Down the random street behind the Gallivan Center Ice Rink in downtown Salt Lake City is a new pizzeria called From Scratch. There they are making nearly everything in house, even using an Austrian flour mill to mill their grains and baking pizzas in a wood-fired oven that doubles as the focal point for the restaurant.
The casual eatery has plenty of bar-style seating, a large communal table perfect for big parties and a bunch of smaller tables spread throughout the space, all in downtown-meets-country-chic decor.
The menu is a simple one-pager focusing mainly on pizzas but also offering pastas, burger and short rib entrees. I was anxious to learn more about the Austrian flour mill I’d heard about but was disappointed that there was nothing on the menu explaining it. Unfortunately our server declined to give us any information on it, too.
The wine list includes a handful of options in both white and red forms, ranging from $30-$110/bottle and $6-10/glass. There were a few bottles I was unfamiliar with and when we asked our server for an explanation, she simply responded “It’s a blend” without any other description. Luckily, From Scratch carries Honig, one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs, which solved that.
The menu was uninformative about other things, too; like the size of the pizzas (our server explained they are 13″, personal size, but only after we asked) and we felt the description of the Risotto Cake was misleading. Described as “Risotto Cake, wild arugula and fire roasted bell pepper sauce” ($6), the appetizer was deep-fried and lacked the consistently I cherish about classic risotto.
The pizzas range from $13-16 in price and from classics, like Margherita, to crazy, like Pumpkin Ravioli Pasta (with pumpkin sage ravioli, brown butter sauce and toasted pepita seeds). We ordered the Fennel Sausage ($15), with creme fraiche, red and green onion and mozzarella. It was a good mix of flavors, with the powerful fennel reminding me of Indian food.
We also ordered the Salumi ($15), with Creminelli salumi, speck, tomato sauce and mozzarella. I would have predicted this to be the better of the two, but it lacked a focal flavor and ended up being very unmemorable. I liked the sizes of the pizzas; perfectly big enough to split two pizzas between two people and still have left overs.
From Scrach makes one dessert a night. On the night we were there it was Popcorn Panna Cotta ($5). The panna cotta had almost no flavor but was bombarded by the sugary overload from the crunchy caramel popcorn. It was very unbalanced.
From Scratch has a great space in a good location, with plenty of potential to be an excellent restaurant. I’d love to see some more information on their menus, better trained servers (especially in the wine service department) and some tweaks to their dishes and they’ll be set.
Go to From Scratch for :: A casual lunch or dinner downtown. Notes :: Open Monday through Thursday 11 am-3 pm and 5 pm-9 pm; Friday and Saturday from 11 am-3 pm and 5 pm-10 pm. Reservations are available online here. Also, they validate parking for one hour at the Wells Fargo garage!