If you're in Salt Lake City on Business this is our team's top picks of where to eat.
It is currently April 3rd, 2020. We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as soon as the novelty of working from home wore off, I found myself fantasizing about going to dinner with my wife to one of our favorite restaurants. With this on the brain, and with MonitorBase's team primarily being based in Salt Lake City, we decided we would compile a list of our favorite local restaurants and menu recommendations for those traveling to Sale Lake for business since it is becoming more of a hub for fintech SaaS companies like us as well as mortgage lenders.
Get there at 5:30 to avoid a long wait. Order the Charred Sablefish Nigiri, the Toro Tartare with truffle oil and the Ceviche.
I realize recommending a sushi restaurant in landlocked Utah seems strange or even ill-advised, but I assure you if you ask locals the best places to eat in Salt Lake, this is going to be at the top of their lists. Takashi opens at 5:30; this is important because if you don't get there shortly after opening, you might end up on a one-to-two hour waitlist, and they don't take reservations. If you do end up on the waitlist, which is well worth the wait, you can kill time at Post Office Place, the cocktail bar they own next door. You can start with some small plates like their Hamachi Ceviche or oysters along with cocktails focusing on Japanese ingredients like Shōchū, Yuzu Kosho, Kiuchi No Shizuku, or one of their many Japanese whiskeys. When you do make it into Takashi, you can't go wrong with whatever you order, but there are a few things you should prioritize. The perfect start is an item not listed on the menu but is a favorite of any regular, the Charred Sablefish Nigiri. The oils from the torched fish ideally soak in the rice and the Yuzu Kosho, hiding under the fish, perfectly cuts through the rich smokiness of the dish. You will ask for another order. Next, go for the Toro Tartare with the truffle oil; add the Ceviche plate to balance the richness of the toro with the citrus in the ceviche. Typically at this point, I ask the waiter, "What's good?" They get fish flown in fresh every day, and they will tell you what looks particularly delicious that day; get an order of sashimi based on their recommendation. If you still want more, you can go for one of their specialty rolls that change regularly or one of their Japanese BBQ dishes; I recommend the Azekura.
Get a few dishes to share with the table. One of their great salads, a seasonal pasta dish, and one of their hearty options is a great start.
HSL is in the beautiful Central City neighborhood. It is the Salt Lake arm of the restaurant Handle, originally opened in Park City, Utah. The two branches of the New American restaurant share a dedication to high-quality local and seasonal products but have entirely different menus. The menu at HSL changes regularly with the seasons, but some items are generally a mainstay. To get the most out of HSL, I recommend getting a few things from the menu for the table to share. The snap pea salad is always a great start, but it is particularly phenomenal in the spring with fresh pea shoots and a delicious beet purée. You can pair this salad with one of their seasonal agnolotti dishes such as a sweet corn and goats whey cream agnolotti with swiss chard and truffle. Then finish with one of their excellent meat dishes like the bavette steak or the pork shank with a frisee salad and apple butter.
3. Feldman's Deli:
Come here for lunch on your way up the canyon. Always order one of the pastrami sandwiches, either the Reuben or The Rachel. You can't go wrong either way.
This place is more of a lunch spot. Feldman's is located in Sugar House near the mouth of Parley's Canyon; it's a perfect place to fuel up before heading to Park City for a day of skiing. It is essentially a classic Jewish deli where the quality is at least as good or better than the famous Katz's Deli in NYC, but instead of getting yelled at by the wait staff, you're greeted by Mr. Feldman himself and quickly taken to your table. There is a correct way to order here, and that is to get one of their pastrami sandwiches. You can go for the classic Pastrami Reuben with sauerkraut, swiss, Thousand Island, on Jewish Rye or The Rachel, which substitutes the sauerkraut with house-made coleslaw that is characterized by its liberal usage of celery seed, just as is should be. The pastrami, like all the other ingredients on the sandwich, is made in house and is shaved extremely thin, which causes it to melt in your mouth, as opposed to having a pebbly texture like the pastrami of lesser delis. Get either of these sandwiches with Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda on the side, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.