Utah Bites

Ringing in 2019: Top Choices for NYE & Beyond

I’ve done most of the dirty work and distilled the local NYE dining options to a handful that I think would be well worth your (or my) while.


Title : Ringing in 2019: Top Choices for NYE & Beyond

I have very mixed feelings about New Year’s Eve. On one hand, I do enjoy being part of noisy and indulgent NYE celebrations. On the other, I dread going out on “amatuer night.”where I’m almost always disappointed in restaurants’ overpriced prix fixe dinners and pre-midnight (here in Utah where the sidewalks roll up early) “Champagne” toasts that typically feature cheap domestic bubbles. I’m a bit of a NYE Scrooge. 

However, if I were to venture out to local restaurants on New Year’s Eve – and that’s a big “if” I’d be very picky … and so should you be. But fear not. I’ve done most of the dirty work and distilled the local NYE dining options to a handful that I think would be well worth your (or my) while. On a night like New Year’s Eve, there are no guarantees, of course. But I think you should be able to count on the following establishments to excel at ringing in 2019. 

Bambara at the Hotel Monaco is a solid bet no matter what time of the year you decide to visit. But it’s a can’t-miss spot for celebrating the New Year, with chef Nathan Powers’ top-notch cuisine and a professional serving staff to match. For this New Year’s Eve, I’d opt for the local charcuterie selection at Bambara before diving into Powers’ decadent featured favorites like fresh Kumamoto oysters on-the-half-shell, exoctic shellfish, Maine lobster soup and shaved black truffles, black caviar blini with smoked sturgeon, and a chocolate love bomb for dessert. 

One of SLC’s most talented – and perhaps under-the-radar – chefs is Adam Vickers, who has created a stunning looking menu for guests who dine at Tuscany restaurant on New Year’s Eve. The four-course dinner begins with a choice of Maine lobster roll or puff pastry baked brie, followed by either clam & lobster chowder or pear salad with arugula, gorgonzola, pine nuts, endive and Champagne vinaigrette. Main course options include pan-seared filet mignon with seared foie gras, local grilled lamb chops with wild mushroom risotto, or scallops & sea bass with saffron asparagus risotto. For dessert, there’s chocolate Nutella tart or pink Champagne cake. 

Having completed its transition from Finca restaurant to the updated George restaurant and Bar George, New Year’s Eve at Scott Evans’ “newest” eatery is certain to be a terrific choice. George (named for Evans’ father) will feature a New Year’s Eve buffet with seven different serving stations. There will be a carving station (whole roasted local lamb and cold-smoked ribeye), pasta station (pasta with Bolognese, lasagne, and gnocchi with roasted mushrooms), seafood station (chilled shrimp, fresh oysters, and crudo/ceviche made to order), an artisan cheese & salami station, salad station, veggie station, and dessert station (churros, cookies, pies, bread pudding, chocolate peanut brownies). It’s a chance to sample a wide range of chef Phelix Gardner’s cuisine in one visit to George. 

A good Sandy spot to drop in for New Year’s Eve dinner is Fratelli Ristorante, where a four-course dinner with select wine pairings will be featured. Kick off your NYE dinner by enjoying an arugula citrus salad with Spumante vinaigrette and Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante. The second course will be housemade crab ravioli paired with Bibi Graetz Casamatta Bianco, followed by a main course of espresso-rubbed filet mignon with Bibi Graetz Casamatta Sangiovese. Cheesecake with fresh berries and Squadra Rosato will be the dessert course. 

Up at Deer Valley Resort, you can’t go wrong with the seven-course extravaganza at The Mariposa restaurant. Indulgences on the prix fixe menu include Osetra caviar and King crab, chestnut soup, Niman Ranch beef, Toulouse-style cassoulet with roasted duck and suckling pig, veal chop and sweet potato risotto, and a gingerbread house dessert. There is also a complete seven-course vegetarian menu available at The Mariposa for New Year’s Eve. 

OK, Feldman’s Deli is closed on New Year’s Eve. But I highly recommend delaying your NYE celebration just a few days and ringing in the new year with Old Jews Telling Jokes Night XXX on January 5th at 6:30. These are really fun (and funny) evenings where the audience totally gets into the act. Bring your best jokes and become part of the show! Hosted by Lou Borgenicht, the joke-telling begins at 7:00 and dinner is served throughout the evening featuring Feldman’s outstanding Jewish-style deli fare. These evenings always sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot ASAP. 

Wherever you choose to spend New Year’s Eve this year, here’s wishing you and yours a healthy and happy 2019! 

Culinary quote of the week: 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering “it will be happier” … Alfred Lord Tennyson 




Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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