Meditrina chef and owner Jen Gilroy has always been close to the land around her and that’s one of the reasons why she lovingly cultivates so much of the produce served at both of her restaurants: Meditrina and Porch.
Meditrina’s original location, just to the west of the Smith’s Ballpark, was surrounded by herbs, tomatoes and other produce that was often picked just moments before gracing a dish placed before diners. With the new location of Meditrina in the up-and-coming Central 9th District, Gilroy has shifted her urban garden focus to her own backyard—ever watchful over the peaches, Japanese eggplant, nasturtium, peppers, tomatoes and a host of other organically grown edibles she personally nurtures for the restaurants.
Although Gilroy uses the term “honest food” to describe her vision for Meditrina’s offerings, it’s hard to ignore the literal garden-to-table dining options one might encounter on the menu. “I’ll grow as much as I can organically,” she explains.
One hundred percent of the heirloom tomatoes and peaches served at both restaurants this season will come from her garden as well as most of the shishito peppers and kale. Sage, basil and oregano are always in plentiful supply, too. Specials highlighting items in smaller supply—like pears, rhubarb, Japanese eggplant, Mexican gherkins and okra—will also be spotlighted on the menu throughout the growing season.
What produce Gilroy doesn’t grow herself is sourced from personal shopping trips to the Downtown Farmers Market and from Parker Produce and Petersen Family Farms—located just down the street from southern-inspired Porch in Daybreak. “We’ll process a lot of peaches and we’ll freeze them,” Gilroy continues. “There’s nothing that sells better than a Utah peach tart in the dead of winter!”
But Gilroy isn’t tied solely to the local-only movement for a simple reason. “I’m not interested in sacrificing quality for a product that’s local if the quality is not there,” she explains, when asked about the farm-to-table concept. “I want to serve delicious, honest food that has love in it. That’s what’s important to me.”
Her philosophy plays out on the menu each day at Meditrina—from a Utah trout, local kale, raspberry broth, yuzu butter and toasted almonds small plate, to a housemade ricotta, accented with prosciutto, local watermelon, golden honeydew and arugula dressed with pomegranate balsamic reduction.
When local is the best, you’ll find it here, and when it’s not, you’ll still eat the highest quality ingredients that Gilroy’s restaurants can offer.
To get a taste of the latest menu offerings, Gilroy encourages guests to stop by Meditrina for dinner or Sunday brunch, now featuring live jazz by The Kyle Whipple Trio. “We’re focusing on things to make Meditrina great and distinctive,” she says.
Meditrina is located at 165 W 900 S, Salt Lake City. 801 485-2055.