Utah Bites

Salt Lake’s New Restaurants, Chefs, Menus and Truffle Season

Laurel Restaurant Opening at Grand America. New Bambara Chef and Menu. Truffle Season at Veneto Ristorante Italiano.


Laurel Restaurant Opening at Grand America

Laurel Brasserie & Bar is scheduled to open at The Grand America on December 1, 2021, in the space that was previously home to the Garden Cafe. I was given a couple of recent sneak previews of the new space and, well, it’s quite a change! The new restaurant and bar are beautifully designed – gone are the gaudy furnishings and color scheme of the Garden Cafe, replaced by contemporary furnishings and warm, earthy color tones. 

But maybe the biggest surprise are the prices, with dishes and drinks that are refreshingly affordable. That’s especially true at the bar during Happy Hour, when bar menu items are essentially half-priced. That includes mussels & fries for $9, Margherita pizza for $8, pumpkin arancini for $6, rigatoni beef & veal Bolognese for $10, and much more. 

Laurel will be open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Stay tuned to Utah Bites for a review after Laurel opens to the public. 

New Bambara Chef & Menu

Jerry Pacheco has replaced Nathan Powers as Executive Chef at Bambara restaurant in the Hotel Monaco and has released a brand new menu. Chef Pacheco started his culinary career at The Copper Onion and went on to work in prestigious SLC kitchens such as Pago, Finca, Pallet, and Avenues Bistro before signing on as sous chef at Bambara. 

New menu highlights include Elk au Poivre with oyster mushrooms, butternut squash, sunchokes and pepitas; Seared Scallops, featuring a shoyu pasta, mushroom medley, cured egg and scallions; Mussels con Chorizo with corn, huitlacoche, frites and pickled shallots; and the Beet Salad with ricotta, preserved orange, arugula, pecans, and burnt orange vinaigrette. 

Bambara also debuted a new cocktail menu starring seasonal cocktails like the Autumn in the Andes, made with Pisco Logia, lemon, Benedictine, honey and Lustau sherry; and the Revolver with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Kahlua, Sugar House rye and orange bitters.

Truffle Season at Veneto

Fall is synonymous with truffles and, while supplies last, Veneto Ristorante Italiano offers guests the opportunity to indulge in freshly shaved black truffles with any menu item. Or, try one of Veneto’s special truffle dishes such as black truffle risotto, tagliolini with black truffles, or fried egg topped with black truffle shavings.

Mushrooms are also abundant on Veneto’s Fall menu with items like an appetizer made of polenta, wild mushroom and Italian garlic salami; fresh tagliatelle pasta with wild mushrooms and truffle burrata; risotto with fresh wild mushrooms and prosciutto; and mushrooms make a couple of appearances on the tasting menu too. 



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Food writer Ted SchefflerOriginally 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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