Sometimes I think that bread and butter and wine are the epitome of man’s culinary achievements. And a kitchen that recognizes the possible perfection of a simple food like butter is rare and wonderful.
Our first dinner at the new Table X: Seated at the counter, looking into the kitchen, we saw cooks pulling small crusty loaves out of the oven, putting them on boards, then digging a lump of butter for each serving out of a crock. The daily bread schedule is printed on a whiteboard to our right, where we note the milk from Rosehill Dairy is cultured into crème fraiche before it is churned into butter.
We had been invited for a tasting menu, starting with an an amuse—a pate of pork and chanterelles spread on a lightly sweet English-style biscuit. “We get a whole pig and break it down ourselves,” says Mike Blocher, one of the three chef-owners. And then they use it all. This particular spread used meat from the head.
A server shows me the vegetable platter, which included chile-cured pumpkin along with popped sorgum. Then, smoked sunchoke nested in the bottom of a bowl smeared with a green paste of sunflower seeds and stems; a patty of raw Morgan Valley lamb, its sweetness accentuated with a combination of brined and plumped dried carrots; a square of seared trout over barbecued cannelli beans with fermented peppers, rare organic beef with black garlic and finally, a cake of dense Solstice chocolate with orange-scented meringue two ways—fluffed into cream and dried into an ethereally light, sweet wafer balanced on top.
All three chefs, Blocher, Nick Fahs and David Barboza, have worked mostly in kitchens outside of Utah and together they bring a fresh perspective to the plate—reversing the old center-of-the-plate cliché by preparing fresh vegetables with such a layering of flavors and techniques that they become co-stars, not supporting players, to the protein.
As for the space: Andrea Beecher of M3LD and Parallel Lines refinished the old birch floors, revealed the barrel roof, used the reclaimed lumber to build a raised vegetable garden and installed a gleaming open kitchen with a marble dining bar. Table X nails the point where industrial design meets comfort.
The flatware was heavy and smooth and made a lovely scrape against the hand-thrown pottery, our napkins were re-folded when we returned to the table and the wine, beer and cocktail list was considered, concise and well-priced—all civilized and proper details that make dining a complete experience, pleasant for all the senses. 1457 E. 3350 South, SLC, 385-528-3712