SALT LAKE CITY [ ABN NEWS ] — Utah is rapidly earning a reputation as a destination of choice for serious “locavores” and lovers of all things food. Now that the snow has melted, the real fun begins as the farm-to-table movement gets underway with a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Top notch chefs are sourcing the state for local food and beverages, bringing the adventures of Utah out of the wild and straight to the table.
Seasonal menus across the state feature fresh-caught rainbow trout and wild king salmon. The highest quality beef, chicken and pork come from Utah`s ranches and farms. Artisanal cheeses and charcuterie are paired with freshly baked breads. Travelers can even go foraging with chefs for wild lettuces, arugula, stinging nettles and herbs.
Eating local is nothing new in Utah. At the end of an adventurous day hiking, biking, skiing or exploring, visitors can relax with a beer from one of the state`s famed microbreweries or sample locally distilled vodka and whiskey. Even dessert goes local with honey from local beehives, artisan chocolates, candy and other sweet delights.
Beyond the following sampling, visitors may find additional information on Utah`s culinary offerings and events, as well as an abundant list of the state`s farmers markets at www.utahsown.utah.gov and www.visitutah.com.
Northern Region: Gateway to Adventure
Forage – Salt Lake City
A bustling metropolis, Salt Lake City features many fine restaurants, including the unique restaurant, Forage. As the name implies, Forage offers bountiful fresh ingredients found and foraged in the region. Menu items are provided from the Wild West as well as small farms and ranches, and change seasonally. For reservations, visit www.foragerestaurant.com.
Pago – Salt Lake City
Another on the locavore list is the award-winning Pago, a restaurant that partners with local artisans and farms through a Restaurant Support Agriculture (RSA) agreement to obtain the freshest native meats and vegetables. The restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner in a setting of contemporary and old world design aesthetics. To learn more, visit www.pagoslc.com.
The Sky Lodge – Park City
This upscale resort has recently opened two new restaurants – fine-dining restaurant, Table One and a more casual option, The Tavern. Menus in both restaurants expand culinary horizons using locally sourced products that help support local businesses and farms. Meat purveyors include the renowned Niman Ranch, to name a few. Diners enjoy local artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, fresh-caught trout and Silver Bean Coffee, as well as an extensive beverage list including local micro-beers, and vodka and whiskey from Utah`s High West Distillery. To experience these new restaurants, visit www.theskylodge.com.
The St. Regis Deer Valley – Park City
Located in Park City`s world-class ski resort, Deer Valley, Jean-George`s J&G Grill`s new Chef de Cuisine introduced an innovative outdoor buffet with `nose-to-tail` meats sourced from local ranches and farms. With hearty appetites, diners can sample local specialties such as braised lamb necks with parmesan grits and herbs from Clark`s Farm in Bear Lake, Utah; or spare ribs from Paisley Farms in Lehi, braised with local Squatter`s Beer. The resort also introduced a weekly 7452 Bloody Mary Clinic in the Library Bar. Named for the altitude of the resort, 7,452 feet, the Clinic is a nod to the fact that the Bloody Mary was first introduced at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The hotel`s “secret ingredient” is High West 7,000 vodka, distilled just one mile from the resort. For reservations, visit www.stregisdeervalley.com.
Waldorf Astoria Park City – Park City
The resort`s new menu is described as “modern mountain cuisine, driven by the seasons and inspired by the surrounding Wasatch Mountains.” Signature dishes include a Manti Elk Carpaccio with quail egg, and a pine seared chicken with leeks and mountain mushrooms. For the ultimate foodie experience, during the summer months, guests participate in foraging expeditions with Chef Clement Galas to harvest local lettuces, edible flowers, nettles and herbs. In the evening, the chef prepares a custom dinner incorporating the foragers` harvest. To experience this expedition, visit www.parkcitywaldorfastoria.com.
