Dining Out: Utah

It’s weird, but I keep getting password reset emails for this blog. Maybe someone- not you, never you!- is hoping to hijack this thing? Can’t think of any other reason this would be happening. Maybe you’re upset, mystery someone, because I’m not using the domain you want as often as you would? Tough. It’s mine and you’ll just have to deal with it. :p

In the meantime, thanks for reminding me to post.

Anyway, I’m home after another year of volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival and still recovering from 10 days and nights of cinematic abandon ™. Aside from the films, and seeing friends I only get to see once a year, I look forward to seeing the mountains. From the moment you arrive in Utah to the moment you leave, the mountains are everywhere- like G*d photoshopped them onto the horizon. And to mix things up even further, they follow you around like Mona Lisa’s eyes. The first time, I thought I’d be claustrophobic after a bit, but that never happened. I just love them: They’re gorgeous, and so different from the Mid-Atlantic where we have hills in comparison.

The other thing I look forward to is beer. And food. But mostly beer.

It usually starts with a trip to Mesa Verde at the DIA on the way to Utah. This year I had carnitas with green chile and a glass of Breckinridge brew (because drinking local is just as important as eating local, I think).

And then a trip to Red Iguana to mark the arrival in Utah. Red Iguana does mole like I’ve never had before- chocolate, pumpkin, yellow guajillo chile, bananas. Blows my mind. I had the Lomo de Puerco en Mole de Almendras (roasted pork loin stuffed with nuts and dried fruits in a mole made of milk, peanut butter, onions, zucchini, chiles, and nuts):

And a few days later we went to Koko Kitchen for lunch (just because) Japanese food at a little place in Salt Lake. Having had an oyakudonburi in ages and it was delish (eggs, spices, chicken, and onions over sticky rice):

And once the ‘fest started, we had to hit up Wasatch Brewery for the Jalapeno and Nitro Cream Ales:

And then there was the late lunch at Squatter’s Pub. Fish tacos and a Chasing Tale Golden Ale to kick off the afternoon:

And the bleu cheese fondue at Purple Sage, with added duck foie gras sausage and drizzling of port reduction in the fondue. And a glass of local brew- Publican pale ale by Shades of Pale:

And the 3-course dinner at Talisker on Main for $68 that swelled by a cocktail, a glass of very good wine, and dessert. Started with a New Bedford diver scallop with American sturgeon caviar with salsify and chestnut milk. Followed by a Grilled Treviso- milk braised rabbit with a wholegrain mustard vinaigrette. Then Heritage Valley duck, with sweet corn and High West whiskey polenta, Cipollini onion, and a ligonberry jus:

Dessert? So glad you asked! Chocolate torte, fleur de sel caramel flan with a sugar tuile and vanilla sea salt, and popcorn ice cream:

And then there was cheap and delicious fish tacos at Davanza’s followed by tasting double rye whiskey at High West Distillery on Main Street:

HAHA! Gotcha! No pictures of that stuff, but I did take a pic of the yummy Cherry Springer (Montmorency cherries and dark chocolate chunks) milkshake I had this other time.

And then there was the Mexican chow that was so good I forgot to take a picture BEFORE eating. So… fish taco carnage:

And then the movies stopped. But the food kept going. Back to Salt Lake to stay with a friend, but we had to drive into Park City to use one of those coupon things. So at Sammy’s bistro I had the most flavorless chicken sandwich ever (strange, because “pulled chicken with cilantro mayonnaise” sounds so… tasty):

And then a quick trip by Shades of Pale brewery- stuffed into a tiny space with a cooler next store where they sell the bottles:

And then a party, during which we finally opened the bottle of red I brought back from the trip to Germany in ’10:

And finally one last trip to Red Iguana for the Mole Pipian (pumpkin) with chicken. And sangria. Lots of that please:

And that was it.

So what have we learned about Utah? That aside from Mormons, they have: Mountains. Beer. Food. And that film festival thing. Cheers!

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