Salt Lake City Restaurants Guide
The 2002 Olympics helped to refine Salt Lake City's collective palate, and there are more great dining options now than there have ever been.
A wave of raw fish has washed over the city recently, with sushi joints popping up all over town. But the king of the crowd is Takashi Gibo with his new venture Takashi (18 W Market St). His silvery aji sashimi (Spanish mackerel) dances on the tongue, but everything that comes from this talented chef's kitchen is fresh and satisfying.
Fine dining in Salt Lake City is also starting to move from beyond the city center and mountain resorts to include several sophisticated neighborhood spots along the east bench. Greg Neville's Pine Restaurant (4760 S 900 East) and Franck Peissel's new Cafe Franck's (6263 S Holladay Blvd) are setting the standards for what restaurants should be and are worth a trip off the beaten path. At Pine, try the bourbon-cured house-smoked salmon, and Franck's ginger carrot soup will linger in your memory for days.
The Bayou (654 S State St) is the place to go for hefty portions of Cajun cuisine like jambalaya, deep-fried catfish, and other Southern delights. You can wash it all down with one of the more than 150 beers from around the world on the menu.
Al Forno's (239 S 500 East) serves prime Italian food, and you won't go wrong ordering the Veal Linguine or Fettucine Picante. It's located in a strip mall, but the casual flair and cozy booths make this a perfect dining spot for two or quiet conversation.
Christopher's Seafood and Steakhouse (3 South and West Temple) have seafood flown in daily and create dishes with the highest grade of choice and prime beef. The medallions of tenderloin petite cuts with demi-glaze or herb-seasoned pork chops are tops, and the New England fish and chips in a special beer-batter have been called the best in the city by some.
The Market Street Grill Cottonwood (2985 E Cottonwood Pkwy) is a good place to savor seafood from around the world. Order from the oyster bar, or try the fresh blackened salmon or snowcrab and avocado sandwich.
Cedars of Lebanon (152 E 200 South) specializes in vegetarian dishes, such as falafel or rice-stuffed grape leaves. If you prefer a meat dish, the chicken, lamb, and beef shish kebabs are popular. Visit on weekends and you'll be entertained by bellydancers.
Q4U Hickory Smoked Barbeque Restaurant (4655 S 4800 West Valley Ct) is the place to visit for ribs, boneless smoked chicken breasts, old-fashioned Southern fried chicken, or luscious homemade cheesecake. Don't visit if you need to count calories.
Remember it's important to tip for good service. An appropriate tip in Salt Lake is 15 percent of the gross bill for mediocre service, 18 percent for good service, and 20 percent for outstanding service. Many restaurants will add a gratuity of 18 percent for parties larger than six people.
Now that you've learned about the variety of things to see and do in Salt Lake City, you may want to pare down your options and come up with a plan. The next page offers suggested itineraries to help you do just that.