Originally designed as a bed-and-breakfast facility, the Inn at the Creek, Midway, recently expanded both its lodging and food-service operations to accommodate short- and long-term guests.
Decorated in French provincial, the inn's new dining space features a royal blue interior with a toile wall covering and damask table coverings that brush the floor yet somehow set a countrified, casual tone in the relaxed room.Newly hired executive chef Jean Louis Montecot was searching for just such a peaceful spot when he left the hubbub of Paris, New York and Chicago restaurants to stir a skillet in Utah.
After a three-year stint at Sundance where the chef expanded his classical and provincial French repertoire with Western touches, Montecot moved up the canyon and opened his own place in June.
The friendly place still shows evidence of newness. Our service, though gracious, was slow. We ate dinner with a salad fork (which we had to request); the server explained that they didn't have enough silver to provide a dinner fork.
What the restaurant lacked in service details, it compensated for in menu offerings. We sampled a Mushroom Cake with Sauteed Shrimp and Tomato Coulis , a richly flavored blend of wild mushrooms accented by a zesty tomato sauce. Even the house salad ($3.25) was a generous portion of crisp, mixed greens punctuated by a light, mustardy vinaigrette.
Entrees featured photo-perfect presentation with fresh herb-from-the-restaurant-garden garnishes. Roasted Ginger Chicken ($12.95) featured a tender, half chicken stuffed with a bouquet of herbs, but somehow missing a distinctive flavor the herb bundle suggested. Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Pesto ($16.95) arrived with chive straws and fresh sage atop the pesto-crusted fish, and a linguine/-veggie stir fry.
Other entrees include innovative preparations of veal, lamb, pasta and beef tenderloin accompanied by hearty, corn mashed potatoes (a trademark dish borrowed form from the Sundance shift).
Desserts include a traditional, caramel-topped Creme Brulee, a delicate, Swiss-inspired Chocolate Fondue, which is challenging at this altitude, bittersweet Chocolate Souffle (topped with a seasonal Royal Anne cherry sauce) and a Tart Tatin, a rich, cinnamon-laced combination of crisp/crunchy apples and feather light puff pastry.
Whether for a weekend retreat or an evening escape, dining with Jean Louis proves a delightful experience, reasonably priced for the neighborhood in a totally laid-back setting. Just what the chef ordered.