Pallet Restaurant Review
Food: American food made with precision and bold flavors. The boar, scallops, and pea gazpacho are must haves.
Service: Attentive and welcoming. Exactly what I want in a restaurant.
Atmosphere: Brick exposed walls and candles make for a great date night experience. Bar seating is also available.
When I first ate at Pallet about 4 years ago, I instantly fell in love. The contemporary new American restaurant, located near downtown Salt Lake, offers a cozy, candlelit atmosphere with full flavored food that’s down right delicious. Due to the prices, it tends to be a once a year experience on my part, but that doesn’t hinder my unadulterated love for this local establishment.
Keep in mind the menu has changed several times since I started eating at Pallet, so some of the items discussed below may or may not be on the current menu.
To me, fresh peas scream summer time. When I saw pea gazpacho ($13) with Caputo’s burrata, carrots, grapes, and burnt lemon on the menu I had to try it. Expecting a dish similar to a cold soup, I was surprised to see something very different. It wasn’t soupy in the slightest. It actually reminded me more of a salad, which I loved. The accompanied carrots and grapes tasted pickled which added a pop of acidity to the creamy, umptious burrata. It was placed on a bed of what seemed like a pea puree. Fresh, balanced, and full of pea flavor, my summer time needs were completely met with this dish.
I’m pretty sure I could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When that pasta becomes homemade pappardelle with Lion’s Mane mushrooms, caper berries, and lemon-chive gremolata ($19), I know I could eat it for every meal. Even though I did need to ask for a bit of salt, (I think I have an over salted pallet) it was a simple, yet deeply flavored dish. The mushrooms, cooked perfectly, added a meaty, earthiness that contrasted beautifully with the briny caper berries and lemony gremolata. Showing true cooking technique, the pappardelle was prepared beautifully. It still had a nice chew without being overly toothsome.
If you are a scallops connoisseur, the scallops entree ($27) has been two thumbs up for my past experiences. While I haven’t eaten the current rendition of the dish with tomato, lentils, shoots, bacon, and artichoke, I can imagine it is just as tasty as my previous scallop eating endevours.
I’ve had boar at several restaurants and am usually left uninspired. So, when my husband decided to order the boar with chile verde, tortillas, and crema ($24) I was a bit hesitant. But oh man was I proven wrong. The boar was tender and full of flavor because of the chile verde. Placed on top of homemade tortillas, mixed with the crema and herbs, it was truly a memorable and drool worthy dish. In fact, it was the best dish of the night. Some might complain of it being on the salty side, but I love salty food, so my tastebuds weren’t complaining in the slightest.
A bit of a controversial dish was the bagna cauda ($11). A dip with boquerones, a European anchovy, served alongside spring vegetables and lavash was tasty but also had a strong anchovy flavor. So, if you’re not a big anchovy fan, I would suggest ordering something different. However, if you enjoy such flavors, the dip goes beautifully with the fresh and roasted vegetables as well as the lavash.
The Let Downs
This is a minor let down and it only comes from my deep, deep affection for french fries. When I first ate at Pallet I had the Truffle French Fries, now it’s called the Truffle Yukons. From what I remember, the former was french fries covered in grated cheese and other deliciousness served with the truffle aioli. They were some of the best fries I’ve had. While the flavors of the current rendition are very similar, the texture and size of the potatoes is different. While the dish is still tasty, I much prefer the old school fries to the updated bigger smashed potatoes. However, I would still suggest ordering the dish and making your own judgment.
Another relatively small critique involves the amount of smoke in the Comments from the Peanut Gallery ($9) dessert. Smoked chocolate pudding, graham cracker ice cream and peanut butter nougat ($9) resulted in a flavor profile that overwhelmed with smoke. I enjoy a bit of smokey flavor. In fact, I think it adds a uniqueness and depth that other ingredients can’t provide. But I also think smoke can be overdone and it certainly was in this case. The peanut butter nougat on the other hand was absolutely amazing. Peanuty, soft in texture, and a bit salty, I could just eat that for dessert. Or breakfast for that matter. Again, I would suggest trying this dish out and judging for yourself. I might be a little smoke sensitive.
Looking for a romantic, cozy restaurant that is perfect for a date night? Or a girl’s night out with plenty of artisan cocktails and soul satisfying appetizers? Go to Pallet. The service is guaranteed to be on point and the food almost always impresses. It’s a local restaurant that should be on your dinner go-to list from here on out.
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