Fine dining: Utah Valley offers new tastes for the palate

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 6 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

A classy presentation at an express casual restaurant is the element that draws people from all over the state, Petric said.

"We have people from Salt Lake or St. George who come at least twice a month," Petric said. "It's not your typical eat-and-leave restaurant."

With plans to expand the restaurant throughout the state, Blue Lemon adds a dose of light, fresh food to Utah dining, Petric said.

"I think the concept is really going to pick up in Utah, definitely. I really do," Petric said.

And with several other small, city-style eateries popping up in Utah Valley, he seems to be on the right track: Rooster Dumpling and Noodle Bar is the project of Andy and Simy Gartz, who had a similar goal to bring unique dining opportunities to Provo, the site of their two restaurants.

"I do think we serve food that nobody else does," said Andy Gartz, who worked in Hong Kong for four years. "Our palates are experienced and we've eaten at great places all over the world. We know what kind of eating experience we enjoy and what we're trying to provide."

Gartz notes at Rooster he doesn't strive to provide the most fancy, authentic or expensive food, but rather a quality, new take on Asian food that Utah Valley has yet to offer.

Accordingly, the interior at the Gartzes' restaurant has a spare, European look that complements the Asian-style food in a different way.

"Sitting in our place should feel different — we want our food to be different," Gartz said.

Serving up Taiwanese boba drinks and curry soups, Gartz said customers are enthused about having a taste of something new.

"There are so many people who are excited about what's happening [with Utah Valley dining]," Gartz said. "It's actually made my life a lot happier, because I get to meet people who appreciate what I'm doing every day."

e-mail: bbrown@desnews.com