Friday, October 2, 2015 1:00 AM
By Jessie Fetterling, Prevue Magazine -- The Salt Lake City foodscape continues to change for the better. In July, the city launched Eat Drink SLC, a brand-new F&B event that celebrates the city’s growth as a culinary hotspot. As chef-owned restaurants, craft breweries, urban wineries and distilleries continue to open, Salt Lake City now has a full-fledge food scene to attract attendees who want to meet outside the typical ballroom.
“In addition to our community’s classic restaurants such as Log Haven, Bambara, Martine and Fresco, newer dining options—which are plentiful—feature the talents of young, fresh and hungry chefs who love living here and want to celebrate that passion with their food and beverage offerings,” says Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake.
The city’s newest restaurants for groups include Finca, Current Fish & Oyster and Frida Bistro. The word “Finca” is the Spanish term for a rural or agricultural estate in Spanish. Finca restaurant fittingly features Spanish cuisine sourced from local farms and artisans in Utah, and its entire menu is made from scratch daily. Groups can nosh on house-cured meats or paella at one of the restaurant’s communal farm tables, private dining rooms or even rent out the entire restaurant up to 202 attendees.
Fresh seafood is available at Current Fish & Oyster, where the chef focuses on sustainability and classic seafood preparations. Oysters are obviously a highlight on the menu, which features a wide variety from both the East and West coasts. The restaurant is situated in a preserved historical space, with a massive arched ceiling and tall windows. Plus, it features a mezzanine for special events.
Named after Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Frida Bistro features a funky ambiance with bright, red lanterns and colorful paper sculptures hanging from the ceiling. The menu of Mexican dishes such as ceviche and carnitas is equally as innovative. Groups can rent out a private dining room, or larger parties can check out the urban Rico Brand and Frida Bistro Events Warehouse.
“Similar to our culture, the food scene is diverse, youthful, energetic and inextricably tied to the outdoors and the bounty that comes from such proximity to a real product,” says Beck. “There’s also a strong undercurrent of creativity in the city—a good-natured rebellion against the status quo—which shines through in the food. And, of course, there’s a focus on sustainability and using locally sourced products and ingredients.”
Foodcentric events don’t stop at the restaurants either. Beck says that groups visiting Salt Lake can enjoy catered meals atop mountain peaks, outings and events in any of the city’s five picturesque canyons, specialty cocktail nights featuring locally crafted beer and spirits, and beer- and food-pairing events that combine the best of the local breweries with the best of locally grown and sourced food products.
Groups can also opt to take tasting or cooking classes at Tony Caputo’s Market Deli. Tasting classes provide attendees incite into what makes chocolate “fine” or simply “standard” or how to create the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Cooking with specific ingredients such as truffles or tomatoes also help inspire groups to get creative in the kitchen.