City Guide 2015: Nightlife & Eats | City Guide | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2015: Nightlife & Eats 

Salt Lake City's tastiest cocktails, friendliest bars and coolest clubs

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Page 8 of 8


They Built This City
These best-loved eateries paved the way for the new stars of Salt Lake City dining.
By Ted Scheffler

With all of the hip, shiny new eateries to come our way in the past few years (see p. 74), it's easy to forget about those brave restaurateurs who paved the way for the newbies. It wasn't very long ago that Salt Lake City was a culinary desert, and finding fresh, wholesome foods in local restaurants was no more than a food lover's pipe dream. But thanks to a few bold pioneers who went "all in" and bet on Salt Lakers' palates to support high-quality restaurant fare, new trails were broken. Here are a few of those trailblazers to whom newer restaurateurs might owe a debt of gratitude.

Bombay House - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Bombay House

Bombay House
One of Utah's first Indian eateries, Bombay House was started by Daniel Shanthakumar, Harpal Toor and Ajmer Singh in 1993. Since then, it's provided the template for excellence in Indian cuisine in our area. Menu highlights include favorites like chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo and saag aloo, along with more contemporary dishes such as tofu vindaloo and mushroom jalfrazie. As always, Bombay House service and ambiance is top-notch. 2731 Parley's Way, 801-581-0222,

click to enlarge Cafe Madrid - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Cafe Madrid

Cafe Madrid
When the original Cafe Madrid opened its doors in 1997, it filled a much needed hole in the culinary landscape: a distinct void and absence of Spanish cuisine here in Salt Lake City. Today, and after moving to a larger, more attractive home, Cafe Madrid continues to cater to those looking for the flavors of Spain, with a far-reaching menu that ranges from hot and cold tapas to entrees like sea bass in creamy shrimp sauce, traditional paella, grilled duck breast with apple-honey glaze, and tuna with roasted piquillo peppers. 5244 S. Highland Drive, 801-273-0837,

Caffe Molise
For more than 20 years, Caffe Molise has been filling the bellies of customers with authentic, upscale Italian fare in a friendly and warm setting. In spring and summer, there's no place you'd rather be than sitting by the fountain on the Caffe Molise patio, sipping a glass of sparkling Prosecco and diving into dishes like housemade polenta cakes with tomato-basil sauce, the hearty pappardelle al sugo, scrumptious gnocchi di patate, or the crowd-pleaser since 1994: classic Sicilian lasagna. 55 W. 100 South, 801-364-8833,

Cedars of Lebanon
At Cedars of Lebanon, the first family-owned Mediterranean restaurant in Salt Lake City, owners Raffi and Marlen have been feeding customers from recipes dating back to their childhoods for more than three decades. Warm hospitality and an exotic ambiance are an invitation to enjoy Lebanese and Moroccan flavors such as kebabs, kibbeh, shawarma, lamb pastilla, shrimp tagine and much more. Don't miss the belly dancers performing on Friday and Saturday evenings. 152 E. 200 South, 801-364-4096,

Gourmandise the Bakery
Now in its 24th year, Gourmandise has been supplying Salt Lake City's sweet tooth with its dizzying array of European-style pastries and desserts for decades. And yet, there is so much more to this eatery than just sweet stuff. Gourmandise has a terrific wine and beer selection to pair with foods such as seafood risotto, au poivre slow-roasted tri-tip steak, Mediterranean ragout, and, of course, famous fresh-baked quiches. 250 S. 300 East, 801-328-3330,

Since 1948, when Frank Granato founded his namesake company, bringing imported Italian and Mediterranean foodstuffs to Utah, Granato's has been a cornerstone of culinary culture in Salt Lake City. Along with a grocery stuffed full of pastas, olive oils, vinegars and the like, Granato's is renowned for its overstuffed deli sandwiches like the Godfather and the Il Grande, along with hot entrees such as chicken parmesan and classic lasagna. Multiple locations,

click to enlarge Grove Market - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Grove Market

