Having been excluded from the Downtown Alliance’s Downtown Dine O’Round—since they were mostly outside the boundaries of downtown Salt Lake proper—a consortium of restaurants striving to revitalize neighborhood dining created a Dine O’Round-style event of their own: Dining Diversity. Through May 1, a gaggle of local restaurants are offering exclusive Dining Diversity menus featuring $10 lunches and dinners priced at either $15 or $30, depending on the restaurant. Participating restaurants are Caffé Molise, Caffe Niche, Carvers, Citris Grill, Faustina, Frida Bistro, Log Haven, Lugano, Mazza (9th & 9th), Meditrina, Metropolitan, Oasis Café, Pago, Sage’s Café, Sego Lily Café, Stoneground, Tin Angel Café, Trio (downtown), The Wild Grape and Yamasaki. For more information, visit DiningDiversity.com.
Chef Robert Barker
We were saddened to learn of the recent death of Robert Barker, the former larger-than-life chef of Bambara restaurant. “It was unexpected,” said his mother, Robin Blut, “but we believe it was his heart.” Robert had a big heart, a big personality, a big sense of humor and big appetites. Born in Houston, Barker studied culinary arts in New Orleans and trained at Arnaud’s and Emeril’s restaurants before taking over the helm at Bambara, where he served as executive chef from 2003 to 2007. Hearing of Barker’s passing, Wolfgang Puck, whom Barker also worked for, said, “Robert was a passionate, talented cook and we will all miss him. The only thing I can think is that God probably needed a new chef who could not only make great pizza and wonderful fish dishes but also train the chefs in heaven.”
Turn Out the Lights
In celebration of Earth Day, Faustina is turning out the lights. Literally. On Friday, April 22, for lunch and dinner, Faustina’s executive chef Billy Sotelo will feature Earth-friendly specials and, in the evening, dining will be by candlelight to help conserve energy. Proceeds from the restaurant’s specials will benefit Wasatch Community Gardens and include Cheese Makers’ goat cheese paired with a Heritage Valley Organics turkey breast and arugula panini at lunch and a goat cheese and Cremenelli salami antipasti platter for dinner. For reservations, call 801-746-4441.
Quote of the week: “As a child, my family’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.”