First Bite: Felt Bar and Eatery on Main Street

Felt Bar and Eatery is the new urban bar hotspot to arrive on Main Street in Salt Lake City. Appropriately named after the building where it resides in the Felt Building, the interior is industrial with a central bar, black ceilings, warm wood, leather, and concrete. According to Building Salt Lake, the building itself has had a multitude of uses, from a brothel, cigar store, home of the Felt Electric Company, and this particular pad as the former location to Pago on Main. 

The seating is comfortable, with a mix of bar seating, low tops, high tops, and cushy banquettes. If you can, get a seat against the front window. The high-backed seat is perfect for two, with a French bistro-sized table facing out into the restaurant for optimal people-watching. 

Cocktails at Felt. Photo by Lydia Martinez

While the menu is assuredly going to change here and there based on seasonality, creativity, and the chef’s whims, the opening menu is a well-rounded opening foray. A Downtown bar, to qualify as having a good menu, should have a mix of shared plates for the cocktails after-work crowd, filling mains for the dinner and show group, and bar bites for the late-night one more drink before the home crew. This menu accomplishes all of those things. 

The other thing I found hugely impressive was how good the food was for a restaurant that had only been open for a week when I visited. As a food writer, I often end up at the new hotspot, only to find that they are still ironing out the kinks in service or that some dishes shine while others are still being workshopped. Inconsistency is more consistent in new restaurants than consistency. Not here at Felt Bar and Eatery. In large part because the team here is experienced to the Nth degree. With operators composed of Richard Romney, a denizen of Takashi and Post Office Place, brought on Travis Herbert, who was the corporate chef for Fleming’s Steakhouse, it is no wonder that this watering hole opened with a smoothness and panache that most restaurants find two months in. Impressive. 

Billed as a bar first and then an eatery in the name, I’ll cover cocktails to start. The cocktail menu is divvied up into House Highballs, The Lab (aka concoctions that are free reign for unusual ingredients), Negronis, Old Fashioneds, Classics, and Non-Alcoholic. I appreciate the non-alcoholic section for feeling unique and crafted, rather than a variation of colored sugar water. My brain appreciates the division and distinction between the drink menu categories. Generally, bar menus are arranged by type of spirit or categorized into “citrusy” or “boozy” buckets. I like the way this was set up on paper. I started with the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, made with Wahaka Mezcal, Reposado Tequila, ancho chile syrup, and chocolate bitters. It was smoky, spicy, and with a hint of heat, and may be one of my new favorite cocktails in town. The Pineapple Sazarac was made special with a pineapple rum, umeboshi, a tart pickled Japanese plum, and the obligatory absinthe rinse. Pineapple + anise + acid is a delightful mix. The final drink I tried was a classic Pisco Sour, with the Peruvian grape brandy, lime, egg whites, and Angostura bitters dotting the top. I spent significant time volunteering in Peru, and I’m a sucker for the national cocktail. I was properly transported to Lima and enjoyed the fact that they had a more obscure classic on the menu. 

Oysters are my perpetual weakness. If oysters are on the menu, and the server can articulate their origins and flavor, I will invariably order them. The oysters at Felt came with an orange-bacon mignonette and citrus horseradish. The oysters were perfectly shucked (also a surprising rarity). While the mignonette was perfectly bright and tart, I couldn’t detect the bacon. The citrus horseradish was on point, however. It added a nice nuance and tempered the punch-in-the-face horseradish. It meant I could skip the obligatory drop or two of lemon juice.

From the raw bar, our table also shared the Torched Sablefish. To be honest, I wish I had hoarded it for myself. Sablefish is the salmon of the whitefish category. It is silky, fatty, and delicious. Sometimes appearing on menus as black cod, the generous four slices were kissed by a blowtorch, which is common in sushi restaurants. What was uncommon at Felt Eatery and Bar was the yuzu ponzu, mango miso dotting the plate, and the cucumber wasabi sauce. I generally avoid wasabi when eating sablefish – it can overpower the delicate sweetness of the fish itself. The perfect foil to the heat of the wasabi was the blended-in cucumber to make a sauce rather than an aggressive dab of green. 


The Truffle Fries were the dead opposite of the delightfully fresh raw bar offerings. Crispy, coated, and double fried, they came with the regulatory fry sauce, but ahem, elevated. Dusted with wisps of grated parmesan, roasted garlic gremolata (which added a nice crunch), and a drizzle of truffle oil. I do get nervous when I see truffle oil on a menu. Sometimes, the application of truffle oil is heavy-handed and comes across as a truffle-y punch to the face. But the chef was judicious and held his hand enough that the nuance of truffle was there without being overwhelming. The fries were garlicky enough to have been called garlic truffle fries. Through kitchen alchemy, they stayed crispy through two rounds of cocktails, which is another feat. 

I will trek back to Felt, for the Filet and Marrow Tartare alone. I might end up obsessing over this plate in food crush fashion. Served en bone (like en croute?), the filet is chopped, not ground. Which makes for a better texture for those on the fence when it comes to tartare. Roasted bone marrow is mixed in as the binder rather than the usual raw egg yolk. Beer mustard provides a tangy counterpoint to the rich bone marrow. And fried capers add some brine and a much-appreciated crunch. Toast points with charred grill marks are the delivery method to get meat to mouth. This is the dish to order. Seriously. Don’t miss it. 

The only miss of the night was the Flamenco Salad. Based on the name, it was appropriately bright. But the greens were wilted. When we mentioned it to the server, the salad was whisked away, and we opted not to replace it. 

Blood Orange Creme Brulee. Photo by Lydia Martinez

To finish, we shared the Blood Orange Creme Brulee. The candied blood orange on top was like a round, translucent stained glass window. And it was actually entirely edible and delicious. I disapprove of garnishes that are pretty but edible in name only. So, bonus points. It was a nice, sweet end to a lovely meal. I do regret that we didn’t order the cookies and milk (orange zest, chocolate chips, Maldon salt, cookie-infused milk). Next time. 

Final tip: arrive early. This new gem fills up fast, and there was a significant wait by the time we left. 

If You Go: 

Felt Bar and Eatery 
341 S. Main Street

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee. Do you have food news? Send tips to

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