Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Forage SLC Exterior 2

I may complain incessantly about not being able to buy wine at the grocery store, but with the addition of restaurants like TIPICA and Pago, even I have to admit that Salt Lake City is only getting better. Then there's Forage, which has brought an entirely new level of fine dining to town. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but as we learned during our recent trip to Forage, it can buy one beautifully crafted, entirely unprecedented SLC meal.

We decided to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary with Forage's 10 course tasting menu, which is $79 per person. The restaurant also offers a three course tasting menu for $39, which is a very reasonable equivalent of what an appetizer, entree and dessert would run you at any restaurant--even those unnamed chains pushing free bread sticks. While the course options for Forage's three course menu were carefully detailed, the staff were a little evasive when we inquired what the 10-course tasting menu would entail, promising only that we would enjoy some things that were on the menu--and some things that were not. Personally, shelling out that kind of dough for dinner is a treat: I at least want some foreplay by way of a menu. But all was forgiven as the courses started coming...

Forage SLC
Amuse Bouche: Tomato Garlic Croquette

More Amuse: Poached Egg with Maple

Big Eye Tuna 2
Big Eye Tuna "Mi Cuit" with Fresh Polenta, Tomatoes and Pine Nut Vinaigrette

Atlantic Fluke
Atlantic Fluke "Sashimi Style" Cucumber, Olive Oil and Chives

Vegetable Garden 2
Vegetable Garden - Seasonal Selection and Summer Herbs

Summer Squash Risotto
Summer Squash Risotto Without Rice, Tomato and Garlic, Crispy Squash Blossoms

Sea Scallop, Corn Jalapeno
Sea Scallop, Corn, Chorizo, Jalapeno

Braised Shellfish
Braised Shellfish, Shrimp, shellfish Essence, Sea Beans

As night fell and the wine bottle emptied, the quality of the photos started to go downhill, but the food most certainly did not...

Pouet Rouge
Niman Ranch "Poulet Rouge" Napa Cabbage, Potato Confit, Mushroom Ragu, Bacon

Roast Colorado Lamb 2
Roasted Colorado Lamb, Chick Pea Gnocchi, Smoked Paprika

Beef Strip Loin
Beef Strip Loin, Tomato Confit, King Oyster Mushroom, Potato Puree, Nasturtium

Cheese Course - Forage
Goat and Sheep's Milk Cheese - Courtesy of Tony Caputo's Market and Deli

At this point we switched to dessert wine, and the photos digressed even further...

Passion Fruit Soup
Chilled Passion Fruit Soup, Soft Vanilla Cake, Compressed Melons, Lime Sorbet

Bear Lake Raspberries, Rose Custard Cake
Bear Lake Raspberries, Rose Custard Cake, Black Sesame Croquant, Yogurt Sorbet

The irony, which we realized by the end of our three-and-a-half-hour meal, was that the 10 course menu had indeed consisted of everything listed on the overall menu. As the night wound down, chefs Bowman Brown and Viet Pham visited each and every table (unfortunately though there were only three including us) to chat with guests, which I thought was a lovely gesture on their part, and hopefully, a tradition. On our next visit (which can't come soon enough) our budget will have us more bound to the three courses for $39 route. If you've driven by the transformed house on 900 South but have yet to venture in, don't let the white linens and elegantly minimal interior fool you: Forage is approachable. It is also unmatched. They even sent us home at the end of the evening with little individually wrapped pound cakes, a touch which reminded us of dining at NYC's Bouley. Needless to say, Salt Lake City's food scene has long been waiting for a culinary journey like this one: Forage is worthy of the support to indicate such.

- K

Forage Restaurant
370 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We also went last week for our 9th wedding anniversary and did the tasting menu. I thought it started out great, but after the third sous vide cooked dish came out (and neither successfully) I was over it. It was a ton of food for the price, unfortunately I don't think the style will translate in SLC to keep it open long. It was certainly fun and lots of good flavors, but the entrees fell flat. The lamb and beef were both tough as nails and lukewarm thanks to the sous vide. Don't know if I will return for a while. The brightest of your pictures were the brightest courses for us. The smoke ice cream absolutely put out any hope of fire, it was terrible. I love this blog however! Thanks!

4:58 PM  
Blogger VintageMixer said...

What are the prices like for a regular meal? Great photos by the way.

9:07 AM  
Blogger K and J said...

Thanks for stopping by. At the time we dined at Forage (which was late August) they offered the two options of 10 courses for $79 or three courses for $39.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

What was inside the tomato croquette? Was it creamy? Chunky? A whole cherry tomato? A similiar meal in NYC at WD-50 is $145 and at Per Se is is over $400!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Danny said...

I had a completely different experience from the previous diner. Both the lamb and the salmon entrees were perfectly cooked and only cooled off because I savored the flavor for so long. The dish preparations worked wonderfully, either fully complementing the meat or setting flavors in juxtaposition that were almost overwhelming. The service is great as all servers are young and energetic but always professional.

Every table was full, and everyone was drinking wine. I hope these are signs that Forage has a chance to succeed in Salt Lake. I know I will be back.

11:05 AM  
Blogger K and J said...

Emily - to answer your question, nestled inside the croquette was a tangy (and whole) cherry tomato. And you are absolutely right to put the pricing in perspective with the comparison to tasting menus in NYC (and other bigger cities). It is refreshing that Forage makes their menu more accessible to the majority of us who can't comprehend fitting a $400 meal into their budget.

7:21 PM  
Blogger markmbenson said...

The croquette did not include a "whole" tomato but rather a puree of tomato, garlic and herbs that was blended, set with gelatin, breaded and then fried.

2:15 AM  
Blogger K and J said...

Thanks for the correction on the croquette, markmbenson.

6:46 PM  

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