Having been lucky enough attend a preview of Chef Dave Jones’ winter-into-spring menu at Log Haven, I’m here to report that it’s still worth the trip up Millcreek Canyon.
Jones, who has returned to his Log Haven “home” after exploring other territory for a few years, is up to some new and old tricks. So, what’s cooking? As far as “new” is concerned, he has scaled back a bit on the quantity of ingredients that used to typify his style (did I mention I’ve been following this guy for 15 years?) and veered brilliantly in the direction of more carefully composed dishes that highlight a few exceptional ingredients. As far as staying true to his inner chef is concerned, he is still enamored with Asian ingredients and has a deft touch with flourishes such as perfectly fried sliced lotus root.
Using as many local, sustainable, eco-friendly products as possible, Jones’ new menu is an inspired blend of American, Asian and Euro influences. For starters, a selection of warm-from-the-pan herb-roasted almonds and olives paired with artisan cheeses and Utah’s Creminelli salami draws on the traditions of Spain. Follow manager Ian Campbell’s advice and enjoy the nibbles with a glass of amontillado sherry. Every element of Jones’ silky lemongrass-ginger cured salmon appetizer works in harmony, especially with Chehelam Pinot Gris from Oregon. An entrée of succulent grilled Gulf prawns with collard greens in fuille de brick (crisp pastry), tasso ham gravy and sexy, creamy Southern grits is pretty much an American-style triumph on a plate. And so it goes, with options ranging from moist sablefish baked in miso to short ribs with addictive wasabi mashed potatoes. And take it from someone who’s usually too full for dessert: Save room for delicate honey tapioca with brandied apricots.Log Haven