Wednesday, May 11

Forage SLC

I had no idea what a treat I was in for when I booked my birthday dinner at Forage in Salt Lake City, UT. It was to be a great weekend of skiing with friends from NY and took a little turn for the unexpected on my first run. When we arrived at this charming house converted into restaurant, I was minus an ACL in my left knee, plus a knee brace and crutches, and full of determination to enjoy the meal. Let me tell you, it was truly one of the most creative and inspired meals I've had. Period.

Chefs Viet Pham and Bowman Brown are super-talented and were rightly nominated for a James Beard Award in 2011. In my humble opinion they also should've been recipients of said award, but unfortunately, my vote doesn't count. Let me just say that if you are EVER in SLC, you really ought to book a table. You'll be glad you did. Promise. Here's why...

Soon as I popped the amuse into my mouth -- a croquette with liquid fennel center -- I knew I was in for a great ride.

Next up: super-soft scrambed egg with maple syrup and crème fraîche.

This silkly sunchoke soup with puffed rice and pickled radish was extraordinary.

House made butter! and buckwheat bread, still warm from the oven.

Perfectly cooked scallop topped with puffed rice, rhubarb and chicken vanilla sauce.

Poached farm fresh yolk on a bed of rosemary cured onions, beets, pork and chi broth.

Charcoal potatoes, smoked buttermilk, radish and fresh cheese.

I thought you might need a little breather to peek at the room....

Charcoal encrusted Hamachi belly, white asparagus, celeriac, toasted farro, smoked bacon and braised savoy cabbage.

Melt in your mouth pork loin with potato crust, squash puree, trumpet mushroom, bok choi and a honey brown butter sauce.

A mild tomme with green apple jam and house made crackers.

A phenomenal and refreshing palette cleanser of grapefruit sorbet, ricotta cream and poppy seeds.

Parsnip and milk sorbet, pear mousse, dehydrated yogurt and burnt hazelnut.

Amano chocolate three ways -- with dehydrated raspberry crumbles.

Meyer lemon marshmallow migniardises were perfectly refreshing (and light!) at the end of the meal.

I couldn't have dreamt up a better birthday meal! The service was impeccable and a really sweet touch by the entire staff was a lovely, handmade birthday card signed by all the staff. Thanks to everyone at Forage for turning the day around 180 degrees! And next time I'll remember to bring my 'real' camera.

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