Savory Salt Lake 2014 was a success, showcasing some of the best restaurants in Utah all under one roof! Over 300 guests mingled at The Leonardo with other public radio lovers, KUER staff, and the celebrity guest judges of the evening. The judges included RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio, freelance food critic, Vanessa Chang, and silver medalist at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Devin Logan, who proudly wore her medal for the entire evening.
At 6:30pm, the food tasting began. Mazza and Tin Angel served vegetarian friendly bites, with Mazza owner and chef, Ali Sabbah, plating spiced rice with stewed vegetable, while Tin Angel chef and co-owner, Jerry Liedtke, served up savory tartlets of roasted crimini mushrooms and Irish cheddar cheese topped with hand grated truffles. Salt Lake Culinary Center was the only restaurant to serve up a seafood dish with a delicious seasoned potato topped with smoked salmon, and Frida Bistro, with their signature Spanish flair, served a búfalo con piña tostadito with a side shot of sopa fria de pina. The Leonardo’s Salt Bistro featured adorable mini pretzel sliders with bratwurst, beer mustard, and red cabbage, while Park City’s Riverhorse on Main plated mouthwatering pork belly French onion bites. The two restaurants with the longest lines, however, were MacCool’s Public House and R&R BBQ. MacCool’s had skewered slow roasted lamb ribs with a Yukon herb roasted potato and a golden beet, topped with homemade BBQ sauce and buttermilk blue cheese dressing, while on the opposite end of the room, R&R co-owners and brothers, Roger and Rod, were individually frying quail eggs to top their chopped brisket served on a crostini.
On the dessert side, High West whiskey chocolates graced the table at Chocolot, which paired nicely with Vinto’s High West Mezzo chocolate and bourbon pecan gelatos. Carlucci’s presented chocolate zabaione tarts next to a strawberry rhubarb kouign-amann tart from Eva's Bakery, while Les Madeleines dished up a shooter-style strawberry shortcake mousse.
Ogden represented at the bar, with guests sipping on libations from Rooster’s Brewing Company and Five Wives Vodka. Rooster’s provided their Honey Wheat, Hellevation IPA, Peleton Pale Ale, and – aptly named, with 9% alcohol – Niner Bock beers. The signature drink of the night was a cucumber cranberry lemonade featuring Ogden’s Own Five Wives Vodka.
At the end of the night, the people’s choice award for desserts was presented to Vinto for their phenomenal gelato, while the judges selected Les Madeleines’ strawberry shortcake as their top choice. Not all too surprising, however, were the winners for the restaurant category. Brothers Rod and Roger of R&R BBQ took home – for the second year in a row – both the people’s choice and judges' awards for their delicious brisket topped with a quail egg, making the long line to taste their dish well worth the wait.