Vivere Veneto & 15th & 15th Tavern 

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Vivere Veneto
One of the most exciting new restaurants to hit town in a while has opened in the space that was previously home to Forage. It's called Veneto Ristorante Italiano (370 E. 900 South, 801-359-0708,VenetoSLC.com)—named for the northern Italy region that owner Marco Stevanoni hails from. Stevanoni and his wife Amy are committed to serving authentic fare representative of the cuisine found in Marco's hometown of Verona and its surroundings. Having had a sneak preview of some of the food at Veneto, I can say that I was bowled over by the rich flavors of dishes such as homemade bigoli pasta with duck ragu. The food I tried was simple, but sensational.

It's also Utah's first non-tipping restaurant. "There is no tipping in Veneto, so there is no tipping at Veneto," Stevanoni says. "We've thoughtfully hired a team of hosts, servers and chefs who are dedicated professionals. And we treat them as such, paying them professional salaries for being an essential part of the team. We don't want our guests wrapping up an incredible evening crunching numbers for a tip."

Veneto serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday. I recommend reservations; this place is gonna get hot.

15th & 15th Tavern
Scott Evans' (of Pago Restaurant Group) newest restaurant venture is now a reality. Trestle Tavern (1513 S. 1500 East, 801-532-3372, TrestleTavern.com) opened earlier this week in the space that formerly housed Fresco Italian Café. Wanting to name "a neighborhood tavern after something uniquely Utah," Evans says, "Trestle Tavern is named after the trestle wood native to Utah, which made the railroad tracks for the Lucin Cutoff in the early 1900s." Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the restaurant features cuisine with an eastern European flare. Chef de Cuisine Troy Thomas' menu includes fare like chicken paprikash, pierogies, summer borscht, spätzle, the Trestle burger and more. There's also a carefully curated beverage list with craft beers, ciders, cocktails and spirits to enjoy inside or out in the shaded courtyard, one of the best al fresco spots in the city.

Quote of the week: "Without paprika we have no soul."

Hungarian chef Gabor Szekelyi

Food Matters 411: tscheffler@cityweekly.net

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