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May 2021 Roundup of New and Noteable Restaurants

Friday May 21, 2021
By Stuart Melling

Salt Lake City is never one to rest on its laurels when it comes to food and drink, and the last three months have been no exception.  If it’s been a while since you’ve checked out the latest and greatest changes to our foodie scene, we’ve got just what you need - a recap of some  of the very best new openings in town.

Bricks Corner

The opening of Bricks Corner was arguably a first for Utah - the restaurant bringing the voguish charms of Detroit-style pizza to the streets of SLC. Those still new to Detroit-style will no doubt love the rib sticking affair - thick pan crusts, geometrically shaped and lavishly topped.

It should come as no surprise that chef and owner Josh Poticha has chops in this department, hailing from Chicago, another city known for its love of deep-dish pizza. The modern menu at Bricks is matched by an equally eye-catching interior, pop-culture artwork litters the space throughout. The full beer, wine and cocktail menu and an alluring heated patio means this also might become your new favorite neighborhood hangout.

1465 S 700 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 953-0636

brickscornerslc.com

ROC.TACO

Take everything you think you know about the humble taco, and then think again. The buzzy ROC.TACO on Downtown SLC’s Edison Street brings a globe-trotting sensibility to a menu of inspired tacos. The restaurant is a casual, counter-service setup that proudly sports a creative streak like few others.

Creations like the Tikka bring exciting Indian flavors to the fore while the vibrant K-POP taco offers Korean short rib laced with gochujang sauce - and yes there’s a fried egg too.  Familiar flavors are still here as well mind you. For the more traditional, check out the carne asada or al pastor.

248 S Edison St
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

(801) 905-8016

roctaco.com

Graffiti Bao

This new kitchen hailing from Vegas joins the roster or rotating options at The Gateway’s food hall concept - HallPass. HallPass encourages guests to wander the trendy space, grabbing this, ordering that, sitting wherever they like - both inside and outdoors.   

Chef Marc Marrone is the name above the counter at Graffiti Bao - where the compact menu offers a spin on Asian hawker markets - with fun dishes such as dumplings, noodles and rice bowls.  

153 S Rio Grande St Suite 107
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(801) 415-9886

Bartolo’s

This upscale Italian eatery began life amidst the Park City ski scene, before making the journey down the mountain to SLC. With their arrival comes a crave-worthy menu that’s a welcome change of pace from the routine and regular.

A seasonal menu is packed with intriguing creations like grilled Spanish octopus with crispy pancetta or Skuna Bay salmon with cumin roasted carrots. Fans of more rustic cuisine - and carb loading - will start and end at the pasta selections replete with hearty plates like the rigatoni bolognese or bucatini all’amatriciana.

1270 S 1100 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

(801) 410-4606

bartolos.com

Pretty Bird Sugar House

If the name Viet Pham sounds familiar to you, you’d be right.  Pham’s first outing on the SLC food scene was at the fine dining Forage, a restaurant that scooped award after award for the soon to be star chef. From there Pham made a name for himself on the Food Network, most famously besting Bobby Flay - not once but twice!  

When Pham did return to the Salt Lake food scene, it was in suitably unpredictable fashion - serving up spectacular Nashville-inspired hot chicken. Sugar House is the latest landing for Pretty Bird and sees Pham stretch his legs with a far roomier location. The menu remains largely the same, Instagram-worthy fried to perfection chicken available in a range of spice profiles, everything from the spice-less to the chili-lovers ‘hot behind’.

675 E 2100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Cotton Bottom Inn

When the iconic grill at this Cottonwood Heights went cold - locals worried what the change in ownership would mean for this storied bar. Would the legendary garlic burgers live on, would they ever be the same?  

There was of course no real worry. With local Bar X Group (Bar X, Beer Bar, Eating Establishment) taking over the reins, the business was re-imagined, switching from a 21+ bar, to an all ages restaurant. The famed garlic burgers remain but are also joined by a more expansive menu, and fun outdoor patio space too.   

2820 E 6200 S
Holladay, UT 84121

(801) 849-8847

thecottonbottom.com

Nomad Eatery @ Uinta Brewhouse Pub

Breweries are typically more known for their craft brews than a stellar food menu, but that’s not the case at this West side brewery institution. You won’t find limp freezer to fryer creations here; you’ll find chef Justin Soelberg’s smart takes on comfort food. Salads, wings, burgers, sandwiches - they’re all given Soelberg’s intelligent and thoughtful treatment. The fried chicken sandwich is one of the best in town. As for the beer, that’s some of the best in the business too.

1722 South Fremont Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

(801) 467-0909

www.uintabrewing.com/brewhouse-pub

The Ivy / Varley

It’s impossible to mention one of these twinned businesses without the other. The duo moved into the space vacated by the previous tenants - Caffe Molise and BTG Wine Bar - with a similar concept to the businesses that went before; a restaurant to the east side of the building and a chic bar to the west. While both businesses offer food and drinks, The Ivy is ostensibly the more food focused of the two, offering a myriad of international flavors; everything from a cashew-kimchi bowl through to steak frites and sweet potato gnocchi.   

If you start at The Ivy you’ll undoubtedly want to take a nightcap over at Varley afterwards. The 21+ cocktail bar is just a few steps down the street and perfect for taking the party long into the night. The bar offers a contemporary mix of classic cocktails, modern creations, beers, wine, and more. 

The Ivy
55 W 100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(801) 895-2846

theivyslc.com

Varley
63 W 100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(801) 203-4124

varleyslc.com

Eight Settlers Distillery

This palatial new restaurant-distillery combo in Cottonwood Heights offers diners and drinkers an impressive space to sample a tipple or two. Take a seat at the bar, head up to the rooftop space with panoramic views, or heck, you can even dine and drink within a recreated jail cell.

The menu riffs on American brew pub fare such as salads, pizza, sandwiches, and pasta, but does so with an upscale eye; take note of the bone marrow app or the short rib with nori mashed potato for example.

7321 South Canyon Centre Pkwy
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

(385) 900-4315

eightsettlersdistillery.com 

Carson Kitchen

Carson Kitchen is another business on the roundup that hails from Vegas. The Sin City original has scooped up endless praise and plaudits from critics - with the Salt Lake outpost looking set to emulate its elder sibling in the Beehive state.

Carson’s menu offers a clever mish mash of comfort food and fine dining. Pork belly is gilded with a buffalo beurre blanc, a risotto is re-spun with black rice and oxtail while the bread pudding starts life as a glazed donut. It’s a giddy menu and one studded with hidden surprises throughout. Secret insider tip: Carson Kitchen might be home to the most decadently rewarding mac n cheese in the state.

241 W 200 S, Ste 150
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

(385) 252-3200

carsonkitchen.com/slc/index.html

Further reading

Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s something new and interesting happening every week on our food scene. For more up to the minute news, check out the following local publications:

https://gastronomicslc.com/category/news/

https://utahstories.com/category/utah-bites/

https://www.cityweekly.net/utah/food-news/Category?oid=2362594