Saturday, January 29, 2011

Michelangelo Ristorante in Salt Lake City

Good news for the original Michelangelo Ristorante fans from 10 years ago - the original cooks are baaaack! And the food is fabulous (...again)! It was always about the food. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a little history.

Michelangelo used to be in an old dark basement space in Sugarhouse run by real Italians from Naples with heavy accents. Back then, loud drama would ensue in the kitchen almost every night, like in the Soprano's. Once the chef even stormed out of the kitchen to scold hubby for requesting parmesan with his pasta vongole! Like all of Michelangelo's die-hard fans, we put up with the weird atmosphere - immigrant-chic, white linens, plastic flowers - and volatile service because the food was exceptional. It was the only place to get authentic Italian dishes (in Salt Lake City) with no compromises. When they moved to their new location three years ago, we were shocked and disappointed to discover new cooks producing mediocre food.

Well, tonight we came back for the first time in three years (new location) to learn that the old cooks (the same Italians from way back) are back and the food is AMAZING! (Fyi, no more crazy drama ;) The prices are ridiculous for how good the food is. 

Focaccia - Fluffy, buttery and airy, good balsamic and tasty oil.
Caesar Salad, romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, freshly made caesar dressing, extra anchovies, $5.95 - Straight up, fork-tossed Caesar, intensely flavorful, extra yolky and garlicky. (I don't even like croutons and these croutons are fab. I don't normally order Caesars either.)

Carpaccio Di Carne, thinly sliced filet mignon, arugula, parmesan, lemon oil dressing, $9.95 - Perfectly balanced, intensely flavorful, so light.
Asparagi, asparagus, truffle oil, fried egg, parmesan, $8.95 - Decadent, rich, fabulous, ah the truffleness. You gotta order this.
Spaghetti Michelangelo, spaghetti pasta, olive oil, garlic, arugula, parmesan, $9.95 - Al dente perfection, extra seared garlic. Added red pepper flakes and a dash of salt. Love it.
Pear Ravioli, pear and goat cheese raviolis, butter truffle oil sauce, $11.95 - Heavenly, omg, omg, dish ever. 
Panna Cotta, $4.95 - Fini.

Michelangelo Ristorante
(801) 466-0961
3005 Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Michelangelo Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 27, 2011

chefdance 2011 - Michael Chow

The famous Michael Chow of Mr. Chow restaurants shows up in style for his snazzy Monday night Chefdance dinner that was packed with celebrities. Everything about that night was fabulous, complete with Chinese style family platters of lobsters, filet mignon, drunken fish and even a live hand pulled noodle show.
The gorgeous Mimi Kim and Kenny Griswold present Michael Chow with the first ever Chefdance Legend Award. The crowd goes wild when Mr. Chow takes the mic to speak, showing off his impressive movie buffness.
Water Dumplings. So juicy, so delicate, so fabulous!  Fresh sole, pork.
Vegetarian noodles and water chesnut sauce.

Ma Mignon. Crunchy garlicky peppercorn crust, extra peppery sauce, omg.
Wheat Berries and Brown Rice, a la fried rice...? Unbelievable flavors and textures.
Cauliflower. Colors were spectacular. Classic thick and saucy.
Drunken Fish and Fungus. Beijing style, thick and saucy.
Hand Pulled Noodle show with cameras rolling. Like a cowboy lasso and sleight of hand magic show, starting with a blob of dough and turning into a million long noodle strands. So fast, so much skill, so old school. Mr. Chow's exec noodle chef pulls off a sick performance!
Main Lobster and Mr Chow Hand Pulled Noodles. Like Chinese wedding banquet style, platters and platters of bright orange lobsters flooded the room. Finger lickin'. And those noodles. Omg, those fresh hand pulled noodles.
Belvedere Dynasty - Chinese 5 spice, magnolia oolong, meyer lemon, Belvedere, cashew lollipop, pairing by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. This was too much, over the top, absolutely decadent, so intense, spectacular drink.
xoxo Lisa

...for MORE beautiful delicious Chefdance 2011 and bits of Sundance, click on:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

chefdance 2011 - Jared Young and Billy Sotelo

Closing Night Chefdance 2011 was INCREDIBLE! Dinner by Chefs Jared Young and Billy Sotelo of La Salle Restaurant Group in Salt Lake City. Start off with cocktail pairings by Snake Oil Cocktail Company.

Bevedere Filament - blood orange & fig soda, house-made vanilla bean bitters, Belvedere, Hennessey brandied cherries.
And a virgin version ;)
Amuse: Saffron Poached Pear, toasted brioche, crispy prosciutto, triple cream. Perfectly stacked, adorable and so darn good.
First: Shrimp Tower, potato cylinder, cauliflower puree, sherry wine sauce. Loved everything about this, the dense rock shrimp, the crunchy noodle, juicy peas...
Second: Rabbit Tenderloin, butternut squash, kale, pine nuts.  Hearty, heavy and heavenly in every way.
Third: Beef Wellington, foie gras, asparagus, port wine sauce. I'm a big foie lover. Rich, rich, rich and fabulous!
Vegetarian Tofu, Squash, Zucchini (...of course for hubby!). Like a cubist portrait, vibrant and geometric.
Dessert: cobbler, sorbet, crisp, DIE for. A pimped out classic.
Mimi Kim and Kenny Griswold introduce Chefs Jared Young and Billy Sotelo! Yay!
For more of my Sundance Chefdance, click on: