Utah Stories

A Matter of Choice: Sandy’s New Scelto Restaurant

Fine dining at an independent restaurant in Sandy, with an impressive menu, and stunning design, creates a destination dining experience.


When you think about it, fine dining independent restaurants are few and far between in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley – a landscape littered with franchises and chains. But recently, one such spot opened in Sandy’s Aspen Plaza and it sure is impressive. 

Pistachio Bagna Cauda Scallops

The restaurant is called Scelto (pronounced “Shell-tow”) and it’s the creation of business partners and real estate investors Waleska Iglesias and Scott Dilley. Speaking about opening Scelto, Iglesias said “Scott Dillely and I are excited to embark on this culinary enrichment and community-building journey, bringing a much-needed dining experience to Sandy. Our goal is to fill this gap and become a great gathering place for everyone.” 

The new restaurant is a feast for the eyes and was designed by the same talented team who created the stunning look of Matteo Ristorante Italiano in SLC. Although the design and decor of the interior is very sleek and modern, it’s also warm and inviting, with soft, cushiony banquets and chairs and warm colors throughout. 

A key feature of Scelto is its large and lengthy bar area, where guests can enjoy wine, beer, cocktails and mocktails. How could you resist a Tiramisu Martini ($18)? It’s made with vanilla vodka, cacao liqueur, Kailua, espresso and whipped cream. Unfortunately, my wife and I were a bit disappointed in the wine selection, which appears to offer no specially ordered wines. The list is limited to wines you see in virtually all the UDABS stores: Kim Crawford, Straccali, Kendall Jackson, La Marca, etc. That’s a shame because the cuisine at Scelto deserves to be enjoyed with distinctive wines. 


Small Plates selections at Scelto include bread & butter service ($5), charcuterie ($27), calamari ($14) broccolini ($14), arancini ($16), and others. 

Ahi Crudo

From the small plates menu, we especially enjoyed the Ahi Crudo ($15), which was generous slabs of sushi-grade ahi tuna, lightly seared on the edges with a nice crust, served with a unique peperoncini butter  and nutritious wakame – a species of kelp native to the northwest Pacific Ocean. There was enough tasty tuna on our plate to share some of it and take the rest home. 

Caprese Salad

Salad selections at Scelto include a baby beet salad ($17), Caesar salad ($13), and the one we shared: a Caprese salad ($17) which, on the menu, was said to contain hearts of palm. There were no hearts of palm in our salad, which was ripe heirloom tomato slices topped with fresh burrata and – oddly I thought – thin-sliced red onion – as well as basil chiffonade and a drizzle of hazelnut balsamic. It was fine, but I’ve never had a Caprese salad with onion before. 

It was terrific to get to see Dave Ipaktchian, the General Manager at Scelto, and a good fellow that I’ve known in the food industry for something like 25 years from businesses like Mullboon’s, Iggy’s Sports Grill, Miyazaki, Nino Viejo, and others. He’s an outstanding manager and we were equally impressed by our stellar server, named Sean. 


There are a half-dozen pasta dishes at Scelto, where all of the pasta is made in-house daily. Pasta dishes include spaghetti & meatballs ($26); lasagna with beef ragu ($25); capellini d’angelo with shrimp ($26); carbonara ($28), wild mushroom pappardelle ($28); and gnocchi ($24), which Faith and I shared. The gnocchi dish was deliciously different – I’d go as far as to say, odd. Wonderfully light and airy homemade gnocchi was served with two different sauces, but layered in the same bowl: ragu di vitello (veal ragu) and sage cream sauce. I loved both sauces but would have preferred them in a bifurcated plate or bowl with sage cream sauce on one side and ragu di vitello on the other, rather than blended together. And, I didn’t really think that the slivered pickled red onions added anything to the gnocchi dish, other than color. 

Margherita Pizza

A handful of Neapolitan style pizzas pepper the menu, as well. They include a tempting cacio e pepe pizza ($17), formaggio ($18), carne/pepperoni ($18), blanca ($20) with grilled chicken and goat cheese; settembrina ($19) – fig, prosciutto, arugula & fontina; and fungo wild mushroom pizza ($18). I always think that a Margherita (spelled Margarita on Scelto’s menu) pizza is the best way to judge a pizzaiolo (pizza maker) by, since there’s no place to hide. As is traditional, the Margherita at Scelto is made with nothing but first-rate dough, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, San Marzano tomato sauce, and fresh basil. It was excellent, although someone in the kitchen was a bit heavy-handed with salt, either in the sauce or sprinkled on the pizza itself. 

Mahi Mahi

Seafood lovers have some tempting entrees to choose from, including cioppino ($36) with mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp; salmon ($32) with parsnip puree, heirloom carrot, sherry wine reduction and tapenade; or scallops ($32) on a bed of pistachio bagna cauda with sumac and fennel. The night we visited Scelto there was a very interesting sounding fish special, which Faith ordered. It was a beautiful fillet of mahi mahi, cooked to perfection, with guava beurre blanc, basmati rice, and julienned bok choy. 


Meat lovers are well-served at Scelto as well, with dishes like short ribs with caramelized shallot, garlic mashed potatoes, and red wine jus ($38); veal scallopini piccata ($36); filetto – an 8 oz. beef filet with Savoyarde potatoes, asparagus and cabernet demi glace ($52); and the delectable entree I ordered: Bistecca ($48). Lately, I’ve seen a bevy of ribeye steaks on restaurant menus priced at $75 and above, without any side dishes. So, $48 for a 14 oz. boneless ribeye with fingerling potatoes, sauteed veggies, and pepe verde (green peppercorn sauce) seemed like a steal! The steak was cooked perfectly – medium-rare, as requested, served with fingerlings, blue and green cauliflower florets, and charred Brussels sprouts.

Panna Cotta

I wish I’d thought to ask the name of the pastry chef at Scelto, because the desserts were outstanding. Panna cotta with cherry, pistachio and lemon creme was as delicious as it was gorgeous. 

Lemon-Ricotta Cake

Other sweet temptations at Scelto include creme brûlée ($12), Indonesian vanilla gelato ($7), bundino ($10), tiramisu ($10), and heavenly lemon ricotta cake dusted with powdered sugar and served with a lemon-cherry sauce. 

If you live in or near Sandy, I think you’ll find Scelto a very welcome addition to your local dining scene. Sure, it’s brand new and there are a few kinks to work out. But the cuisine generally is first-rate, the service is exceptional, and the design and decor is some of the most dazzling in Salt Lake County. By the way, “scelto” in Italian means “choice,” and I think that Scelto is already a damned good dining destination choice. 

Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy of Dan Campbell Photography

Culinary quote of the week: “The artichoke is a trick vegetable.” Groucho Marx

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