Our family traveled through Salt Lake City, UT, during our National Parks Extravaganza this summer on our way between Grand Teton National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. As always when we travel, we try to find local independent restaurants that source locally. Generally this is easy to do by looking for foodie blogs in a target area and either searching their posts or asking them directly for recommendations. I found the very helpful Gourmand Syndrome, who suggested Tin Angel Cafe.
The Tin Angel Cafe is right across from Pioneer Park at 365 West 400 South. (Addresses in Salt Lake City and in much of the rest of Utah, after some initial confusion, are incredibly helpful — an address actually provides directions to the location.) The funky ambiance manages to avoid both kitsch and preciousness, not a mean feat. The outdoor patio is a fun space overlooking the park across the street, but temperatures were in the 90s at 8:30 on a mid-June evening, and we opted to sit inside.
Tin Angel has been open only a little over a year. Co-owners Robin Fairchild, Kestrel Liedtke, and chef/owner Jerry Liedtke focus on “sustainably-grown, fresh, local, and organic ingredients.”
The menu is small but eclectic and seems to have something for most foodies, whether vegan, vegetarian, kosher, or untrammeled omnivore and features several local and regional beers (my husband ordered a Squatters Organic Amber.) We both were tempted by the Idaho Kobe beef medallions, but we’d had several meals with beef or bison over the past week and wanted something lighter. For an appetizer we ordered the Tapenade Duo, which featured two spreads (Roasted Tomato/Garlic and Greek Olive/Feta) for crostini. This was a great choice for me as my husband doesn’t like olives, so the entire luscious dollop of olive tapenade was mine. I ordered the fabulous Spinach and Fontina Zuppa and the balsamic-reduction dressed Arugula and Sliced Beets salad. My husband had their Red Pepper Shrimp with Farfalle and a side salad with a house-made balsamic vinaigrette (they have a whole list of homemade vinaigrettes.) We were hoping for that night’s ‘Chef’s Whim’ bread pudding but were too late and had to make do with the Panna Cotta.
Service was helpful, friendly but not hovering, just the way I like it. Dinner was not cheap ($65 with drinks and tip) but we’d definitely recommend it.
Images courtesy of The Gourmand Syndrome, whose photos turned out much better than mine did.