Pallet–and no, it's not misspelled; the name is a tribute to the building's warehouse past–is the new kid on SLC's restaurant block. Right next door to The Rose Establishment, it shares that cafe's fantastically funky old building, and Pallet's owners, Rocky Derrick and Drew Estman, have made the most out of its "good bones." Rocky's brother, Cody Derrick of City Home Collective, led the design.
Reclaimed wood floors and tables, a custom-built curlicue banquette, original oil paintings (including a wonderful portrait of Porter Rockwell) by Rocky's wife, Courtney, all add up to a perfect rendition of today's favorite esthetic–that Kinfolk-looking, Rembrandt-lit, Seattle/Portland-feeling of carefully edited rustic elegance. Nothing is overstated, nothing is a focal point. Instead, the place is made up of a seemingly infinite series of vignettes. Here's what I mean
A pillowy windowseat banquette lines the front side of the room, facing tables of reclaimed wood.
Profile of an industrial-style barstool against the concrete bar, formerly the building's loading dock.
See what I mean by vignette?
Even the sign is muted, with a carefully chosen typeface.
And here is Pallet at night, all chiaroscuro.
I'll talk about the food later–I've only eaten there once (one word:gnocchi). Right now Pallet is only open for dinner, but they start lunch next week. I saw the menu today and since it's recipe Tuesday, thought I'd share a spinach salad recipe. Pallet does theirs with salmon; mine is a riff on an old Silver Palate (anyone remember SP?) recipe.
2 bunches baby spinach, washed and stemmed (5-6 cups)
1 big bunch basil leaves, washed and stemmed (2 cups)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz. prosciutto, diced small
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, mashed and chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Saute the garlic and prosciutto in the olive until prosciutto is crispy and garlic is soft. Pour the oil in a jar with the balsamic and shake to mix. Season to taste. Gently toss the leaves together in a bowl, pour the warm dressing over and toss again. Sprinkle with pine nuts and grated cheese. Add croutons or tiny cherry tomatoes or roast chicken. Or, following Pallet's lead, grilled or poached salmon.