7 Restaurants to Try in 2014

Maple Braised Bacon with Chickpeas at Silver in Park City, Utah.
This mouth-watering bacon was the highlight of our meal.
It’s a new year full of renewed resolutions and anticipations of greatness. While every article out there is boasting about what not to eat this time of year, I’m going to counteract that by telling you where to eat in 2014.  So without further ado, here are seven restaurants to try in 2014.


Restaurant No. 1:: Mazza Middle Eastern Cuisine

Chicken & Potatoes Mutabbak at Mazza in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Chicken, potatoes and onions, oh my!
Why :: Redefining comfort food, Mazza’s deeply flavorful dishes will have you savoring spices in a whole new way with their authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.  The menu is detailed and descriptive so you won’t feel like an outsider when ordering–or shocked (in the bad way) when your plate arrives.  See my full review on Mazza here.
Order :: Get the Lamb and Spinach (my favorite go-to dish) or Chicken & Potatoes Mutabbak (pictured above). Don’t forget the twice-fried fries.

Restaurant No. 2 :: Naked Fish Japanese Bistro

Salmon nigiri at Naked Fish Japanese Japanese Bistro in Salt Lake City.
Salmon nigiri.
Why :: Naked Fish takes Japanese food to a whole new level with their insanely fresh fish, creative presentations and informative staff. And I mean their fish is so fresh, it will taste like nothing you’ve had anywhere else (except maybe the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan). And if you’re looking for authentic Japanese ramen, hit Naked Fish for lunch, where they focus on ramen and only ramen. See my full review on Naked Fish here.
Order :: Let Chef Sunny take care of you for an omakase at the sushi bar.


Restaurant No. 3 :: Silver Restaurant

Maple Braised Bacon with Chickpeas at Silver in Park City, Utah.
This mouth-watering bacon was the highlight of our meal.
Why :: Chef Carter at Silver has a little obsession with two things, pork and whiskey. He’s married the two ingredients in several dishes, which pretty much makes him my hero. His creations are practically art, in both execution and flavor, and the restaurant decor is just as beautiful. It’s more than worth the drive up the canyon to Park City. See my full review on Silver here and fork photos of their winter menu here.
Order :: The braised bacon with maple bourbon glaze (pictured above).


Restaurant No. 4 :: Del Mar al Lago

Ceviche at Del Mar al Lago in Salt Lake City.
One of Del Mar’s many ceviche options.
Why :: Eating Peruvian food in a strip mall might sound like the ending of a bad joke, but trust me on this one and you can thank me later. Del Mar serves some of the best ceviche in town (and it arrives flaming, no less). Not to mention their steak is marinated to perfection and Chef Frederick Perez makes this awesomely spicy green sauce and… well, you get the idea.  See my full review on Del Mar al Lago here.
Order :: The ceviche tasting of three ceviches to get the full idea of what Del Mar is about or the Lomo Saltado, marinated beef with sauteed onion, tomatoes and rice.


Restaurant No. 5 :: Cafe Trio

The Eggs Benedict at Trio in Salt Lake City.
The Eggs Italiano is one of my favorite benedicts in SLC.
Why :: You’ve probably tried Trio’s famous pizzas or had pasta for dinner at one of their two Salt Lake City locations. But if you haven’t been for brunch to try the polenta eggs benedict (called the Eggs Italiano) or breakfast paninis, you’re missing out. Both locations have excellent patios and a staff that allows you to relax, gaze at the mountains and sip your Sunday away with mimosas (that are only $3/each, I might add). See my full review on Brunch at Trio here.
Order :: The Eggs Italiano, Trio’s version of eggs benedict, with sweet Italian sausage.


Restaurant No. 6 ::  The Kathmandu

A feast of Indian dishes at Kathmandu in Salt Lake City.
A feast of Indian dishes.
Why :: Indian food is the new Mexican food; it may  be consider “ethnic” these days but it’s hardly exotic because there are a hundred different places serving it up in the city. So the new dilemma is where to go. My solution? Kathmandu. Always. It has the best Indian food in my book and it never, ever fails to deliver the most flavorful punch of spiciness goodness.
Order :: The Vegetable Chow Chow (spicy noodles with a whole medley of vegetables, shown at the bottom of the above photo), Lamb Saag or any of their traditional Indian dishes.


Restaurant No. 7 :: BTG Wine Bar / Caffe Molise

Chocolate cake at Caffe Molise in Salt Lake City.
The best chocolate cake in the city is from Caffe Molise.
Why :: The BTG Wine Bar has suddenly turned into my go-to place for an after work dinner downtown. I wander in with intentions of wine and suddenly a wondrous plate of pasta is in front of me and I’m happier than can be. The BTG serves all of Caffe Molise’s amazing food (thanks to the convenience of their shared owner) and I take full advantage of it whenever I can. The best part about sitting on the bar side is that the servers are less likely to rush you through your meal so another table can take your place. See my full review on the BTG here.
Order :: The Gnocchi di Patate or Pappardelle al Sugo (with pork and beef sauce) are favorites.  Whatever you do, don’t forget to order the Dark Chocolate Cake with touch of Cinnamon (pictured above).


Salt Lake City (and Park City) have a never-ending rotation of great restaurants to dine in these days. It was only a few years ago that I found myself repeating the same place every weekend for lack of anywhere else to go. Now there aren’t enough days to eat at all the places I want!  Where do you want to eat in 2014?


Related :: See last year’s restaurant recommendations in Seven Restaurants to Try in Salt Lake City.
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