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Monday, August 9, 2010

Rating: The Savory Palate

We got an email a couple weeks ago from Britnee at Intrepid Agency (a marketing and communications company), who said we might be interested in The Savory Palate. The Savory Palate is a culinary student-run restaurant at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City in Draper, Utah. During the quarters, they are open Tuesday and Wednesday for lunch, by reservation only. They serve a high-end three-course meal for only $12.95.
Of course we were interested! After emailing her back and forth, she offered to treat us to lunch at Savory Palate! Needless to say, we were very excited and planned to go the earliest we could.

The restaurant is located in the Art Institute’s campus, on the second floor. It is a pretty small dining area, with about ten tables.

There is a big glass window into the kitchen, where you can watch the students prepare your meal (Hell’s Kitchen-style, only without Gordon Ramsey yelling).

I got to peek inside the kitchen!

The restaurant is decorated with red and black, to match the Art Institute's colors. The tables look kind of wedding-receptionish, with the mirror under the vase (not necessarily a bad thing).

On to the food! The students create the menu, and there are 3 choices of appetizer and dessert, and two options of entree.

First we were each brought a piece of a multigrain baguette, with a chive butter.


The appetizers we got were the raspberry fruit dip and a salad.

Both were good, and really fresh ingredients (they use local ingredients and take advantage of seasonal farmer’s market foods). Nothing was really unique or blew us away about the appetizers, but they were good and we were satisfied.

Next came the main course. We got both dishes; Stew got scallops with pasta, and I got a lemon chicken with potatoes and carrots.

Scallops are a classic “culinary school food,” and the student that cooked our scallops had it down—they were cooked perfectly and Stew really enjoyed them. There was an assortment of pasta in the dish, including squid ink fettuccine, which was a fun addition. I personally think the dish would have been more impressive if there was only squid ink pasta and not a mix.

The lemon chicken dish really surpassed everything, though. The chicken had been marinated in lemon juice and herbs, then breaded in flour, spices and red onions. The flavor was so bright and fresh; the chicken cooked perfectly and was tender and juicy. It was absolutely outstanding and we enjoyed every bite! The yukon gold potatoes and carrots served with the dish were also phenomenal and perfectly cooked.

For dessert we enjoyed the cherry cheesecake and the chocolate roulade.

The chocolate roulade was a not-too-rich chocolate dessert, and the perfect portion—just enough to satisfy. I loved the presentation on this dish, with the brush of chocolate and sprinkle of sugar (even though it may have been a little "cliche" culinary school).

The cheesecake was dense and velvety smooth—perfect texture, with a substantial graham cracker crust. Even the cherry topping was delicious (neither of us really love maraschino cherries, but we liked them on the cheesecake).

At the end of the meal, we were given three chocolates the chocolate class had made. We ate these as we filled out our comment card, but they were probably the worst part of the “meal.” They looked good, but the chocolate was pretty waxy.

Other than that though, it was a great meal and we left satisfied but not stuffed, and still talking about the great chicken. I’m going to have to try to recreate that recipe...

We’ve read reviews about The Savory Palate that talk about the cliche “culinary school” presentation. And while this may be true, we were still impressed with how nice the dishes looked.

Here’s our official “rating”:


















It’s not every day that we eat food this good. The Savory Palate is right up there with other really nice restaurants we’ve been to (bonus for the price!), and we’d happily dine there again!

After our meal, we got to talk to an instructor chef about the program and the restaurant. He goes to farmer's markets often to get the food for the restaurant class. Talking with him, we could tell the culinary program at the Art Institute of SLC is top-notch!

Thank you Britnee of Intrepid for treating us to lunch and introducing us to The Savory Palate! And thanks everyone at the Art Institute of SLC for the great lunch! Keep doing what you’re doing!

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