In our recent best SLC dining of 2012, I called out The Copper Onion as my favorite SLC restaurant.

It struck me that we hadn’t covered the restaurant in any real detail since the initial review way back in 2010. When a restaurant generates so much excellent buzz, it’s often difficult to add anything of merit to the conversation. That said, I’m routinely asked to recommend my favorite restaurant in SLC, and furthermore, justify it. So what exactly is it about this restaurant that keeps me coming back, time and again, year in, year out.

Firstly, I love the confident swagger of the restaurant, which flows from the design and decor right through to the menu; which effortlessly mixes New American with a dash of small plates and nibbles. Heck, even the menu’s typeface and graphic artistry feels part of the whole, cohesive package. From day one, the whole operation has had a purposeful sense of identity – happily furthered by 2012′s clever remodel of the space.

Thankfully, I’ve never once found the restaurant putting style before substance. For every hipster can of PBR there’s a craft beer worth your attention, for every whimsical Guinness ice cream float, there’s a seriously composed dish such as local Utah trout with fennel, preserved lemon and tapenade. 

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