A disenchanting experience at a certain bratwurst-bar in downtown Salt Lake City left this German foodie crushed and ready for a new culinary discovery. Would The Rest deliver?
The answer is “yes – with a pinch of salt.” But let’s get the facts straight first. There is Bodega and then there is The Rest. Bodega is a small convenience store with attached bar on Main Street with a “secret” door to The Rest – a cellar restaurant with a distinct hipster vibe. Think brick wall, vintage light bulbs, record player and taxidermy. A white mountain goat reigned supremely over our table.
The Rest menu offers a nice selection of fifteen different tapas-inspired starters, three standard entrees (BBQ Plate, Paella, Beer Can Chicken) and a changing seasonal menu.
Although the starters are listed under “for 1” they are sized to be shared. Our tapas selection of Sardines and Toast, Garden Toast and Scotch Egg (soft boiled egg wrapped in house sausage, garlic confit, aioli, Irish Cheddar, bread crumbs and baked) did not disappoint.
Everything was fresh and delectable – the Garden Toast´s ciabatta could, however, be very much improved with a little more crustiness. There was nothing to improve, however, with ourPalma Fizz – one of the many cocktail choices at The Rest that make you forget the weekend is still a distant three days away. For those who like their wine, The Rest offers a changing selection of three reds and three whites as well as bubblies, each classified as cheap, decent or good.
A short chat with the knowledgeable waitress will uncover what “secret” wines hide behind these generic classifications. Of the standard menu entrees we chose, the Spanish classic paella, which is cooked to order and takes a good 30 minutes to arrive at the table, included smoked pork, Spanish chorizo, peas, red pepper, baby tomatoes and saffron rice. While fragrant and generously sized, helas our paella was also generously salted! A few more saffron strands and a pinch of salt less would go a long way to improve the dish’s overall deliciousness.
The beignets for dessert, are an irresistible delight – and the fruit compote and crème anglaise make them an offer one can’t refuse. It isn’t easy to be in the restaurant game these days, but The Rest plays well to diners who are ready to spend a few more of their hard earned dollars on good food, good drinks and a good time.
The Rest is at 331 South Main Street.