Salt Lake City’s fine dining—not fancy food, but food that is the product of a creative, imaginative and well-trained brain, food created by those who regard their craft as art—was just gaining national recognition when COVID hit us last winter. A year later, many of those restaurants are in mortal danger and many have already gone out of business. But innovative thinking, pivoting and inventing new ways to serve their food to you may save some. Honestly, though, it’s up to you. COVID has inspired a lot of changes in our eating habits. Some of them are really fun and many are here to stay. NOTE: Programs change often, so call first.
Packing the Pantry
Local Salt Lake City restaurants and businesses are offering deals to help keep your pantry stocked with artisanal foods during COVID-19.
Hearth on 25th has always been known for its extensive pantry offerings—house-cured meat, soup and more.
Caputo’s Market & Deli specializes in gourmet to- go, but its monthly artisan support packs are a special deal, designed to delight you while supporting small specialty food producers.
Liberty Heights Fresh is the father of artisan foods in Utah; check out their Sustainably Farmed Food CSA, a weekly program packed with a variety of seasonal foods.
Pago, the tiny restaurant, found another way to deliver flavor—seasonal CSAs. Each includes Frog Bench Farms produce and prepared food like fresh- made pasta, pickles, etc. Call for more information.
Stoneground Kitchen offers pesto, Pomodoro, bolognese, fresh pasta and more in its online store. Look in the pantry section of the website.
Shop in Utah
The COVID-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program, known as Shop In Utah, is a grant program to help support businesses and provide discounts to consumers.
The initiative is funded with $62 million in federal CARES Act monies. In the Utah Legislature’s August special session, the Legislature increased its initial $25 million for Shop In Utah funding to $55 million; $7 million was moved from ComRent to Shop In Utah.
Shop In Utah is one way the state’s supporting business and encouraging Utahns to engage with local businesses. In its August special session, the Legislature created three grant tiers, providing more assistance for companies most impacted by the pandemic. By October, GOED had awarded $31 million in Shop In Utah grants.
We need more.
Taking Takeout Outside the Box
In addition to its regular menu, Takashi offers a list of specialty cocktail mixtures, designed to complement the restaurant’s food. A Cock- or Mocktail Mix includes five servings to be made with your favorite booze, or substitute two to four ounces of soda. For example, a Playa Tamarindo includes pineapple, grilled lemon, tamarindo and angostura bitters. Takashi recommends 1.5 oz. of whiskey to 2 oz. mix but that’s because we’re in Utah. We’d recommend 2 oz. of whiskey. Takashi also sells rolls of toilet paper (all proceeds go to the Utah Food Bank), its own hand sanitizer (profits also go to the Food Bank) and Takashi Face Masks in a sushi pattern or reversible Naughty & Nice.
Tip Your Server
Thousands of people were working in Salt Lake City restaurants and bars—neighborhood joints, fast food, fine dining—all gathering places in our community. Now thousands of them don’t have an income and don’t know when they can go back to work. They are on the front lines of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. You can help via a program organized by Downtown Alliance. Donate to Tip Your Server and every dollar donated will go directly to SLC hospitality workers.
They’re Not Extras
What’s a meal without bread and dessert? Delivered cookies were pioneered and perfected in SLC years ago and companies like Chip, Crumbl, and The Baking Hive still bring warm cookies to your door. BrowniesX3 (1751 S. 1100 East, 385- 522-2825) does the same, only with an outrageous menu of brownies. (You can also pick up.) But you can also order artisanal bread from Table X, famous for its housemade bread. (1457 E. 3350 South, 385-528-371) Order your loaf through the restaurant’s reservations tab or Instagram. And, the cherry on top of all delivered food, Normal Ice Cream (curbside: 169 E. 900 South; or delivery via the usual services) brings the good stuff right to your door—ice cream sammies, cakes, pints and the famous Choco Taco. Plus, you can order a Pizza Nono to have before.