Grove Market
Originally opened by Greek immigrant Pete Savas in 1947, Grove Market is among the most beloved institutions in Salt Lake City—for food lovers, at least. The market is stuffed from floor to ceiling with every type of imported food you could imagine, yet there's still room (barely) for a line to form as people belly up to the deli counter to order ginormous sandwiches like the ever-popular Big John, which features seven deli meats—salami, ham, corned beef, pastrami, bologna, turkey and roast beef—piled 3 to 4 inches high, then topped with both Swiss and American cheeses, plus mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and pepperoncinis. Whew! 1906 S. Main, 801-467-8860,

La Caille
Originally opened in 1975, La Caille is an iconic restaurant and special-event venue, styled as a 18th-century French chateau with 20 acres of gardens, streams, ponds, peacocks, vineyards and more. Gone are the bustiers that the female servers once sported, and the menu, too, has been updated with contemporary choices like fresh Koosharem trout, Mary's free-range duck, roasted Morgan Valley Lamb loin, and potato-crusted halibut. 9565 Wasatch Blvd., Sandy, 801-942-1751,

Lamb's Grill
Most restaurants are considered a success if they last a decade. Well, here's longevity for you: Lamb's Grill recently celebrated its 95th birthday. Greek immigrant George P. Lamb opened Lamb's Grill on George Washington's birthday, Feb. 22, 1919, in Logan. In 1939, Lamb's relocated to its current location in the Herald Building in downtown Salt Lake City, where the eatery has remained largely unchanged since. Along with tried & true dishes like trout Amandine and sautéed calf liver, Lamb's also offers up more contemporary flavors such as Moroccan lamb burgers and crab cakes with honey-basil vinaigrette. 169 S. Main, 801-364-7166,

Log Haven
Originally constructed in 1920 as a log mansion and converted into a restaurant in 1958, the current incarnation of Log Haven restaurant is 20 years old. Through the years, Chef Dave Jones has continued to thrill Log Haven diners with his eclectic cuisine—a mélange of Pacific Rim and Southwestern flavors, as evidenced by dishes such as his sambal-miso chicken drumettes, tempura-sprouted tofu, and pozole rojo with shrimp and chorizo. 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, 801-272-8255,

Lone Star Taqueria
Since 1995, Lone Star Taqueria has been providing Salt Lakers with authentic Mexican beach-style cuisine, including justifiably famous fish tacos. The seaside-shack ambiance and tempting south-of-the-border specialties like carnitas, carne asada, pollo asado, carne desebrada, and machaca just beg for a cold cerveza to sip alongside. 2265 E. Fort Union Blvd., 801-944-2300,

Mazza Middle Eastern Cuisine
It's hard to imagine a time without Mazza, since this appealing Middle Eastern eatery has become such a Salt Lake City culinary landmark. Owner Ali Sabbah opened the original Mazza as a tiny cafe more than 10 years ago, then followed up with the larger and more elaborate 9th & 9th location a few years later. At both spots, authentic Middle Eastern fare is the order of the day, along with interesting libations including wines from Lebanon and Morocco. 912 E. 900 South, 801-521-4572; 1515 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9259,

The New Yorker
Built in 1978 with a 1940s art deco ambiance, The New Yorker has been one of Salt Lake City's most enduring and venerable fine-dining establishments for decades. It's the kind of place that makes you want to don your best suit or party gown as you enjoy classic cocktails or a glass of Champagne alongside Chef Will Pliler's impeccable modern-American cuisine. 60 W. Market St., 801-363-0166,

Pat's Barbecue - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Pat's Barbecue

Pat's Barbecue
For more than two decades, barbecue pit master Pat Barber has been satisfying Salt Lake City's barbecue hunger with his smoked meats and poultry. Folks line up on Fridays for "burnt ends" day, but every day, customers can enjoy Pat's killer barbecued chicken, pulled pork, brisket, ribs and the like, plus soulful live music and a fun and funky ambiance. 155 W. Commonwealth Ave., 801-484-5963,

