 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-466-3504, TheKathmandu.net; House of Tibet, 145 E. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-1376 Café Shambhala, 382 Fourth Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-364-8558

Kai’s Favorite Club & Late Night Snack
Circle Lounge & The Pie Hole
The Circle Lounge, previous multi-year BOU winner, is a downtown hot spot with its intimate lighting, wall projections and spacious patio. Sit in a booth or shake what you’ve got on the dance floor inside, and enjoy a drink outside in nice weather. Cap it off with delicious pizza from the Pie Hole that’s easy on your wallet. Kai Walton, marketing honcho at Trails Gentleman Club (2012 winner for Best Strip Club), says, “The Circle Lounge has a great party feel; I love the patio, and the dance floor is full. Afterward, The Pie Hole is great for late-night eats, and right next to Circle Lounge.”
Circle Lounge, 328 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-5400 The Pie Hole, 344 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-359-4653, PieHoleUtah.com

Brandie’s Favorite Unsung Hero
Stephanie Pappas, Equality Utah former Board Chair
Equality Utah Executive Director Brandie Balken
has extensive experience working on social-justice issues in Utah and is a passionate advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. A go-getter like Balken has heroes of her own, one being a former co-worker, Stephanie Pappas. Balken says, “Steph is an incredible visionary, and also one of the most empathetic, genuine and courageous leaders I have ever known. She can see the possibility of someone, which they may not even recognize in themselves.”

Takashi’s Favorite Homemade Soup
Plum Alley
The same folks who brought you the popular Copper Onion recently opened 2012’s Best New SLC Restaurant—Plum Alley. The Asian eatery is earning praise from many, including Takashi Gobi, right, owner of Takashi, a multiple BOU winner for Best Japanese and Best Sushi. When Takashi’s not fly-fishing, he says he enjoys Plum Alley’s ramen noodle soup. "Their broth is homemade,” he says.
111. E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0543, PlumAlley.com

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