by Josh Rosenthal
Sometimes we don’t learn from the past. What great restaurants don’t have rough beginnings? I remember when Copper Onion first opened and the general consensus was, “too much salt!” Now, many on the too much salt train rave about the greatness of Copper Onion. I think/hope a few months from now the naysayers of Pallet will put this, one of the most stunning dining rooms in Salt Lake, on their top ten restaurants list.
We had dined at Pallet once before for lunch, but this time we went to try their summer menu. There’s great seasonal produce and seafood to choose from. When we walked in we could smell the fresh seafood. And their portions of meat we’re small and light (in a good way), perfect for summer dining on a patio.
We brought our own Tempranillo the night we dined at Pallet. Why? Becky and I review a lot of restaurants and sometimes, sadly, it just feels like work. We had been to a few other restaurants in the past week so I wanted this one to feel like a date night by doing something a little different. I’m not sure if my Tempranillo was the best wine pairing out there, but let’s just say I won’t have my sommelier certification any time soon.
The food is, well, the food is worth it – light and fresh, creative and simple. The chef went to the farmer’s market that morning and designed the specials with the fresh produce in mind.
I mean no disrespect whatsoever to the chef, but even if the food was awful I could sit in that room all evening in awe of the design detail. How detailed is the design? The design-hungry patron could spend hours in the bathroom admiring the work, a place usually left by the wayside in the design expense category. As Salt Lake continues to grow in it’s attention to food, I hope the restaurant owners will take a page out of Pallet’s book of vibe. Amazing.
Our scallops we’re so fresh and light, not overly sauced, served over black rice studded with bright red cherries. Pallet chooses quality ingredients and really allows the natural flavor to come through their dishes.
If you’ve been dissatisfied with Pallet, give it some time to settle in. It would be ideal if every new business could be great from day one and have all the kinks worked out in their service, menu and operations. If we demand local, we’ve got to allow it be local, which means sometimes it doesn’t our feed consumer-driven-make-this-right-or-else attitude. Pallet will be great if it’s not great already. If you were dissatisfied, go back and try again. We will certainly go back. And when we do we’ll be ordering their deconstructed cheesecake again!
Here is our first review of Pallet for lunch.