Sunday, April 1, 2012


I got a text from my boss a few weeks ago.  He was at Pallet a night or two after opening night and the text said "by far the hippest place I have been to in SLC".  Coming from a guy who walked out of a local Italian establishment because his waiter was unfamiliar with Burrata, I respect his opinion (and I'm still trying to get him to guest blog that one...).  Along with said text, I got a photo of the menu.  Truffle fries, sweet beats with almonds and prosciutto... so onto the short list it went for the WFR blog.

Boss was right on the hip factor.  Mojitos in mason jars, fine wines served alongside PBR tallboys wrapped in the requisite brown bag, and enough mustache wax to waterproof the Santa Maria.  Seating is family style, which could pose a bit of an issue, but the prices are high enough to keep the no-shower hipsters away so what you get is probably more like tier-2+ hipsters.  And good food.  Mostly.

That night we were presented with some granny smith apples drizzled in salted caramel and chives.  So hip.  But in all seriousness, this was a fun starter and I always appreciate something that I didn't order that isn't a basket of bread.

We started out with a few appetizers.  Gnoccis had come recommended in a review I read, so we ordered them.  Very good, but different.  These were almost like little mashed potato dumplings seared on two sides - not at all trending to the pasta side of the gnocci spectrum.  Still, sauced in a sage, parmesan and amaretto sauce, they were very good.

Next app was the crispy chicken wings with stone fruit, chili, mustard seed and jalapenos (I'm pretty sure ours also had citrus). Most of us were feeling like we could take or leave these - even my chicken wing loving wife.  They have some kick, so be prepared for heat.

Final app was the truffle fries.  If I were trying to explain this dish, I'd say they were fries - topped with truffles.  Not too much to it, but the generous portion of truffle shavings and parmesan were delicious.  My only complaint was that I either got tons of truffle or none with each bite, so I kept reaching into the dish and finding a truffle fleck for each fry.  The accompanying aioli serves as good truffle adhesive if you're trying this in the future.

We did a mixed greens salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts.  It tasted exactly like what that last sentence described.  I would order it again!

On to the main courses.  We ordered venison with mushroom risotto, the seared scallops with cauliflower and wild mushrooms, braised bison short ribs and the pan seared salmon.  My take is that the venison was the only fail - it was dry and based on some googling this is a common theme for this dish at Pallet.  Time to move that one off the menu.  The scallops were near perfect.  The other two entrees get a ten for presentation and a seven for deliciousness factor.  Well done, not perfect (the salmon was a touch overcooked), but I would be happy to eat either entree again.  The bison was particularly beautiful on the plate.

We did a couple of desserts: the toasted marshmallow with graham crackers, chocolate and pop rocks (don't say these kids can't have fun), and the epic stout chocolate cake.  The cake was my favorite as I'm a fan of semi-sweet desserts and anything that features epic beers.

Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention the decor.  This is probably one of the most well-designed spaces in Salt Lake City.  Really cool use of wood and new mixed with vintage decor.  That right there is my best shot at talking about interior spaces - but really you should just go look at pictures.  Good job to the Cityhome Collective - head over to their site for more eye candy. Patrick Davis Design worked on the interior and Nash Martinez - a friend of mine - was the man on the lighting.

The Verdict?  We had a great meal at Pallet.  It stands out because they are doing creative things at reasonable prices and seem to not take themselves too seriously - a rare mix in the SLC.  Pallet has room to grow on the execution front, but we will likely add it to our regular rotation and give it a thumbs up.

Pallet Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. Great photos and write up! I have yet to go there for dinner. Their lunch was pretty good. Nothing that knocked my socks off but I do love the atmosphere in there.

  2. Thanks Becky - I have a strict "iphone only" policy as it relates to photos so sometimes they suffer. In this case, we got good pictures until the sun went down and the mood lighting came on.