I’ve noticed in the past couple years that an ever-increasing number of restaurants are including menu items aimed at customers with dietary restrictions or health preferences, such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dining options. It’s getting easier these days for someone like my wife—who is gluten-free—to find interesting, innovative, and tasty items on restaurant menus catering to special dietary requirements.
Here are six Utah restaurant dishes you must try if you have dietary demands.
MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company
Salads can be boring. No doubt about it. But one of my favorite gluten-free and vegetarian salads comes from a surprising place: a pizza restaurant. At MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company in The Gateway, the kale and ricotta salad (Cavolo e Ricotta) is killer. A generous portion of crunchy purple kale and baby spinach is tossed with Medjool dates, silky fresh ricotta cheese, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh lemon zest, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Truly drool-worthy. And by the way, if pizza is your preference you’ll be happy to know that MidiCi offers fresh gluten-free pizza dough as an option.
At the innovative new Oquirrh restaurant, chef/owner Andrew Fuller has a way with carrots. In a riff on a dish that was originally conceived at Pago, where he was chef de cuisine, Fuller offers diners a vegan and gluten-free dish simply called “Carrots.” The artful presentation (as delicious as it looks) consists of roasted and braised carrots which are miso-cured, served with a homemade brown rice chip and “pesto” made from carrot tops. It’s wickedly good, and healthy to boot!
There are many gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes on the menu at Saffron Bistro restaurant—items ranging from Punjabi Samosa (vegan) and Tomato Shorba (vegan & gluten-free), to the Hariyali Paneer Kebab (vegetarian & gluten-free). One of my favorite vegetarian and gluten-free options is a luscious dish called Saag Paneer. Says owner Lavanya Mahate, “Paneer is a fresh cheese popular in Indian cooking. It’s a great source of protein for vegetarians. Paneer has a similar texture to firm tofu, which can be used as a non-dairy substitute. Saag Paneer is a popular North-Indian dish which is a pureed spinach base speckled with cubed paneer.”
You’d expect an award-winning, treasured restaurant like Log Haven to offer an array of innovative culinary creations, which it does. But you might be surprised to find so many scrumptious dishes for folks with dietary preferences—like the vegetarian Red Chile Posole and Korean Fried Cauliflower, or gluten-free Pan-roasted Ora King Salmon, among others. A really clean-tasting, gluten-free dish with an Asian influence is chef Dave Jones’ Seared Scallops. The perfectly cooked sea scallops are served with kabocha squash, daikon salad, and grilled rice cake atop consomme-like shiitake dashi. These are sensational scallops.
One of my wife’s favorite gluten-free dishes is to be found at Park City’s Tupelo restaurant. Chef/owner Matt Harris serves perfectly cooked Pan-Seared Utah Trout perched on a bed of sautéed farm greens and fresh creamy grits, topped with caviar crème fraîche and sprinkled with crunchy potato “crumbs.” Who says gluten-free can’t be decadent? And with tempting vegan offerings like Tupelo’s Grilled Tofu with roasted beets, mushrooms, black garlic shoyu glaze, and potato-sesame crumb, there’s truly something on the menu for every diet.
A gluten-free dish that is as tasty as it is colorful is the Gamberetti Salad at Caffe Molise. In Italian, gamberetti means shrimp or prawns. The Gamberetti Salad is a large plate generously stacked with mixed greens and seasonal fruit (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), yellow and red cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, imported Feta cheese, and strewn with plump, grilled Gulf shrimp.
If you have dietary demands, any one of these six Utah restaurant dishes will leave you more than satisfied.
To read more appetizing articles by Ted Scheffler, click HERE.
Looking for a restaurant to try? Check out Scheffler’s restaurant reviews.