8 Local Restaurants Where You Can Eat, Drink & Be Married
From the dramatic dark floral wallpaper to the Spanish-inspired menu, Finca sets the scene for an evening of amor (pictured above). The elegant, moody space features two private dining rooms; Jerez seats 24 and Rioja seats 32. The full restaurant and bar can also be rented for larger parties of about 200 guests.
The menu is influenced by owner Scott Evans’s travels throughout Spain, but the food is sourced from local farms and purveyors right here in Utah. Host a tapas-style feast featuring a variety of pintxos and small plates. Some of our favorite bites include the datil, blue cheese–stuffed dates wrapped in bacon; papas y aioli, crispy potatoes with paprika and house-made aioli; albondigas, lamb and pork meatballs with manchego cheese and tomato sauce; gambas al ajio, shrimp in a sizzling garlic-chile oil; and piquillo, braised beef stuffed in piquillo peppers. And don’t forget something to toast with: Finca pours Spanish wines, sherries, and ports, as well as unique craft cocktails. Salud!
HSL & HANDLE
Stepping into HSL Restaurant is like stepping into an urban oasis—the stylish, verdant space is an escape from the city, and the American-with-a-modern-twist cuisine offers an adventure for the palate. It was partner/creative director Melissa Gray and partner/executive chef Briar Handly’s own destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico, that inspired the design of HSL (Handle Salt Lake), the sister eatery to the couple’s first restaurant, Handle, in Park City.
Both spots are available to rent for engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and receptions, and both can accommodate about 100 guests. The menus differ at each location, but both offer not-to-be missed cauliflower dishes: a buffalohot-wing style with blue cheese in Park City, and a General Tso style with sriracha vinaigrette in Salt Lake. Dessert is also a must— both serve a version of a decadent local Solstice chocolate tart—and the bartenders mix up some of the city’s most inventive cocktails.
Following the success of selling their locally made Laziz hummus at the downtown Salt Lake City farmers market—you may recall their booth from the cheeky “Hummusexual” T-shirts they also sold—Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, partners in love, life, and Laziz, recently opened Laziz Kitchen in Salt Lake’s up-and-coming Central Ninth area.
The menu offers fresh twists on traditional Middle Eastern cuisine and flavors. We crave the fried cauliflower florets (trust us, one bite and you will too), grilled halloumi cheese, and the grilled chicken or beef and parsley skewers. For something heartier, try the maghmoor chickpea and eggplant or the cauliflower stew with ground beef and pine nuts. The modern-minimal event space (their cool copper chairs offer on-site style), can accommodate 40–50 guests; for larger parties of up to 100, the event space and the restaurant can be rented together. For yummy favors, send guests home with containers of hummus or bottles of orange blossom water from the restaurant’s small Lebanese market.
Named for the same region in Northern Italy, Veneto is newish to Salt Lake City’s dining scene, but it’s destined to become a classic. Chef/owners Marco and Amy Stevanoni—he hails from Italy; she hails from SLC—are kind, passionate, and authentic; dining in their restaurant is like dining in their own home. And what’s more inviting than that? The restaurant’s cozy, charming dining room can accommodate around 40 guests; there’s also an intimate outdoor patio.
From finger foods to a five-course Northern Italian feast, all event menus can be customized. But allow us to suggest the burrata cheese with local Creminelli prosciutto; the seasonal risotto (we had risotto with fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar of Modena on our visit); the mountain gnocchi with butter, sage, Monte Veronese and smoked ricotta cheeses; and the dry-aged T-bone Piemontese beef. Top it all off with a curated wine list (Marco is also a wine importer), signature Italian cocktails, and top-notch service.
RIVERHORSE ON MAIN
Perched in the center of Park City’s historic Main Street, Riverhorse on Main has been a fine-dining destination for locals and visitors for 30 years. The sleek, contemporary décor and creative, seasonal Western cuisine set the stage for an elegant evening in the mountains (the killer view overlooking Main Street from the restaurant’s patio doesn’t hurt either). Riverhorse can accommodate groups as small as 20 for a rehearsal dinner or engagement party, or groups as large as 300 for a wedding reception.
Menu favorites include lobster bisque shooters, risotto bites, harissa chicken lollipops, Riverhorse’s signature macadamia nut–encrusted halibut, buffalo tenderloin, and grilled Utah rack of lamb. There are plenty of veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options too, and an extensive wine list to wash it all down.
With a focus on seasonal fare, local ingredients, and fostering a sense of community, Table X is the combined vision of not one cook in the kitchen, but three: Chefs Mike Blocher, Nick Fahs, and David Barboza, who all met and became friends at culinary school. The restaurant dishes up haute cuisine without the hautiness. This is high-style dining that’s down-toearth, literally—much of the menu’s produce is pulled directly from the dirt in the backyard vegetable garden.
True to its name, there’s an actual table with an “X” on it, an ebony-stained alder table that seats 14. The table is located in a private dining room overlooking the backyard garden. The secluded space is perfect for small engagement parties or rehearsal dinners. Guests can order off the regular menu—try the red beet curry, Morgan Valley lamb tartare, and Jones Creek beef rib eye—or the chefs are happy to tailor a tasting menu to your event and dietary preferences.
Since first bottling its signature, award-winning whiskey and swinging open the doorsof its Old-West-meets-modern-mountaintown saloon in 2009, Park City’s High West Distillery has been a happening spot to get hitched or host a rehearsal dinner. And when High West opened their larger distillery and tasting room nestled in the mountains of Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship, the spacious venue—with views for days—offered couples a second destination to host whiskey-infused celebrations.
Head for the hills for Western, mountain-inspired cuisine like braised beef short ribs, house-smoked salmon, and panfried trout. For signature cocktails, try the High West whiskey lemonade or the Dead Man’s Boots, made with whiskey, tequila, lime juice, and ginger beer. Before or after you break bread, take your guests on a tour of the distillery, or head to the tasting room.
BE OUR GUEST Local caterers are getting in on the venue action, too.
Cuisine Unlimited is the exclusive caterer for SLC’s fancy new Broadway-caliber theater on Main Street.Host a reception for up to 360 guests in the spacious, contemporary main lobby, or check out the Regent Street Black Box theater for something more intimate.
Culinary Crafts’ urban-chic venue in downtown SLC is an inviting and versatile event space. The main room can accommodate 100 guests for a seated dinner or 200 for a flowing reception; the outdoor patio in back is ideal for intimate ceremonies and cocktail parties.
Located across the street from Laziz Kitchen in SLC’s Central Ninth neighborhood, the Blended Table’s new event space is a hip spot to get hitched or host a party. The modern space features on-site catering and an open floor plan for up to 125 guests.
Featured Image: Courtesy Finca / photo by Heather Nan Photography / styling by La Fête Floral & Events