We may all know about commercial restaurants like a Cafe Rio or P.F. Chang’s, but many smaller restaurant businesses utilize local products with greater volume and consistency as a part of an organization called Utah’s Own Products. Listed are the 10 restaurants that rely most on products grown from Utah soil — the top five from Salt Lake City, and the top five outside the state’s capital. (Courtesy of Seth Winterton, Utah’s Own Products deputy director)
Former New York City chef Ryan Lowder, a former Utahn, brings his personal take on New American cuisine with an approach inspired by his priority for Utah’s farmstead ingredients as well as his cooking experience in Barcelona and South America.
The Copper Onion serves a wide array of small-plate varieties to fine dining options, along with several vegetable side dishes. Sausages and burgers are ground daily, while bread and ice cream are made in-house. Enjoy a film next door at Broadway Centre Theatre,
Location: 111 E. Broadway #170, Salt Lake City
Derived from the Spanish word for a Spanish vineyard, Pago was built in 1910, featuring original brickwork and reclaimed wood tables to emphasize an old-world atmosphere.
The 2010 choice for Best Lunch from the Readers Choice Award and the Best Casual American menu from the Salt Lake Magazine Dining Awards, Pago features a menu of assorted seafood and taco dishes.
Location: 878 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City
Owned by chefs Bowman Brown and Viet Pham, both of whom have catering experience in notable restaurants in the Bay Area, Forage offers a selection of fine potato dishes, international spices and artisan cheeses.
Location: 370 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City
Both owned by Ian Brandt, Sages Cafe lays claim to 90 percent of its Italian cuisine being purchased organic, which products can be twice as expensive as conventional products. The 4-year-old Vertical Diner offers classic burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Location: Sages Cafe, 473 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City; Vertical Diner, 2280 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City.
Websites: www.sagescafe.com; www.sagescafe.com
Tin Angel features an immense Mediterranean-heavy menu with options including wild boar anglo dolce, duck tikka and Morgan Valley lamb ciabbata. Owner Jerry Liedtke lays claim to previous culinary positions in France and Italy.
Location: 365 W. 400 South, Salt Lake City
Colton Soelberg and Joseph McRae own both Utah County-based restaurants as a part of the Heirloom Restaurant Group. Communal features an open Italian bar with a limited but diverse selection. Pizzeria 712 preceded the opening of the Provo-based business in fall 2009.
Soelberg and McRae have 10 upcoming projects related to The Heirloom Restaurant Group, among them a catering business and a bakery.
Location: Communal, 100 N. University Ave., Provo; Pizzeria 712, 320 S. State #185, Orem
Websites: www.communalrestaurant.com; www.pizzeria712.com
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the Jen Castle and Blake Spaulding-owned business is that the staff grows its own garden. The Buddhist principle of environmental ethics drives their reasoning to be a major participant in Utah’s Own. Western range, Pueblo Indian and Southwestern flavors are found on the menu.
Castle, from Albuquerque, possesses extensive experience in Polish cuisine, a craft honed in Arizona and along the Colorado River, while Spaulding, from New Hampshire, brings a resume of having catered in a deserted island in the Bahamas and the Amazon Rain Forest.
Location: No. 20 North Highway 12, Boulder
Open seasonally for all meals, the grill offers a dining excursion separate from the one found just beyond its windows. Located within the state’s Escalante Canyons country, a variety of sandwiches, burgers and salads can satisfy the hungry hiker.
Location: 10 N. Highway 12, Boulder
A popular destination following a day on the slopes, the High West Distillery and Saloon is made of reclaimed wood from the Great Salt Lake Trestle Bridge of 1904. Western-themed rooms are featured at the lodge next door.
Location: 703 Park Ave., Park City
From the vegetarian dishes offered at The Mariposa to the panini and wrap options at Bald Mountain Pizza, Deer Valley resort is lined with several types of dining selections. However, most remain open only during ski season.
Location: 2250 Deer Valley Drive, Park City (general resort)