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The success of Current has led to the recent opening of Under Current Club, an oyster bar adjacent to the restaurant. Both Current and Under Current Club seek to evoke upscale seafood bars from across the country, and become a reason in itself for diners to go out, rather than a waypoint en route to another event.
“We picked items from around the country, so we could give people a taste of seafood from all around the continent, really,” LaSalle says. “We want this to be a destination.”
Ruth’s Chris Salt Lake
275 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Best Place to Impress
60 W. Market Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Best Business Lunch
680 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
6405 S. 3000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84121
Though many people believe Café Trio is named after owner Mikel Trapp’s 15-year-old triplets, it’s actually named for its three original partners. However, Trapp considers the name a happy coincidence. “When I bought [the restaurant] and I had triplets, I thought, ‘This has got to be a good thing for me.’ I thought it was good karma,” he says.
Good karma or not, Trapp has made the restaurant a staple in downtown Salt Lake City for the last 11 years, with enough popularity to open a second location in Cottonwood Heights just one year after he purchased the first location in 2004.
When it comes to lunch, Café Trio’s salads can’t be beat, says Trapp. The restaurant is especially known for its cobb salad, which is topped with a fennel vinaigrette. Paninis are also a popular menu item, particularly the trio club, which has been a mainstay since the beginning and boasts house-made focaccia, smoked bacon, house-roasted chicken, basil pesto, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and creamy fontina cheese. And there are also a variety of pizzas on the menu—the one with roasted garlic has been known to induce labor in more than one pregnant woman.
“We change a lot of salads and sandwiches with the seasons,” Trapp says. “We have mainstays on the menu which guests have enjoyed over the years like our pomodoro pasta and our lemon chicken salad, but we like to introduce seasonal preparations as well. We don’t change the whole menu, but we do change 30 to 35 percent of it each season, which keeps things fresh and exciting.”
Both restaurants portray contemporary settings and the downtown location has “one of the best patios in Salt Lake,” according to Trapp. The downtown location was recently remodeled to include a softer color palette, and the Cottonwood location will soon be following suit.
Market Street Grill
48 W. Market Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
2985 E. Cottonwood Pkwy., Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
10702 S. River Front Pkwy., South Jordan, UT 84095
Fresh seafood can be hard to come by in a landlocked state like Utah, but that’s not the case at Market Street Grill, a restaurant that’s carved a niche in the seafood arena for more than three decades along the Wasatch Front.
The original Market Street Grill, in downtown Salt Lake City, was once home of The New York Hotel—a building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places—built in 1906 and considered one of Salt Lake’s finest luxury hostelries. The hotel eventually fell into disrepair and was condemned by the city, but in the mid-1970s, it underwent an extensive remodel and became the center for the New Yorker Restaurant in 1978 and Market Street Grill in 1980. In 1981, another sister restaurant, the Market Street Oyster Bar, opened. Since then, two other Market Street Grill locations in Cottonwood Heights and South Jordan have opened.
“Delta flies in fresh seafood daily—mostly halibut and salmon—from the Pacific,” says Fred Boutwell, general manager of Market Street’s Cottonwood location. “When we built the Cottonwood location in 2000, we put a fish commissary in where we do all the fish cutting. We do all of our own butchering here, and we also make the base for our famous chowder here and all of our cocktail, tarter and dill sauces. All of our restaurants order from us and then we ship it out to them the next day.”
Boutwell says Market Street is known for its simple, real seafood dishes, and those are the most popular. “We don’t make fancy things,” he says. “It’s all about our halibut, salmon and ahi tuna. We purchase well and we don’t turn seafood that is old into seafood pasta and cover it up with a sauce. We don’t serve old seafood, and that’s the difference. [Our owners are] willing to have higher food costs to make sure guests get the freshest piece of seafood they can on their plates.”