The Pie
University of Utah college kids, Salt Lake City pizza lovers, families and just about everyone else have been flocking to The Pie for their pizza needs for more than 35 years. The original Pie pizzeria, located underneath the University Pharmacy, has graffiti-covered brick walls that help tell the eatery's long and beloved history. Indeed, writing on walls at The Pie locations is de rigueur. Today, there are five different locations to enjoy The Pie's award-winning pizzas, brews and more. Multiple locations,

click to enlarge Tres Hombres Mexican Grill & Cantina - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Tres Hombres Mexican Grill & Cantina

Tres Hombres Mexican Grill & Cantina
Having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, Tres Hombres is about as sturdy and dependable as restaurants in this day and age come. Inspired by the ZZ Top album Tres Hombres, this venerable Mexican-style eatery dishes up big, bold flavors that aren't too hard on the wallet. Menu faves include the El Puerco burrito and the Zacatecas enchiladas filled with tender shrimp, crab meat, green chiles and queso fresco. The extensive tequila selection adds a little ole! to the festivities. 3298 S. Highland Dr, 801-466-0054,

Red Iguana
Since 1985, the Cardenas family—owners of Red Iguana—have been treating customers like family and serving up hearty, south-of-the-border fare that, judging from the line of folks waiting for seats, has no equal. In fact, the Red Iguana has proved so popular that owner Lucy Cardenas had to open a second venue, Red Iguana 2, to help handle the hungry crowds longing for superb chile verde, authentic Mexican moles and more. 736 W. North Temple, 801-322-1489; 866 W. South Temple, 801-214-6050,

Ruth's Diner
Ruth's—the second-oldest restaurant in Utah—celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2014. Originally opened in 1930 as a hamburger joint, the current incarnation of Ruth's Diner in Emigration Canyon features a sprawling patio, beautiful canyon views and the same impeccable diner fare that's kept folks coming to Ruth's for the better part of the past century. Enjoy classics like pot roast and chicken-fried steak next to more contemporary dishes such as raspberry chicken and coconut-curry shrimp. 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, 801-582-5807,

Siegfried's Delicatessen - JOHN TAYLOR
  • John Taylor
  • Siegfried's Delicatessen

Siegfried's Delicatessen
Got schweinshaxen and britchen? You would if you'd visit Siegfried's, where those in the know go to shop for hard-to-find sausages, wurst, bacon, ham, wieners, sauerkraut and the like. And when I'm too busy to cook, I just get in line with all the other hungry Siegfried's patrons for cafeteria-style bratwurst, weisswurst, sauerkraut, roasted chicken, spaetzle, the best Reuben sandwich in town and, of course, German chocolate cake. There is also cold beer and wine to sip alongside your Bavarian feast. 20 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3891

Olympian Restaurant
Looking to feed the family at a non-chain restaurant on a Sunday? Look no farther than the Olympian, a venerable Greek family restaurant that's been open so long it's reached legendary status. No-nonsense, honest food without frills or the expense that comes with "fancy" is what you'll find here. Generous portions, excellent breakfasts (try the meatloaf and eggs), and baklava to die for are just a few of the attractions that keep faithful customers returning to the Olympian year after year. 2181 S. 700 East, 801-487-1407

The Other Place
It's hard to imagine Salt Lake City without this beloved little Greek restaurant. For decades, The Other Place has been serving stick-to-the-ribs, family-style fare at bargain prices. Highlights include dolmathes, pastichio, moussaka, roast leg of lamb and the ever-popular Mediterranean spaghetti with browned garlic and butter sauce. Don't pass up the housemade baklava. 469 E. 300 South, 801-521-6567

Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
It's hard to even imagine downtown SLC without Tony Caputo's Market & Deli; it seems like it's just always been here. Tony Caputo and son Matt supply our city with the best imported cheeses and meats, chocolates, olive oils, vinegars, pastas and more. Plus, the cafeteria-style deli is home base for excellent quick, hearty fare like Caputo's popular muffaletta sandwiches, salads, lasagna and, on Fridays, unbeatable eggplant parmesan. Multiple locations,

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