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    Categories: Eat & DrinkIn the Magazine

Same face, new place: Cafe Trio PC offers variation on a theme.

Trio broke culinary ground when it opened—the first place in Utah to re-think American-Italian food and dining. The original location on 900 East still does brisk business and rightly so, especially since a recent menu refresh created new excitement.

But it’s hard to replicate in the restaurant business.

(Well, it’s easy to replicate—look at the hundreds of chain restaurants that shackle the American palate.)

But it’s hard to replicate a good restaurant well, and rightly so. A good restaurant requires in-house originality, a resident personality, a chemistry between front and back of the house staff and a clear mission. Trio Cottonwood and downtown Trio bear the same name, and have largely the same menus. So I assume that when it came to a third Trio in Park City, owner Mikel Trapp decided some changes were necessary.

The restaurant itself is located in a distinctly un-charming part of greater PC—in a Kimball Junction development near the new Whole Foods. Not anywhere close to Main Street and with no mountain scenery visible. The best part of the interior is the bar, a long, welcoming expanse of white stone with a well-lit bottle display behind it.

The menu is more extensive than at other locations—a few more entrees and pasta dishes. We dined at Trio PC a couple of times when it was clear that the kitchen wasn’t working yet. (The poached egg on top of a dish of asparagus was hard; we sent it back and it was replaced with a properly cooked one.) There were highlights: The spinach agnolotti was lovely and topped with an unusual pine-nut crumble, adding crunch to the  pasta’s creamy softness. Lentils were a brilliant side dish for the salmon.

But the best food we’ve eaten at Trio Park City was at a dinner featuring Scarpetta’s wines from Friuli. Banquet service can be the trickiest thing for a kitchen to pull off—so many plates at one time—but the five-course meal went off smoothly and some of the food was extraordinary. Of course, Chef Logen Crew was in the kitchen that night and he can pull off unusual tricks like shaved porchetta or hot-smoked trout in a pancetta-wheat broth. The first course, scapeche, fish and shellfish marinated in vinegar with mint and served in a little jar, was genius. And the wine presentations, by Beverage Director Jim Santangelo and Scarpetta’s Chris Zimmerman, were witty and fun, not always the case on these occasions. 6585 N. Landmark Dr., Park City, 435-649-9654.

Jim Santangelo

Beverage Director Jim Santangelo is a familiar face to many Utah diners. His resume lists restaurants all over Salt Lake and Park City. At Cafe Trio Park City, he’ll be  coordinating frequent wine dinners, with the food specifically designed to showcase a meal’s worth of wines. Don’t miss out. Find more information at parkcity.triodining.com.

See more inside our 2017 September/October Issue.

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