Flip over the menu at Fletcher’s in Park City and on the back you’ll find an essay that begins, “All good stories start with a dog. And they end with an amazing meal among friends. At least, that’s how this story goes.”
Fletcher – for whom Fletcher’s restaurant is named – is a dog. According to owners Sue and Steve Demarest, “Fletcher wasn’t always his name.” They are referring to an abused and abandoned dog – he was even shot with a gun – that Sue rescued from a shelter. According to the Demarests, after Fletcher was rescued “Sadness slipped away, and a good life began. Fletcher’s heart is so big, he wants everyone to be as happy as he is.”
The story of how Fletcher the dog became the namesake of Fletcher’s, the restaurant, is a heartwarming one and even if the food and drink weren’t excellent, it would make me want to support this lovely establishment. Thankfully, the cuisine, ambiance, service and beverage selection are all top-notch at Fletcher’s, which makes for a very happy ending all around.
All dogs deserve a good home and so do their owners. Fletcher’s feels like stepping into someone’s warm and inviting home, with soothing lighting, reclaimed woods and accouterments like a sign on the wall reminding us to “Laugh with family” and to “Always give thanks.” The friendliness of the staff – from the hostess who seats you to the bartenders and servers – is undeniable. There’s no attitude here, which can’t be said of every restaurant on Park City’s Main Street.
As you peruse the menu at Fletcher’s, I recommend nibbling on an order of Cheddar Chive Biscuits with Bacon Jam (3/$7; 6/$12 or 9/$17). These are wonderfully addictive buttermilk biscuits brushed with clarified butter and sprinkled with kosher salt before baking. They’re served with bacon jam on the side made with bacon, red onion, garlic, bourbon, maple syrup, honey, ground chili powder and ginger, brown sugar and chicken stock. Good news: Fletcher’s sells their bacon jam to take home.
Another great starter is the Tuna Tartare ($15) which the menu says is “Good enough for dessert.” Many of the menu items at Fletcher’s are accompanied by lighthearted commentary such as “Picasso would love this” (Artichoke Salad); “Cut ‘em thin to win” (Portobello Mushroom Carpaccio); and “The cash is in your pocket” (Squash Purse).
Anyway, the Tuna Tartare is finely diced sushi-grade ahi tuna with avocado and microgreens perched on a pool of citrus-soy sauce, topped with wasabi “air” and served with crunchy wonton crisps on the side. Other appealing dishes from the “Sea & Stream” section of the Fletcher’s menu include Peanut Crusted Salmon with sweet Thai chili ($34); and the Corn n’ Crab Fritter made with blue crab, charred corn, chipotle aioli and cilantro ($15).
I rarely pass up the opportunity to enjoy steamed mussels when they’re available, and so I ordered the Steamed Mussels ($17) accompanied by three large slices of grilled rustic bread. The black mussels came with a scrumptious sauce of white wine, house-made tomato sauce, shaved garlic and fresh herbs. These were marvelous mussels.
The grilled bread is perfect for soaking up that magnificent mussels sauce, but so are the fries at Fletcher’s. There are three tempting options, fry-wise. You could go old-school with the Classic Fries ($7), dusted with Reggiano and rosemary and served with Utah aioli (think upgraded fry sauce). Or, indulge in the Poutine Fries with Beehive Cheese curds, gravy, scallion and white BBQ sauce. Or for the ultimate indulgence, order the Loaded Fries which is Poutine Fries with the addition of shredded beef short rib meat.
At the head of the creative kitchen team at Fletcher’s is executive chef/partner Scott Boberek, who is ably assisted by sous chef Marina Soto. I first became enamored of Boberek’s cooking when he was chef at Easy Street Brasserie – a Park City restaurant that I loved. He would go on to do some private chef work and consulting before moving on to Club Lespri as their Food & Beverage Director. And then, five or six years ago Sue and Steve Demarest made the highly intelligent move of recruiting Scott as their head chef and making him a partner in the restaurant.
One of my favorite Boberek dishes – and I’m not alone as it was awarded “Best in State” – is the Short Rib Grilled Cheese ($15). This is one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever gotten my lips around: tender, juicy boneless beef short rib and Beehive Cheese Promontory Cheddar with tomato and arugula, grilled to perfection with roasted garlic aioli.
The bars at Fletcher’s restaurant and Fletcher’s Library Lounge are terrific spots to enjoy a beverage while noshing on something like the Buffalo Sirloin ($35). And, Fletcher’s rocks the beverage dept. with an outstanding wine list, specialty cocktails, a good beer selection, spirits, and more. For a serious splurge, treat yourself to a 1-ounce pour of Louis XIII cognac for a mere $250. Don’t worry, there’s lots of more affordable sips available at Fletcher’s, as well.
A good choice for a bite at one of the bars would be the Beef & Buffalo with Fondue ($18). Yes, I said beef and buffalo with fondue. Sounds kinda crazy, right? It’s not. This is a clever creation of chef Boberek’s that pairs seared grass-fed beef and buffalo with blue cheese fondue and port reduction, served with buttered, toasted bread cubes in individual cast iron ramekins.
On a recent visit to Fletcher’s, my wife scored big by ordering an entree recommended by our excellent server, Vanessa. On the menu, it’s simply listed as Mushroom Chicken ($32). But there’s nothing simple about this dish. It’s a nicely seared Mary’s airline chicken breast, served with broccolini, mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and a heavenly demi glaze composed of goat cheese and porcinis, all topped with tasty microgreens. Wow. This is an entree that we both look forward to enjoying again sometime soon. For folks who might prefer beef, Fletcher’s offers an 8-ounce grass-fed filet ($40), a 12-ounce grass-fed New York Strip ($42), and when we ate at Fletcher’s this week, there was a dinner special on the menu: a 20-ounce Prime tomahawk steak ($85).
For dessert, Fletcher’s tempts patrons with selections such as Warm Butter Cake with fresh berries ($15); Chocolate Mud Pie ($13); and Blueberry & White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Amaretto sauce ($14). Since my wife is gluten-free, we opted for the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Skillet, which was outstanding. It’s served in a cast iron skillet with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate shavings. If it hadn’t said so right on the menu, I’d have never guessed this delectable dessert was free of gluten.
Remember that happy story earlier about Fletcher, the dog? Well, according to Sue and Steve Demarest, “They were inspired by Fletcher’s example to create a restaurant and lounge dedicated to making people happy, it’s that simple.” I would say that the couple, Scott Boberek, and the entire staff at Fletcher’s has accomplished that goal. This is a truly happy place.
As it says at the bottom of the Fletcher’s menu: SIT BACK. RELAX. YOU’VE ARRIVED.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week:
“A dog desires affection more than its dinner. Well – almost.” — Charlotte Gray
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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.