Sunday, September 11, 2011


According to the buzz, Bowman Brown and Viet Pham have brought real food to Salt Lake City for the first time ever. Given my experiences over the past couple of years, I felt glad that people were trying to do something original and real, but I figured that is where this would end - a step in the right direction. The problem is, I can't find anything to criticize. This was the best meal I've ever eaten in Salt Lake. This meal ranked among the top five I've ever eaten, period. So here's the play-by-play.

We started with a tomato croquette - one bite of tomato soup fried into a croquette about the size of a marble. This was the least enjoyable course by a significant margin, and it was very good. State fair fare came to mind (fried soup hell yeah!), but I will forgive the slow start because the next item out was....

...a soft scrambled egg with maple syrup. Sounded like they were reaching on this, but the staple Forage second course took top honors for me. Topped with a creme fraiche and green onion, this one was a killer blend of sweet and savory. I would go back to Forage for the egg alone, and if you go, this is the one dish I've never seen the menu going without. I'm just going to hit some high points for brevity's sake on the rest of the night.

Carrot puree with basil seeds, cucumber and wildflower. If there is a criticism that I've heard from foodies about Forage it is that they take the concept of floral cuisine to a whole new level. If you need meat on your plate, you'll be disappointed in several of the courses, but the carrot puree is a great example of how good they were at spinning floral into something simultaneously beautiful and fulfilling.

Wild greens and root veggies. I was beside myself by this point and I can't tell you too much about what is in this dish because Chef Brown was talking to us about he actually went out foraging (see what I did there?) for several of the greens in this dish. Wild mustard greens were the best addition - spice and good body to complement the milder items on the plate.

Did I mention there was a real floral theme here? Anyways - new potatoes with chives, onion and wildflower blossoms. Well done.

Meat course! This one was a chili rubbed hamachi with pancetta. The presentation was the weakest for this course, but it tasted great and was intriguing enough on the plate.

Time for a couple of dessert courses. We did sweet corn sorbet with blackberries and lemon creme first. This was a nice palate cleanser and still sweet enough to stand on its own as a dessert course. Nothing too sweet though, because this was on the way:

Peaches with a really nice fresh cheese and wildflower garnish. The cheese made this dish! Perfect end to this meal - I was really glad that they didn't throw a big chunk of chocolate at us after we had been on the root veggies and wild greens kick for so long. Nice work and we left full.

The verdict? This is the best restaurant in Utah and will go toe to toe with just about anyone else in the genre. We'll likely be repeating this review regularly going forward as I'll be looking for an excuse to get back.

Forage on Urbanspoon

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