Evans opened his first restaurant, Pago, to great acclaim. He may have been the first in town to serve beets with Greek yogurt, now a staple on many menus. Then he opened Finca, an homage to his abiding love of Spain, its food, wine and culture. In quick succession, he opened Hub&Spoke, East Liberty Tap House and Trestle. He has more projects in the works, including a chicken restaurant next to the Tap House, but recently, his focus has been on the transformation of Finca (which he moved into a cavernous downtown space in 2012) into its new George configuration. Named, in case you’re wondering, after Scott’s dad. Alongside the sibling space, Bar George (see Barfly, p. 138) George is a re-visioning of the over-large single room that was Finca.
Some things are the same—Chef Phelix Gardner is still head of the kitchen, so you know the gnocchi is always going to be a good bet—he just has a way with those little dumplings, here served with mushrooms. But the restaurant is all over the map: The raw bar is impressive. The grill section features burgers, sliders with tallow added to the beef for a taste as rich as wagyu; a Cuban sandwich, a fish sandwich, a cauliflower poboy. Small plates include vestiges of the Spanish-American detente, like the mussels with chorizo, the stuffed piquillo peppers, garlic shrimp. But there’s also poutine and Americana too: gorgeously rare cold-smoked beef (slightly oversalted—is this an equal and opposite reaction to the no-salt ’90s?)—even fried chicken. Because—evidently—you can’t run a restaurant anymore without fried chicken on the menu. There were some misses—the “cheeseburger egg rolls” ended up a little too reminiscent of a 7-Eleven hot snack—but most of what I tried was good, and certainly the eclectic selection has something on it to please everyone, anytime.
IF YOU GO
- Address: 327 W. 200 South, SLC
- Web: georgeslc.com
- Phone: 801-487-0699
- Entrees: $-$$
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