Date nights Jan-May 2014

Our son has some special emotional needs that make it difficult for Kevin and I to get away, but we have a once a month ‘date night’ where the state provides a few hours of respite care for children that were adopted from foster care. We can only do so much in those few hours, from 5pm-8:30pm, but still enjoy the much needed adult time. Just a few days before our January Date Night I got my monthly email blog from City Weekly reviewing the Speakeasy style restaurant called The Rest.   Kevin and I were a bit skeptical, but thought it would be an adventure no matter what. We were able to snag a table for that Friday.

We dropped off Adrian and headed downtown. Even though our reservation was at 6pm, we weren’t going to waste any of our freedom sitting around and  were at The Bodega by around 5:20pm.  They had a couple of beers to chose from on tap which we promptly ordered than sat at the window with one of the plates of cheese balls scattered around the handful of seats. The tone of the evening was set when I was handed a key with my name on it and the hostess sayin20140124_180044g she would be back with instructions. I was afraid this whole ordeal would be somewhat cheesey, but it definitely was one of our most memorable nights.

After unlocking the door, we enjoyed craft cocktails, live music, delicious appetizers, satisfying dinner in the main area and dessert in their ‘library’ filled with decade old books.

The cocktails were classic cocktails all with a twist. We had to try several and were not disappointed with any of them. To eat, we started off with the confit chicken wings and to follow, Kevin got the lamb and beer pie and I got the drunk orange duck. For dessert in the library we split an order of donuts.

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For our February date night we sat in the bar area at Avenues Proper. We snagged a seat at their bar area. It’s disappointing with the liquor laws in Utah places like this have to create some fake bar like seating. We started out with the duck fat popcorn with fennel pollen to go with our craft cocktails. Then we got the shellfish frites

(which were mussels) and the beef short ribs. The sauce with the mussels was to die for. The place was nice, even though it was not a true bar, more like a counter, it managed to have a good atmosphere. We got talking with the person next to us who was in town from CA on a ski trip. He says he stays in Park City every year and on his was in, he stops there for dinner.

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In March we tried the tapas at Eva and then went next door for drinks and donuts at Whiskey Street. You could

20140328_184437 feel the energy of the city and both places were hopping and enjoyable. Eva seemed extremely well priced and decent portion sizes for tapas. Whiskey Street was packed but we were able to snag a spot at the bar.

In April, we had a visitors from Montana, our nephew and his girlfriend. While waiting for them to make it, we stopped in to the Sugarhouse pub and enjoyed a few IPAs enjoying the company of those sitting close and the bar tender. All conversations led to food, and we got some great places to add to the list. By the time they made it to town, we didn’t have much time left, so we just got some food to go from our trustworthy Mazza. They both seemed to enjoy it as much as we do, first time for both eating middle eastern. They were definitely impressed with the cars parked out front, BMWs and Mercedes seemed to line the streets at their 15th and 15th location.

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In May we tried out The Annex by Epic Brewing in Sugarhouse. I had yet to hear anything super positive about this place, but it is in our neighborhood, so it had to be tried. We both really liked it. The atmosphere seemed a little cold, and the acoustics poor, but we were there on the early side and it was only about half full. I thought the prices were fair and the food was of good quality. We split the Duck Rillettes (a definite yes!). We had to ask for more crostini, but they promptly brought more at no extra charge. I had the Poutine and Kevin had the Merguez sandwich. We left full and toting leftovers.

Salt Lake City continues to surprise us with many culinary delights. It’s nice to see so many restaurants full of diversity and striving for excellence popping up around the chain craze that seems have its hold on so many Utahns.  Our favorite so far has been The Rest with the whole experience really setting it apart. There was even a review in the New York Times!

 

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