Bambara Shows Off a New Era With a Fresh Feel and Stylish Cocktail Bar

It’s the start of a new chapter for Bambara, one of downtown Salt Lake City’s most iconic restaurants, located on the ground floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco on Main Street.

Nowadays, guests will find a fresh new take on a longtime favorite. From top to bottom, Bambara boasts a brand new aesthetic, with crisp, clean black and white decor accentuating the soft brown leather seating. In this new era, the goal is to be more than a place for that one big night out.

“We have a history of being a special occasion restaurant,” Bambara’s Food and Beverage Director Brandon Buschart says. “We want to bridge the gap with people who are out on the town and might be hopping around from place to place while also not alienating those people who have been coming here forever.”

Photo courtesy of Bambara; Hotel Monaco

With a welcoming atmosphere and exceptional service, Bambara also offers a menu for meals of all shapes and sizes. Whether you want to have a few small plates to share, or a fantastic appetizer and a full-fledged entree, you can have either—or both.

If you’re out with a group and have no reservations about passing plates, putting together one of Bambara’s artisan charcuterie boards might be the way to go. With cheese offerings like Red Butte Hatch Chili Cheddar, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese and Rogue Smoked Blue Cheese to complement slices of Duroc Pork Paté, La Belle Farms Duck Rillette, and Rocky Mountain Elk Summer Sausage, you can’t go wrong with whichever combination you choose. Of course, you can always order the whole smorgasbord, if you’re up for it.

Bison Wellington. Photo courtesy of Bambara; Hotel Monaco

Now small plates can be fun for a crowd, or a lighthearted night out, but if you’re looking to make the night a memorable one, Bambara offers a slew of surf-n-turf entree options. Across the entire menu, you can find a yummy bite made from local ingredients, done in partnership with farms and purveyors in the region. Sustainable, local food is a pillar of Bambara’s values. And according to many, Bambara’s crown jewel is the Bison Wellington, Chef Patrick LeBeau’s favorite dish which has been locally sourced from Wyoming and done in a very traditional way.

“The renovation allowed time to develop new relationships with local vendors and producers and we are very excited to highlight them on the menu,” said Executive Chef Patrick LeBeau. Some of these new vendors include Bread Riot Bakehouse and Brickhouse Growers supplying us with great local sourdough and microgreens that can be seen across the menu.  The menu will continue to rotate seasonally, with a couple of staple dishes remaining from season to season.” 

Scallops. Photo courtesy of Bambara; Hotel Monaco

Those who want an especially memorable meal might consider a more intimate experience with Chef LeBeau. Taking part in the Chef’s Table feature seats guests at special tables that allow unique access to Chef LeBeau and his team during the service and allows for insight on upcoming dishes, Chef’s favorites, and other experiential items not available at other tables.

But the changes don’t stop at just the decor and menu prepared by Chef LeBeau. Not only is Bambara showing off a new look and feel, just like the entire Hotel Monaco, but an exciting new location will soon be throwing open its doors to the public on the other end of the restaurant. The Vault, a cocktail bar with sidewalk access on the corner of Main St. and 200 West, will soon be ready to serve up some of Salt Lake City’s most unique spirits in an ultra-cool ambiance.

 “It will be very approachable to all, like a 1950s American bar,” Buschart says of the soon-to-be-opened bar space, which pays homage to the location’s former identity as a bank.

So while things might look a little different now at Bambara, the great experience and attention to detail have remained the same. Whether it’s for a special occasion, or just a moment to treat yourself and others, Bambara is the place to be.

“We’re looking to make it a place where you can have a couple of drinks and an appetizer and maybe move on to somewhere else and also have a great meal on a special evening,” Buschart says. “In a hotel space, you have to figure out if you want to be a local favorite or a place for business guests. We’re going to be both.”

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