Dinner at Eva’s Bakery in Salt Lake City

Eva’s Bakery has been pleasing downtown Salt Lake City palates with breakfast and lunch for awhile now, focusing on French-inspired dishes, pastries and artisan bread.  Part pastry shop and coffee bar, part ultra cute Parisian café, the restaurant is a charming addition to Main Street.  Formerly only open for breakfast and lunch, dinner at Eva’s Bakery is a recent addition to the menu (Thursdays-Saturdays only).

The wall of freshly-baked bread at Eva's Bakery.
The wall of freshly-baked bread at Eva’s Bakery. [Previously posted on instagram.]
When I first wrote about Eva’s Bakery, I said that the café was what I dreamed places in Paris to be like.  Having just returned from Paris, I can confirm that these cute neighborhood shops are everywhere there.  The bakery vibe of the restaurant prevents it from being anything but casual, even though the entrees are in the $14-17 range.

The menu is smaller than their daytime offerings, limited to just four starters and four entrees.  If you’re a picky eater, that can be a problem.  I was surprised they serve wine and beer, with a handful of wine offerings by the glass or bottle (even though they were out of half of the bottles the night I went).

Salmon stacked on asparagus over polenta at Eva's Bakery in Salt Lake City.
Salmon stacked on asparagus over polenta.

The starter section of the menu offers a few salads (a butter lettuce and radicchio for $7, an organic green for $5), garlic soup and bread ($7) and a Margarita pizza ($12) that looked entree-sized from the glance I stole to the one at the table next to us.  Complementary freshly baked bread is brought to the table still warm from the oven.

Short ribs at Eva's Bakery.
Short ribs at Eva’s Bakery.

The night I went, four friends ordered three of the four dinner entrees.  (Sorry Game Hen with baby carrots, you got left out of the mix.)  The consensus was the same with the Wild Salmon en Papillote ($16), served sitting on a bed of seared polenta and a row of asparagus in artichoke and tomato butter, and the Roast Grass-Fed Beef Short Rib ($15) with fingerling potatoes and a mixed green salad (even though the menu states a pea sprout salad): the meat was on the dry side but the sides, while predictable, weren’t bad.

Stuffed shells at Eva's Bakery in Salt Lake City.
The stuffed shells were the table’s favorite entree.

Surprisingly, the Baked Sundried Tomato Stuffed Shells ($14) filled with mozzarella, braised rainbow chard and fresh tomato basil sauce, was the best entree.  The tomato sauce had a slight sweetness to it and the freshness was obvious.  Overall, the entrees weren’t anything extraordinary (good or bad); they were just not memorable.

Layers of chocolate and whiskey/caramel buttercream cake at Eva's Bakery in Salt Lake City.
Layers of chocolate and whiskey/caramel buttercream.

For dessert, Eva’s Bakery offers any of the pastries in the case at the front of the house.  We ordered the Whiskey Caramel Chocolate Cake, a multi-layered chocolate cake filled with rich buttercream.  We couldn’t detect any whiskey flavor but the chocolate cake satisfied my never-ending craving for cake wonderfully.

The dessert was easily the star of the meal.  While dinner is a new concept for Eva’s Bakery and their menu is scheduled to change seasonally, I think I’ll stick to breakfast, lunch and pastries in the future.  Their strong points are noticeably their bakery items and for dinner, I’ll head to their sister restaurant Eva, for more choices and better food.

Go to Eva’s Bakery for :: breakfast or lunch.  Leave dinner to their sister restaurant.  Notes :: Dinner is served only Thursday-Saturday, from 6-9 p.m.  (Breakfast and lunch is served Monday-Saturday, 7 am-6 pm.)

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