Where to take friends and family before or after the show
The unofficial fourth act of any show is debriefing over drinks and food. But where to go? A plan is needed so that you and your fellow theatergoers don’t end up shivering outside the box office searching your phone for “restaurants near me.” If you’re entertaining out-of-town guests over the holidays, the après-show destination is also a great opportunity to show off Utah’s shiny, new culinary jewels—and there are many. Here’s our ensemble of theater-side restaurants where you can sip, snack and share show notes, before or after a show, depending on their hours.
White Horse Spirits & Kitchen
The fact that “spirits” precedes “kitchen” in the name of this restaurant is no mistake. Here are the stats: 35 aperitifs and digestifs (the largest collection in state), 11 full-strength ciders on draft (also Utah’s largest selection—order a flight), six absinthes to enliven the evening and too many whiskeys to count. The latter should come as no surprise since White Horse, which opened late-2017, is sister restaurant to Whiskey Street and Bourbon House. The name of the newest member of this restaurant family alludes to the alleged LDS White Horse Prophecy, auguring a glorious future for the religion. True or not, a post-Abravanel Hall (123 W. South Temple, SLC, 801-355- 2787, ArtSaltLake.org) trip to White Horse is likely to include at least a hint of liquid glory. The many bottles on offer here line a ceiling-high glowing Wall of Spirits behind the bar. If you’re feeling daring, order the Bar Roulette and let your bartender surprise you with a creative cocktail. The American Brasserie menu includes dishes like shishito peppers in dynamite sauce and a croque monsieur with Kurobuta ham—glorious indeed. Open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., daily.
325 S. Main, SLC
London Belle Supper Club
The star of this show is Dora B. Topham, a late veteran of the world’s oldest profession. Topham ran brothels in the Salt Lake area, including in one Ogden building fronting as the London Ice Cream Parlor, which is how she became known as Belle London. The supper club named in her honor is a throwback to the 19th century with a steampunk vibe. Think black-leather booths, exposed brick walls and chandeliers resembling industrial candelabras. To match the theme, chef Matthew Anderson designs plates of intrigue, from spicy chermoula cauliflower to duck confit nachos brightened up with Napa slaw and an orange-mango glaze. Ask your server what theatrical cocktail the bar’s pouring that evening—the mixologists design specialty cocktails for shows at the Eccles Theater (131 S. Main, SLC, 801-355- 2787, ArtSaltLake.org). We can’t wait to see what they dream up for Finding Neverland. Open 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Monday-Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
321 S. Main, SLC
Before witnessing Clara indulge at the Land of Sweets in Ballet West’s The Nutcracker at Capitol Theatre (50 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-355-2787, ArtSaltLake.org), satisfy your own sweet tooth at the newest café downtown. Since October, the Copper Kitchen team has been serving Stumptown Coffee, irresistible pastries and sandwiches on homemade sourdough at The Daily. Get your pre-show caffeine fix, then agonize for a few minutes over what to select from the glass pastry box, where selections like a cheddar-mustard scone or fig-walnut-chocolate chip cookie await. Larger appetites might pre-game a show with a BLT and a beer, or breakfast, which is served all day. If you’re in a rush, you can also get a sandwich or salad to go. As a relative newcomer, this café’s regimen is ever changing. New hours, housemade juice and cocktails may soon await Daily guests, so check in before you go. Open 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
222 S. Main, Ste. 140, SLC
9th & 9th
When a case of the end-of-show yawns strikes, the ultimate cure is chiles and tequila. Luckily, Alamexo stocks both in large volumes. At this relatively new addition to the 9th and 9th district, you’ll find regional Mexican cuisine as colorful as the décor within. Sister restaurant to Alamexo Mexican Kitchen downtown, this new location is a mile or so from Pioneer Theatre (University of Utah, 300 S. 1400 East, SLC, 801-581-6961, PioneerTheatre.org). To whet your appetite for spectacle before the show, order the Guacamole Verde con Carnitas, which will be assembled tableside with a mortar and pestle, then topped with saucy, shredded pork for good measure. Tacos are also a dramatic order—they’ll arrive sizzling in a cast-iron skillet with a troupe of accompaniments like salsa de jitomate. To drink, choose from a curated list of tequilas, or venture to try a unique Basque cocktail: the Kalimotxo (that’s kal-ee-MOH-cho), with—wait for it—red wine, lemon and Mexican Coke. Open 3-10 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sundays and Mondays.
1059 E. 900 South, SLC
It doesn’t get much cozier than a performance of Christmas With the Celts at the Egyptian Theatre (328 Main St., Park City, 435-649-9371, EgyptianTheatreCompany.org) as snow falls outside in Old Town Park City. Unless, of course, you make Firewood your pre-theater destination. At this 2-year-old eatery, everything is cooked over a 14-foot-long wood stove. The setting conjures up the character of a mountain home, with chestnut wood floors and accent barn doors, crafted by none other than owner/chef John Murcko. His menu changes nightly, so think of dinner as a plot twist. The food is new American cuisine, starring ingredients sourced from the very best purveyors, like pork belly or bavette from Snake River Farms. The wood stove’s influence also extends to cocktails such as the Woodlands Old Fashion made with Bulleit bourbon, bitters, Luxardo and Demerara sugar smoked over cherrywood. If you’re not into smoky flavors, fear not—smokiness usually serves only as an accent. Open 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday.
306 Main St., Park City
Potstickers Plus 1
There’s no place like Potstickers Plus 1 combined with a performance of Wizard of Oz this month at the Hale Centre Theatre (9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy, 801-984-9000, HCT.org). The “Plus 1” in this restaurant’s name refers to temping items on the menu that don’t happen to be pot stickers, from curry shrimp soup to slow-cooked lamb ribs. But the pot stickers, of course, are a must-try. Co-owner Peter Wang says he loves perfecting and experimenting with family recipes. Spoiler alert: perfection has been achieved. This should come as no surprise when you learn that in addition to mastering pot stickers, Wang also has his masters in biophysics and computer science. While the classic pork veggie pot sticker remains his top seller, be sure to add some unorthodox additions to your repertoire, like pork and sweet corn or vegan pot stickers that are brimming with ground taro, bamboo, and other veggies. Even the pot sticker wrapping is made from scratch by hand. The best part? The show will go on here, since everything is made to order in an open kitchen. Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 4-9 p.m. on Sunday. ❖
9197 S. 700 East, Sandy