Luxurious La Caille

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.

The beautiful grounds and gardens of La Caille.

The beautiful grounds and gardens of La Caille.

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.

Reflections of La Caille through Chardonnay.

Reflections of La Caille through Chardonnay.

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.

Soup and salad to start the meal.

Soup and salad to start the meal.

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.

Savory pork belly, always a hit.

Savory pork belly, always a hit.

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?

Poached egg, polenta, balsamic reduction, truffles and corn past is too much.

Egg, polenta, balsamic, truffles and corn is too much.

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.

Gnocchi and spinach salad

Gnocchi and spinach salad

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.

bacon

Bacon, scallops and cheese.

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.

Simply beautiful and delicious.

Simply beautiful and delicious.

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.

Even the place setting at La Caille is pretty.

Even the place setting at La Caille is pretty.

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.

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