Escala Provisions Company – Park City
Located in Park City`s Hyatt Escala Lodge, this fine-dining restaurant`s menu changes with the seasons. Ingredients are sourced locally, including lamb from Willis Farm in Laketown, and fruits and vegetables from Muir Copper Canyon Farms. However, wild game and fresh-caught fish from the Provo River are among diner`s favorites. For reservations, visit www.escalalodge.hyatt.com.
The Montage Deer Valley Hotel – Park City
The Montage Deer Valley has cultivated special arrangements with Utah`s pre-eminent purveyors and farmers, supporting local businesses and farms. After a day outdoors, guests can sip an icy Montage Mountain Ale brewed specially for the hotel in Park City. Cold Creek Farms cheese is featured in nearly a dozen different dishes, and, since Utah is known as the Beehive State, the hotel`s own resident beekeeper provides three varietals of honey exclusively for the hotel. For additional information, visit www.montagedeervalley.com.
The Farm at Canyons – Park City
Nestled high atop Park City at the Grand Summit Hotel, The Farm at Canyons features an Old West ambiance. Elk and bison are specialties on the Old West menu, along with beef, pork, mountain trout and game. The menu changes frequently with the seasons with farm-to-table root vegetables in winter and stone fruits in summer from nearby orchards. For those wishing to sip local, the bar team has even concocted cocktails using Utah`s staple sugar beets. To book a reservation, visit www.canyonresort.com.
Communal Restaurant – Provo
Provo is the gateway to the Wasatch National Forest, often called the Garden City because of its extensive fruit orchards and gardens. Communal Restaurant was founded as part of the Heirloom Restaurant Group, which has a focus on buying local. The restaurant provides as many locally sourced, sustainable products as feasible, presented along a communal table, reminiscent of an Old West bunkhouse or farmhand table. Hearty menu items include roasted winter squash with house-made sausage, crispy pork belly with pickled red onions and pan seared Utah trout in slab bacon vinaigrette, served with locally brewed beer. To learn more, visit www.communalrestaurant.com.
Southern Region – A Taste of the Old West
Hell`s Backbone Grill – Boulder
Located on scenic Highway 12, Hell`s Backbone Grill serves regional cuisine in a majestic setting. Menu items change weekly to reflect seasonal availability, while continually encompassing Western Range, Pueblo Indian and Southwestern flavors. The Grill grows many of its own vegetables, fruits and herbs on its six-acre organic farm and is open daily from mid-March through the end of November, showcasing the farm`s freshest ingredients. Preserves, jams, butter and chutney are produced and sold throughout the year. For current menu items, visit www.hellsbackbonegrill.com.
The Rocking V Café – Kanab
To the west of Moab lies Kanab, often called “Little Hollywood” where travelers head to The Rocking V Café for tasty food and delicious drinks. Serving real American slow food with a Southwest flair, Chef Dan Potter uses ghost chilies, tomatoes, corn, peppers and melons, all grown within the garden. Additionally, the café grows peaches and cherries in the local garden for desserts and mint for mojitos. To try this delicious fare, visit www.rockingvcafe.com.
The Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa – Moab
With its petrified sandstone dunes, Moab is a picturesque Western town located on the eastern banks of the Colorado River. Last year, the resort`s restaurant initiated a dedicated farm-to-plate program with eighty percent of all food purchases sourced from within 500 miles of the ranch. Fruits and vegetables come from the resort`s own gardens or are foraged from the 160-acre ranch. The restaurant also collaborates with Utah Artisan Foods for seasonal cheeses, baked goods and Utah honey. The creative locavore menu features items such as Utah Buffalo short ribs, wild arugula and foraged dandelion salad, and artisan cheeses served with Utah`s best honey, apple butter and sundried cherries. For reservations, visit www.sorrelriver.com.
Home to five national parks, The Mighty Five™, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and “The Greatest Snow on Earth®,” Utah represents the best of both the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. Whether it`s heart-thumping downhill skiing, picturesque fly fishing, life-defying rock climbing, serene bird watching, thrill-seeking white water rafting or just communing with nature, Utah has it all – holding true to the state`s “Life Elevated®” brand.
To view the Utah Travel Guide online visit www.visitutah.com
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