Dinner at Log Haven

Log Haven is one of Utah’s most notorious restaurants, nestled away in the mountains, tucked away among the trees.  It’s known as one of the state’s best wedding venues and is listed among the country’s top restaurants in Food & Wine, Bon Appetite and Gourmet magazines.  But more commonly Log Haven is known as a wonderful restaurant in a breath-taking setting.

A glass of Prosecco against the green mountains and our menu for the evening.

A glass of Prosecco and our menu for the evening.

Log Haven‘s roots began quite simple, as the summer home wedding gift of a wealthy businessman to his bride in 1920.  Eventually it evolved into a full-time residence, then a restaurant until its current owner purchased it in 1994, who refurbished and renovated the entire place.  I was lucky enough to attend Log Haven’s Spring Media Soiree dinner last week, showcasing a tasting of the summer menu.  And it was quite the feast!

We started with a whole world of different textures and tastes.

We started with a whole world of different textures and tastes.

The dinner started with a trio of small plates :: Panko-dusted Dungeness crab cake, topped with a pile of kale slaw on a puddle of smoked serrano aioli and shrimp-jalapeno mousseline with corn puree; Polenta Fontina Gratin, blanketed with a pretty sunny side up egg, sitting next to house-made pancetta, with a spicy fried tomato sauce; and Grilled Calamari with Cerignola Olive Mignonette, with smoked tomato coulis, capers, lemon mayonnaise, garlic crouton.  Most of these were nothing unpredictable; my favorite was the calamari.  These dishes are available as full portions ($11.50-$14.50) or tastes ($7.50-$8).

Kale greens and heirloom spinach salad.

Kale greens and heirloom spinach salad.

Then we moved onto the greens.  The salads were an Heirloom Spinach with chopped egg, dry aged bacon, chives, garlic crouton, toasted mustard seed in a honey dressing and a Young Kale Green salad with crisp root vegetables, young goat cheese, pickled onions and walnuts in a sherry vinaigrette.  The salads range in price from $7-$8.50.

Halibut, salmon, scallops and seaweed rounded out the sea courses.

Halibut, salmon, scallops and seaweed rounded out the sea courses.

Next were dishes from the sea :: Quinoa Crusted Wild Salmon with honey-glazed pork belly, baby heirloom tomatoes and grilled spring onions in corn broth; Seared Scallops in a Lemon Poppy Seed Risotto with English peas, baby shiitakes, fresh ricotta and carrot beurre blanc; and Grilled Whiskey-Miso Halibut with compressed super greens (sesame salad), yuzu citrus and nori puree.  I was a fan of the scallop risotto, although my friends favored the other sea courses better.

And then came the steak, bison and duck.

And then came the steak, bison and duck.

We finished with dishes from the land.  Natural skirt steak with frijoles borrachos, poblano chimichurri, tortilla battered sweet onion and lime aioli; Grilled Bison Teres Major Steak with brussel sprouts, candied pancetta, cipollini onion, fingerling sweet potatoes and aioli; and Smoked Duck and Hand Cut Serrano Chile Pasta with poblanos, habanero cheddar, mango salsa, and chipotle butter.  The duck was really unique, with a wide range of flavors, but my favorite was the bison.  The “sea” and “land” entrees range from $25-$38.50.

The itty bitty nibbles of ice cream to finish the feast.

Itty bitty nibbles of ice cream finished the feast.

All of the items we tried are available on Log Haven’s regular summer menu, served every night starting at 5:30 p.m.  They are also running several summer specials :: The early bird special features steak and lobster for $27.50 before 6:30 p.m.; The Dog Days of Summer, held every night, where diners can bring their canine companions and even order doggie kabobs; and live music Tuesdays through Saturday.

Go to Log Haven for :: The relaxing, cabin-like feel and can’t-be-beat scenery.  Notes :: Their menu features a three-course low-calorie special for those watching their waste lines and a whole handful of gluten-free options (including dessert).  Reservations are available online via Opentable.com.

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