Other than Valentine’s Day, no other holiday comes with so much pressure for those in romantic relationships. February 14 is a day of hearts, flowers, chocolates and fancy dinners. It’s a lot of unnecessary stress for everyone involved, and often doesn’t live up to the hype.
Prix-fixe menus with triple-digit price tags and pre-paid reservations are commonplace, and virtually every restaurant will be offering a nod to the day of amore to attract lovers to fill their seats. But if you’re looking for something less wallet-busting but still deliciously memorable, take a look at these five dining destinations you’re sure to love:
If local beer makes your heart skip a beat, then head straight to 8th Avenue for a proper pour and a proper meal at the original Proper location. A standout on the menu, the beef stroganoff is the finest representation of what this dish should be — beef tips braised in Proper beer, Intermountain Gourmet mushrooms, housemade fettuccine noodles with a dollop of crème fraiche and charred green onions.
For something a bit more adventurous, try the bibimbap, a colorful dish offering kimchi, cabbage and sesame rice topped with two poached eggs and optional protein like luscious pork belly. Plenty of creative salads, sandwiches and starters are also available for lighter fare. Pair it all with year-round or seasonal Proper beers.
376 8th Avenue, Salt Lake City, 385-227-8628
Perhaps best known to locals as a SugarHouse sports bar, Fiddler’s Elbow holds its own on the food front. Sharing a kitchen with Salt Lake Pizza & Pasta means you can certainly split a loaded Fiddler’s combo pizza with your basketball buddies as easily as indulging in dinner in a comfy booth.
Share some wings or nachos or get a little fancier with the baked spinach artichoke dip filled with plenty of tangy artichoke hearts and served with warm pita slices. Check the special board for the daily features or order up the hearty Italian sausage pappardelle pasta filled with portobello and shiitake mushrooms.
Alongside the 32 beers on tap, check out the winter cocktail specials like the spiced apple Sapphire combining Bombay Sapphire gin, apple cider and ginger beer with a sugar and cinnamon rim.
1063 E 2100 S #2349, Salt Lake City, 801-463-9393
Serving up some of the best Thai food along the Wasatch Front, Tuk Tuk’s is the perfect option for takeout at home with your favorite rom com on the TV. Have no fear, there’s plenty of heat happening in this kitchen as the spicy heat levels of the food are the real deal (choose from 0 to 5).
Start with the most delicious version of tom ka soup in the valley — a coconut milk base with fresh mushrooms and Thai herbs plus a choice of protein. Then try something new: nam khao, a Latoian salad appetizer that most closely resembles lettuce wraps filled with crispy rice and sour pork.
One of the restaurant’s most photographed dishes is the pineapple fried rice seasoned with massaman curry that balances the sweetness of the pineapple and raisins perfectly. With the addition of plump shrimp, this makes a stunning (if dining in) and filling entrée.
2222 W 3500 S, B7, West Valley City, 385-227-8347
For vegetable lovers, Vertical Diner serves up masterpieces of the plant-based persuasion. And if breakfast food is your love language, then Vertical will speak to you with all-day sweet and savory breakfast options like French toast topped with berries and coconut whipped cream, or the Bombtastic Biscuit plate piled with a biscuit and gravy, hash browns and tofu scramble.
Vertical sources local produce whenever possible and pledges to use 30% organic ingredients so that items like the tempeh Thai salad with avocado, house kimchi and a delicious Thai dressing are both environmentally and physically good for you and the community. Pair your meal with a selection of local beers and cider or a cocktail.
234 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, 801-484-8378
Brick’s Corner is dishing up Detroit-style steel pan pizza with plenty of bubbly, crunchy edges that everyone will love. The pizza crust makes Brick’s Sicilian-style pan pizza unique—with a double-proofed, 24-hour aging process for a light, fluffy and crispy crust that’s unforgettable.
Build a custom Detroit-style pizza or enjoy the granite stone oven creations as suggested. Try the Randazzo, a tribute to a pioneer of Detroit pizza, with a tangy slather of red sauce and double layers of pepperoni. Add black olives and roasted garlic for extra pizzazz. Brick’s has also crafted some shareable appetizers and salads sure to please any Valentine. Rosemary fried pickles and mushrooms are dipped and fried in Brick’s Czech Pilsner beer batter then tossed in parmesan and rosemary. To pair with your pizza, add the Brick wedge salad topped with hard-boiled egg and Applewood bacon dressed with creamy bleu cheese.
1465 S 700 E, Salt Lake City, 801-953-0636
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