Our Top Recommendation for a Great Dinner at SC16 in Salt Lake City

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With SC16 coming to Salt Lake City, we asked the local’s for their top pick for a great dinner place. The winner was Copper Onion, 111 East Broadway, 801-355-3282.

copperonionThe Copper Onion’s Executive Chef/Owner Ryan Lowder has made quite a world tour from his Utah upbringing to stops in Portland, New York, Spain and beyond, then back to SLC. Along the way he has worked at some of the best restaurants on the planet along with the world’s best-known chefs. At places like El Raco D’En Freixa in Spain and Mercat and Jean-Georges in NYC, Chef Lowder honed his considerable culinary skills in a manner that no amount of schooling could possibly bring. This incredible experience certainly shows not only in his cooking technique but in his overall style. Fresh, local and international in approach, one can see the influence of Spanish, Italian, and French cuisines among others – using the absolute best of closely sourced, seasonal ingredients. This worldly romp is evident in all facets of his nationally recognized, award winning and now legendary downtown restaurant that has put the SLC farm-to-table scene on the map.

The restaurant located on busy Broadway (and steps from the convention center) in downtown SLC, is a welcome respite from the city. Step into the candle-lit, copper hued, urbane dining room and you are greeted by the smartly dressed hosts running the front door.  As you walk by the balletic freneticism of the open kitchen, settle into one of the rustic wooden tables and start the night with an expertly made craft cocktail from an interesting list. Choose the CO Negroni from the well-crafted menu, a wonderful twist on the classic and made interestingly with Bulleit rye or you can’t go wrong with a lovely white sangria that includes muscat and fresh pears.

Chef/Owner Ryan Louder's menu reflects his passion for working with seasonal ingredients, showcasing products from the best local farmers and purveyors, as well as international flavors reflective of his time abroad.

Chef/Owner Ryan Lowder’s menu reflects his passion for working with seasonal ingredients, showcasing products from the best local farmers and purveyors, as well as international flavors reflective of his time abroad.

The wine list should now attract your attention as you are considering a first course as well. The succinctly well-curated menu has diverse wines from many different regions including Italy, France, South and North America and Spain. With an eye toward value, all of the drink menu items, from bubbles to white to pink to red, have interesting selections. Have a glass of the off-the-beaten path Alsacian Pinot Noir or a glass of the effervescent Prosecco and then order the absurdly good Wagyu bone marrow with toast on a parsley salad and topped with Maldon sea salt as well as the braised Kurobuta pork belly with pumpkin seed mole and queso fresco for the first course.

The stylistically diverse menu has perfectly prepared house-made pasta and in a Italian-like tradition should come after you first course. Order the lovely clams and chorizo with cavatelli or the tagliatelle puttanesca for the table to share and the last few sips of bubbly or Pinot (or another, if needed) will be perfect for this course. While you can not go wrong with any of the entrée choices, the locally sourced lamb riblets with peach chutney and a white bean and kale salad is absolutely outstanding. If lamb is not your thing, the Ballard Farm pork chop with polenta, ancho sauce and topped with a fried egg will be and is just short of life altering. Despite the fact that the entrées are full dinners, the table must share an order of the golden parmesan fries and sautéed shishito peppers. A bottle of the well-priced 2011 Muga Rioja Reserva will be perfect for the table and should go with just about anything thing ordered.

No culinary experience of this magnitude should go without dessert, of course. The Valrhona chocolate pudding with olive oil and sea salt is a stunning display of seemingly disparate flavours and the buttermilk panna cotta with berries and salted honey is a homey, yet exciting choice. If you are feeling up to it, an after dinner drink such as a classic Irish coffee or an espresso martini will go superbly with dessert. If you are not quite ready to call the extraordinary evening over, order a soothing, fin de siècle Amari from the several on the list as you glowingly wind things down.

This not-to-be-missed, eclectic culinary experience from Chef Lowder will take you on a fantastic tour around the world using Utah-bred ingredients in a gorgeous SLC environment. Reservations highly recommended.


pnfslcThis post is just one of the great features in the new Print ‘n Fly Guide to SC16 in Salt Lake City. Inside this guide you will find technical features on supercomputing, HPC interconnects, and the latest developments on the road to exascale. It also has great recommendations on food, entertainment, and transportation in SLC.

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