The Bodega and its downstairs speakeasy, The Rest, have been granted a club liquor license, adding the duo to the growing list of places to get a drink in downtown Salt Lake City. The new license means that patrons no longer have to order food in order to enjoy a drink, although food will remain on the menus.
Both The Bodega and The Rest underwent some changes in February in preparation for the new license. The Bodega, which previously served only beer, now serves high point beer and liquor in addition to tacos, and the space has been updated with a partition between the seating area and the convenience store. Downstairs, new stools were added to give the The Rest a more bar-like feel and people are now welcome to wander throughout the space with their drinks.
Additionally, The Rest’s menu moved to be more small plates-focused, with only a few larger dishes meant to share between two people available, like Beer Can Chicken ($35), Paella ($30) and a BBQ Plate ($33). A weekly-changing prix fix menu will also be available from Thursday to Sunday from 5-9 p.m., ranging from $40-50/person. Reservations are required for the prix fix meal but walk-ins are welcome all other days and hours for the regular menu and drinks.
I returned to The Rest to check out their new menu, full of small dishes like Fried Pickle Spears ($6), Fried Ham and Cheese Curds ($8), Scotch Egg ($8), Confit Chicken Wings ($9) and Beef Tartare ($8). Unfortunately, all of the dishes fell short of our expectations, some even more than others.
The scotch egg tasted like nothing more than fried batter, the beef tartare was completely flavorless. The chicken wings had a good spicy kick and the meat was perfectly tender, but the sauce lacked any depth. We questioned whether the cheese curds were really curds at all, although it’s hard to go wrong with fried cheese. Even the beignets, previously my favorite item to order, were undercooked and unexciting.
Luckily the cocktails were satisfying. I also noticed that the price of the cocktails has been reduced; there are now categories of $9, $10 and $11 drinks. The drink menu has also been updated but still includes plenty of whiskey-based drinks to tickle my fancy. (Plus gin, rum and tequila ones.) At the end of the night our conclusion was now that The Rest doesn’t require ordering food to order cocktails, your best bet is to focus on the drinks.
Go to The Bodega/The Rest for :: The fun speakeasy atmosphere is still the main reason to go here, along with the creative cocktails. Notes :: Open from 5 p.m.-1 a.m., closed Sundays and Mondays. Reservations aren’t required (unless you want the prix fix dinner menu) but are recommended. Reservations can be made online here. Note that doing so requires a credit card and there is a $40/person cancellation fee.
Related :: See my full review on The Bodega and The Rest in Salt Lake City here.