Treat yourself to a canyon cuisine
Log Haven restaurant—located in scenic Millcreek Canyon—is a special place to dine anytime.
But it’s particularly appealing in summer when cool breezes help temper warm-weather dining on the restaurant’s outdoor dining decks and patio; and, since chef Dave Jones recently launched his new summer menu, there are lots of tantalizing new dishes to enjoy.
For a long time, chef Jones’ Tuna Tartare with miso-sesame tuile, seaweed salad, crushed avocado, and pickled shiitake mushrooms has been my favorite appetizer or “small plates” option.
However, his delicious steamed mussels—new to the menu—in a spicy tomato and white wine sauce with crispy chickpeas and saffron aioli is quickly making its way into my heart (and my belly). I’ve eaten hundreds of different mussels preparations, but this is one of the very best.
Smoked Baby Heirloom Carrots
Probably the prettiest new small plates menu item at Log Haven is Smoked Baby Heirloom Carrots, which are served cool (not hot)—colorful carrots served with whipped ricotta cheese, beet crumble, Marcona almond pesto made with carrot tops, and creamy sherry vinaigrette.
Chef Jones is a wizard with seafood, as evidenced by his scrumptious Grilled Calamari, which comes with Padron peppers, olive pesto, sofrito, and crispy linguica sausage. I’m not usually a fan of grilled calamari because in many restaurants the preparation is hurried and the calamari is tough and chewy. But not at Log Haven, where the melt-in-the-mouth calamari is oh-so-tender and treated with loving care.
Sesame-Crusted Dungeness Crab Cakes
And, his Sesame-Crusted Dungeness Crab Cakes are a shellfish lover’s dream too: killer crab cakes with shrimp-coconut milk mousseline, scallions, pineapple ginger aioli, and mango salsa. Sauces and accouterments like sofrito, aiolis, salsas, and such are a signature of Jones’ creative cooking, and he uses them to elevated delicious dishes to sky-high levels.
Even for your dogs!
Dog owners will be pleased to know that well-behaved dogs and their owners (hopefully also well-behaved) are invited, weather permitting, to enjoy dinner seated in Log Haven’s beautiful outdoor amphitheater, with a waterfall in the background and gorgeous natural scenery all around. Dog Days of Summer continue through Sunday, October 20 if the weather cooperates; and also features dog-themed cocktails created by General Manager Ian Campbell, such as the Salty Chihuahua and Melon-Collie Mojito.
There are a bonanza of nifty new entrees on the new Log Haven summer menu.
Here are a few of my favorites:
During a recent dinner, I was bowled over by chef Jones’ Grilled Bison Teres Major Steak. It’s perfectly grilled, medium-rare slices of tender bison with jalapeño aioli and smoked chili broth, plus a sassy side of sweet potato orzo “succotash.” A truly remarkable dish.
I already mentioned Jones’ skill with seafood, and his Chipotle-Honey Glazed Salmon is no exception. It’s one of the gluten-free menu options – a salmon fillet with baby heirloom tomato salad, blistered shishito peppers, silky hominy puree, tomatillo sauce and crispy tortilla straws. Whether you’re gluten-free or not, you’re gonna love this salmon dish.
Pastry chef Steve Takahashi is responsible for the delectable desserts offered as a sweet finale at Log Haven. I’m a longtime fan of his Frozen Coconut-Banana Souffle and the excellent Brown Butter Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. But when pushed to choose a favorite dessert, I really love Takahashi’s Maple Pot de Creme made with cranberries, bourbon, and chocolate almond bark.
The Log Haven menu showcases high-quality local and organic ingredients wherever possible, with products from artisan producers such as Mountain View Mushrooms, Oakdell Farms, Firebird Chilies, Green River Produce, Cremineli Fine Meats, Beehive Cheese, Slide Ridge Honey, Worden Produce, Gold Creek Farms, and many more. Add to that an award-winning wine list and a terrific selection of beers, spirits, and cocktails and you’ve got a can’t-miss dining destination in any season.
Culinary quote of the week:
Eating an artichoke is like getting to know someone really well. — Willi Hastings
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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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