These small dishes are built to do the heavy lifting
With spring on the horizon, Utah diners seeking smaller bites that carry flavor and freshness are in luck. Whether you call them appetizers, small plates or tapas, each comes with the opportunity for guests to try more than one option—allowing the entire table to enjoy a dizzying array of tastes. Here, we visit four of the hottest restaurants along the Wasatch Front and Back offering small plates/tapas that pack a punch without pummeling the wallet.
Hamachi Crudo $16 pictured above
Provisions’ hamachi crudo came about after chef and owner Tyler Stokes enjoyed a shaved cobia dish on his honeymoon last year. “I wanted to do a riff on it with one of my favorite fish to serve raw—yellowtail,” Stokes recalls. “I worked on my own version of olive snow and garlic dashi to counter it. We tried it with the pickled butternut squash and avocado, and it was perfect with the fatty belly of the yellowtail, hamachi. The olive snow is a new favorite of ours—it contains green olives, lemongrass, ginger, chiles, lime leaves, shallots and a few secret things.” Stokes feels this dish delivers salty, spicy, sweet and bitter—all in one perfect plate.
3364 S. 2300 East, SLC
Handle chef and owner Briar Handly took inspiration from the countless mediocre chicken wing dishes he’d eaten in his life when he created this memorable vegetarian version worthy of respect. The cauliflower is served like Buffalo hot wings with a lightly whipped blue cheese mousse and carrot and celery salad. “By using veggies with flavor, sourced from our local farmers and prepping them fresh daily, we are able to transform and elevate a dish that everyone can familiarize with,” he explains. “We also dehydrate Frank’s RedHot into a powder, make a Frank’s RedHot sauce vinaigrette and whip blue cheese into a mousse to further reinforce our guests’ memories of this classic and unexpected pairing.”
136 Heber Ave., Park City
Tandoori Spiced Lamb Chops $13
Chef Joey Ferran introduced Cucina’s tandoori spiced lamb chops with smoked harissa and mint and green chili chutney at a wine pairing event in 2016. Customers have been clamoring for the chops ever since. Mild New Zealand lamb chops rest in a coriander, mint, cardamom, tomato, garlic and soy marinade overnight to create a complex exterior flavor and texture. House-smoked tomatoes are then combined with stewed onions and bell peppers and seasoned with caraway, rye and coriander for an African harissa-inspired small plate. A bright chutney paste highlighting mint, coriander and Thai chiles and a flourish of raw cacao finishes the dish.
Cucina Wine Bar
1026 E. Second Ave., SLC
Buffalo Carpaccio $16
Sometimes, creativity is derived out of need. At Tupelo on Park City’s Main Street, chef and partner Matthew Harris challenged himself to devise a fun way to celebrate the gorgeous whole cows he was sourcing from Desert Mountain Grass-Fed Beef. The free-grazing, sustainable beef raised in Idaho made the buffalo carpaccio dish possible, lending itself perfectly to paper-thin slices that are paired with whipped Gold Creek Farms blue cheese and a housemade hot sauce aioli. Pastry chef Shirley Butler works further magic in the kitchen with her Parker rolls made to exacting high-altitude standards that soak up every last drop of sauce.
508 Main, Park City