Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bistro 412

Address: 412 Main Street, Park City, Utah 84060. 435.649.8211.

Review: My parents are in town for Thanksgiving; so, naturally, my wife and I leave our child with them and escape to Park City for the evening. (Good thing they like our son more than they like us.) 

Our first thought for dinner was Ruth's Chris. However, we had just grilled some tasty T-bones and New York strips the night before, so the wife vetoed the yet-more-meat option. Not knowing the Park City scene, we texted a Park City friend for help. She suggested Wahso, but, alas, it was closed until after Thanksgiving. In the end, we decided on Bistro 412. A little French food every so often is good for the soul, after all.

We started with the escargot. It came in the classic escargot vessel covered in puff pastry. Each de-shelled snail was in its own little divot, swimming in butter and parsley.  

Now, you would think snails would possess a kind of earthy (read: dirt) taste, or possibly a slimy quality. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are nice and light, if a bit chewy. My wife, who steadfastly refuses to touch a snail, asked me what they taste like. "Snails" was about the best response I could muster. Honestly, I could have used a little more parsley in the dish, but it was thoroughly enjoyable as prepared.

And here's a gratuitous snail selfie. 

And then on to the main event: the lamb shank. Now, my wife vetoed the yet-more-meat option, but only for herself. I mean, how can one pass up a tender lamb shank topped with field mushrooms, and accompanied by pureed sweet potatoes and broccolini. The lamb was tender and of serious quality. The mushrooms, mmm. They were meaty in their own right. The sweet potatoes constituted the obligatory sweet component in every lamb dish, and it filled the bill perfectly. The broccolini were green and good, and I don't like broccoli. (As in, I think broccoli is a vile weed.) And the lamb jus. Sopping it up with a bit of the toothsome bread provided is what dreams are made of. Must, not, drool, at, thought, of, jus.

Oh, and we had some pommes frites. Good. Crispy. Garlicky. Nice compliment to the shank.

In all, an enjoyable meal. Score one for the yet-more-meat option.

Rating: 7.5/10 (5/10 is average).

Bistro 412 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria

Address: 1044 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City, Utah. 801.467.2180.

Review: I read an interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in which he lamented about how he felt like he was always making the same arguments and saying the same things. That's sort of how I feel when I review pizzerie. 

At this point I usually talk about the structure of the pizza, how pizza is really about the dough and about balance, as opposed to toppings. I may wax nostalgic about living in Italy and eating the best pizza in the world on spaccanapoli (it really is transcendent). This time I'm going to forgo all that and just talk.

I had the carpaccio to begin. It wasn't carpaccio. Carpaccio is a raw meat dish, and I received a cured meat with a bunch of arugula. Look, I get that sometimes dishes aren't what you quite expect, and you just have to take them as they come and analyze what is good and what might not be good about the dish you receive. This, however, was simply false advertising. Carpaccio is one of the best dishes served in Italy because the meat is raw, fresh, and deliciously tender. A heavy, cured, fatty product, lightened up with some greenery, is not equivalent. 

Next: the pizza.

The crust was tough, way too thick, and lacked any flavor at all. The meat was good quality. They had baked the pizza with so little tomato that it was dry as a bone. The basil was uncooked (as in they didn't put in on until after the pizza came out of the oven). Also the pizza hadn't been properly rotated in the oven, so one side was burned, while the other was not. This was a poorly executed pizza in every way. 

Just an unfortunate experience.

Rating: 3/10 (5/10 is average).

Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon