“Nature is delicious here.” That is Log Haven owner Margo Provost’s slogan to describe her uniquely enticing restaurant. She nailed it.
It doesn’t hurt that Log Haven is located on 40 private acres within the Wasatch National Forest, surrounded by waterfalls, wildflowers, streams and ponds, gorgeous mountain views, wildlife, and the best that nature has to offer. Combine that with the award-winning cuisine of longtime chef Dave Jones, plus the fact that all this natural beauty is just minutes from downtown SLC, and you’ve got a delicious recipe for success.
But before I wax prosaic, in the interest of transparency I should note that my wife, Faith, handles special events such as weddings and parties at Log Haven. Still, I was singing the praises of this fine restaurant a decade before I ever met my lovely wife. At any rate they certainly don’t need my help. Log Haven has garnered so much acclaim and so many awards through the years that my two cents worth won’t affect them one iota. So this isn’t a hard-hitting review (does anybody even do those anymore?), but rather, an update on what’s new this summer at Log Haven.
Something New; Something Old
Chef Dave Jones recently launched a new dinner menu, leaving a few mainstays and crowd favorites such as the popular Alpine Nachos, Tuna Tartare, and Grilled Bison Teres Major Steak intact. I’m pretty sure riots would ensue if the Log Haven braintrust ever took Pastry Chef Steve Takahashi’s amazing Frozen Coconut-Banana Soufflé off the menu.
A new “shared plate” on the menu is as fun to eat as it is to say: Queso Flameado. It’s a combination of melted Mexican cheeses (queso) served piping hot with house chorizo verde, salsa rojo, and a fresh, steaming hot flour tortilla.
Another new shared plate that is becoming popular is Chef Jones’ gluten-free dish of grilled calamari with artichoke pesto, pickled fingerling potatoes, tomato coulis and lemon aioli.
It’s a complex dish that hits very high notes.
New to the Log Haven wine list is a selection that General Manager Ian Campbell had created especially for the restaurant. Log Haven Alpine Red is a red wine blend produced specifically for the restaurant by Two Worlds Wine Company from the edge of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. It’s a luscious blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Grenache that would be a perfect partner for the restaurant’s porcini-dusted 44 Farms filet mignon.
Vegetarians will appreciate the fettuccine Bolognese that Chef Jones makes using non-meat “Beyond Beef” to give the dish its signature meaty taste and texture. It’s also available with gluten-free corn pasta for those eschewing wheat. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Dave’s new exotic-sounding chicken dish: Organic Chicken Thighs Under Brick. The thighs are pressed and flattened (assumedly under a brick) and served with corn-enoki mushroom couscous, roasted broccolini, capers, lemon aioli and chicken broth. It’s sort of an eclectic, innovative take on chicken piccata.
Gone to the Dogs
If you are a dog lover such as my wife and I—and you would enjoy being able to share the beauty and the room to roam outside at Log Haven with your pet—you’re in the right place! Each summer Log Haven hosts “Dog Days of Summer.” Through October 20th you can enjoy a hike in Millcreek Canyon with your dog and then stop in for dinner at Log Haven. (Or just stop in for dinner; no hike required.)
Diners with “well-behaved” canine companions (what about well-behaved diners?) are seated in Log Haven’s outdoor amphitheater between 5:30 and 7:00pm with water and dog treats supplied by the restaurant. Humans can enjoy the limited-time drink menu featuring cocktails created with canines in mind, including a Salty Chihuahua and Melon-Collie Mojito.
Under the Sun & Stars
Of course, summertime in Millcreek Canyon also means patio dining. One of the top tables to score is on the Log Haven patio at dinnertime. If it gets chilly the restaurant provides blankets and heaters for warmth. If not, kick back and enjoy the deck dining while the sun sets in the west.
Are you a book lover? Log Haven also maintains a small lending library located on the canyon road in front of the restaurant. Feel free to take a book home for your summer reading or to leave one for someone else. Owner Margo Provost is an avid reader and books were beginning to rule the roost in her home and in the restaurant’s Library Room. The solution? Share the wealth!
Most cities don’t have a restaurant such as Log Haven. We are lucky. Although it’s well-known as a “special occasion” venue, the staff is so friendly and well-trained that this could also become your everyday go-to restaurant for casual dining. It’s not unusual to see folks in shorts and flip-flops dining at Log Haven. Whatever your style, Log Haven is one of Utah’s most distinctive and most appealing dining destinations and you’re going to absolutely love it in summer.
6451 Millcreek Canyon Road, Salt Lake City