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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Savory in Salt Lake City

I usually get to treat myself to one blog-worthy meal per city when I'm on the road. My travels feel more like an endless parade of rental car lines than restaurants. In one afternoon; out the next morning.
But so it was that I had the good fortune of arriving in Salt Lake City while some family members were also there, wrapping up a ski trip...
Mark & Megan both loved their meal at Tuscany so much that they agreed to take me there for dinner. The restaurant sits at the base of the mountains surrounding SLC, and has a mixed vibe of "ski resort meets NoCal." Suffice to say, that's a good combo. Smooth, neutral-tone walls; wood-paneled ceilings; lots of windows to enjoy a view. And two excellent sights: the Chihuly-esque chandelier when you enter, and the huge hearth-like fireplace in one of the rooms of this manse. A place that makes you want to take your time with your meal...

We shared a bottle of Columbia Crest Cab, which we all decided was stellar, if not sensational. A bit lighter than most Cabs (and if you're a Cab fan, maybe this is a strike against; however, for me, it's a tally in the plus column), with some spiciness to balance out the oaky taste.
I started with an interesting salad of pear, gorgonzola, and mixed greens, with a white balsamic champagne vinaigrette. What made this extra enjoyable was how the greens were prepared: it had a slaw-like texture to it, all the flavors instantly coming together on the tongue.
A tough choice for the main course, but I went with the Wood-Oven Roasted Filet of Salmon with Pancetta Pesto Crust and toasted Vegetable Couscous. What sold me was the description, which included "Wood-Oven Roasted, and Pancetta Pesto Crusted." It was somewhat of a restrained order for me, what with the Veal Chop, the Double Cut Pork Chop, and other entrees that promised a much heartier meal. However, I was glad to see I made the right choice. The salmon was perfectly cooked and flaky and moist, the pancetta/pesto/panko mixture locking in the juices inside, while crisping perfectly on the outside. And the Israeli couscous was a great compliment, with a hearty yet delicate texture.
The only disappointment was dessert. I always make a point of reserving this blog space for raves only, but I feel it would be remiss of me not to call out the miss that was their
Banana Cream Pie in a coconut tart shell with brulee topping, chocolate and caramel sauce. We couldn't figure out where the cream was on the plate we shared, and the tart itself was dry and coarse. Although the brulee topping was tasty, the dessert fell flat for all of us. I should mention we passed on the 7'4" Chocolate Cake (named in honor of Tuscany's investor, former Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton), which according to my mealmates, is outstanding...

Stay tuned...gotta hop a flight... when I return...memorable meal #2 from the SLC!...

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