La Caille is one of the most stunning places in Utah. Located at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the property consists of a fairytale-like cottage sitting on 20 acres of picturesque landscape, including rows of grapes in its vineyard and delicate bridges over ponds in its garden, all with the striking backdrop of the mountains behind it. It’s famous for being a wedding venue, but La Caille also serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday and Sunday brunch.
La Caille doesn’t normally serve lunch but invited the Salt Lake City Ladies Who Lunch, a group of women who get together every month, for a tasting menu of their summer dishes. (Any women can attend Ladies Who Lunch; join us!) We toured a bit of the property while we sipped on wine, then had a hearty seven-course meal of French food.
After a few years of legal battles, La Caille is now taking a new direction by revitalizing their vineyard and creating an on-site farm-to-table philosophy by growing as much produce on the grounds as possible (including harvesting their own honey). The restaurant has also renovated the kitchen, allowing for almost all dishes to be made from scratch, and revamped their menu at the hands of Executive Chef Brandon Howard.
Lunch started with freshly baked breads, French Onion Soup with braised sweet onions au jus, broiled fromage fraise (fresh white cheese) and toasted baguette, followed by Romaine Salad in a Roquefort dressing with marinated tomato slices, bleu cheese crumbles and micro greens. I’m not a huge fan of French Onion soup but I enjoyed this one; the salad was easily familiar, although would have been better without the awkward decorative crust of cheese.
The entrees were served family style. We started with Sous Vide Pork Belly Porcini with roasted tomato and garlic in a truffle-infused glace de viande (a brown stock reduction). This was probably my favorite dish of the day. But then again, can you ever go wrong with pork belly?
The Poached Egg with Corn Cake was a bit confusing. The poached egg was perched on a polenta quenelle cake, then blanketed with balsamic reduction, shaved black truffles, sweet corn paste and shallot pearls. The flavors contrasted too much; I felt like it tasted as layered as the dish itself.
Next to arrive was the Roasted Porcini Gnocchi on a spinach salad with smoked goat cheese in a balsamic glaze with black truffles and black garlic, with a poached egg. The gnocchi was tasty but the poached egg was unnecessary. Overall, I liked this one.
The last course was Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with a sauce of grape tomato gastrique, humbolt fog cheese and candied orange peel. The dish was expectedly familiar, but delicious nonetheless.
We finished with La Caille’s signature dish, Beignets. My friend joked that Beignets are “fancy for doughnuts.” The pastries were much lighter than their doughnut cousins… and a perfect end to the meal.
All of the dishes we tried are on La Caille’s dinner menu, which is available Tuesday through Saturday, 4-9 p.m. and Sunday from 3-8 p.m. A 3-course prix fix “Commonwealth Menu” features some of these items (like the gnocchi) for $36 all night on Tuesdays and Wednesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Go to La Caille for :: A nice dinner with a beautiful view. Note :: There are plenty of gluten-free items on the menu (including brunch and dessert). Reservations are available via OpenTable.com.