Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Forage: A Surprising Fine Dining Gem in Salt Lake City (Utah)

I never knew Salt Lake City to be a fine dining destination, but my last visit to Forage was an eye opener. Chef Bowman Brown's tasting menu at Forage is worthy to be compared to the best tasting menus in New York or other major metropolitan cities, and at a fraction of the price! The food and presentation reminded me a bit of my experience at Willows Inn.

We got the wine pairing and started dinner with a glass of Gruet Brut, followed by the first course:
apple and evergreen

Forage SLC
These tiny, bite-sized apples were filled with chestnut and coated in spruce vinegar. What a surprising dish and so fun to it. To make it even better, it was served with apple cider poured over spruce juniper. Can I have the whole pot?
Forage SLC

Bread with goat's milk butter, both really good (even if it doesn't compare to Willows Inn's chicken drippings to go with bread).
Forage SLC

Potatoes cooked in oak leaves, garlic scapes
Forage SLC
Kohlrabi and fresh trout roe, horseradish, chestnut shavings, dill
Paired with 2013 K Viognier
Forage SLC

Warm sheep's milk curd and preserved tomato water, puffed rice
Forage SLC
The dish doesn't look like much but it was one of my favorites, that silky curd in the wonderful broth of tomato water. The flavors are pure and simple, ones that warm your soul.

Caramelized sunchoke and fermented pear, pear puree
Forage SLC

Paired with 2013 Zepaltas Sauvignon Blanc (CA)
Forage SLC

Aged elk tartar (marinated in thyme oil), pickled shallots on pumpernickel crisp, sumac powder
Forage SLC
Excellent bite - fragile pumpernickel crisp combined with the earthy and meaty elk.

Smoked trout with broccoli and puffed buckwheat, shaved broccoli, broccoli puree
Paired with 2013 Morgadio Albarino from Spain
Forage SLC
Perfectly soft trout with a nice, light smokiness!

carrot and walnut (roasted and dehydrated carrot, roasted walnut crumble)
Forage SLC

Cabbage and duck sausage, quail and duck broth, crispy prosciutto, crispy duck skin, pickled ground cherry
Pairing: 2011 Neil Ellis Pinotage (South Africa)
Forage SLC
OK, so I'm partial to a good broth (but none of that "bone broth" nonsense). This was another great dish with strongly flavored sausage paired with a clean broth and the sourness from the cherries that cleanse your palate.

Crispy sturgeon with horseradish, Meyer lemon cream, leek
Forage SLC
Like cracklings, with fish. The lemon cream is hidden underneath.

Roasted leeks and snake river sturgeon, buttermilk whey, leek oil
Forage SLC

Duck egg pierogi, whipped cream with chive oil, smoked maple syrup
Paired with 2013 Tiefen Brunner Pinot Grigio
Yes, it's a pierogi filled with duck egg, you can see the yolk here which was almost runny. It's meant to be dipped in the whipped cream.

Grilled lamb rack with mushrooms and preserved beans, parsley puree, garlic brine foam
Pairing: 2012 Road 31 Pinot Noir
Forage SLC
The local lamb was very lean, but flavorful and meaty.

Moving on to desserts, starting with the lighter one: Preserved berries with candied beet and lavender panna cotta, spruce shoots, black pear granita
Forage SLC
Lightly sweet, a touch of lavender and spruce aromas, a great palate cleanser.

Steamed pumpkin custard and toasted elm seed, candied pumpkin, currants, milk with vanilla , elm seed
Forage SLC
The desserts were paired with a 2009 Iron Gate late harvest Zinfandel from Cedar City, UT.

To finish: Chocolate stones with acorn coating
Forage SLC

The whole tasting menu costs $89 which is a steal compared to other, more metropolitan cities for the quality and inventiveness of the food we got. The wine pairing is an additional $65. Forage is a must-dine in Salt Lake City! It was certainly the best meal we had while we were in town.

370 E 900 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 708-7834
Forage on Urbanspoon



I was a chef at forage, just so you are aware the chicken drippings at willows inn was a dish inspired by forage. The sous chef at willows inn worked at forage. He I'm sure inspired them to do it. Why do I know this because I was there when bomen invented the chicken and brown butter emulsion for bread. You must have gone at a time when bomen didn't do it.

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