Fresco. Oh Fresco. If you’ve ever asked me the million dollar question about what my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake City is, I probably first looked at you a bit overwhelmed. Then I probably listed off five to ten of my favorite restaurants, not limiting it to just one favorite. Why? Because I believe that you must get to know a person before you recommend something to them. What I like may not be the thing you would like best. Keeping that in mind, if you must know my favorite restaurant, I’ll tell you. Fresco Italian Cafe won my heart the first time I went. Josh and I have been going there for a while and every time it’s been beyond good. We constantly compare meals in other cities to what we’ve tasted at Fresco and not much has compared. I was thrilled to hear that Fresco won Best Restaurant this year in the Salt Lake Magazine Dining Awards so I thought it timely to share with you why why I love Fresco so.
The setting of Fresco is simple, nothing frilly or extravagant, just a few tables and chairs in a charming setting. The Cafe hides between the book store and a gallery in an historic neighborhood of the city. A small sign framed in green vines will lead us to the front door, where the aroma of divine flavors await. Even if we don’t get seated immediately, we can order a cocktail (the ginger martini is my favorite) and wander around the quaint little bookstore next door, The King’s English. Just walking around the bookstore will make me fall in love with our city all over again. Then, THEN we sit down in a cozy dining room to enjoy a meal which we know we will savor every bite of.
Fresco is a special occasion restaurant for us. We don’t go often. When we go we are not trying to save money. We usually order an appetizer and dessert to share with our meal and maybe some cocktails or wine as well. Their menu seems to change every time we visit but we always find gnocchi somewhere on the list. It used to be served as an appetizer but is now under their pastas, but either way you can’t go wrong. They perfectly create their gnocchi, tender and chewy, served in a creamy sauce alongside earthy wild mushrooms.
And for dessert… I could lie and say I don’t want any or am too full but Josh and I’ve been married long enough for him to know that I would leave a bit sad if I didn’t have a little decadence to end the evening. Upon our last visit, we chose the Chocolate Almond Crema, a custard-like dessert topped with whipped cream, chocolate almond cookie crumbs and candied almonds. We literally had to draw a line down the middle of the dessert so that we wouldn’t smuggle a bite over to the wrong side. You can bet that if a creamy, pudding-like dessert resides on the dessert list, it will be the one I choose over cake or cheesecake any-day. And this one specifically prevailed as a delicious choice.
So now you know…. Fresco is my favorite in Salt Lake. Now, I must know yours?!!