This is a good one, folks!
Bistro 222 recently opened its doors, and I am certainly glad that they did. Located at 222 Main Street, this beautiful and welcoming restaurant is a great new addition to the Salt Lake food scene. Several of my favorite local food supporter friends and I decided to get together and check it out last week. After unique and beautiful appetizers, hearty and flavorful entrees, and creative and house-made desserts, the census of everyone at our table was overwhelming satisfied. (And seriously, we are a hard bunch to please). Bistro 222 offers a full bar, an 80 bottle wine list, and a seasonal contemporary American menu. Chef Michael Jewell has had success in the Bay Area, furthered his culinary horizions in Europe, and most recently at Wasatch Brewery and Toscano Italian Bistro. You can read more about him here. Bistro 222 also has a great atmosphere – modern and warm; we enjoyed the fact that in our group of six, we could all hear each other talk.
During our visit, we had a wide range of dishes. We started with a few appetizers – Mushroom Bruschetta (crimini and oyster mushrooms, house ricotta, tomato-herb jam, on country bread $8.00), Calamari (avocado, wasabi-yuzu aioli $9.00), and the chef also delivered Chicken Liver Patè (toasted country bread, pickled raisins $8.00). The calamari was probably my favorite of the appetizers. It was truly a unique take on the traditional calamari. The breading was so light, and complimenting the squid with avocado, heirloom tomatoes, and pickled onions added flavor and texture. Also, the wasabi-yuzu aioli was delicious – while it was actually integrated into the dish (rather than served as a dipping sauce), there was a perfect amount; nothing became soggy or over-saturated. The mushroom bruschetta was also flavorful and interesting. I am not a big fan of chicken liver anything, but I really enjoyed the country bread as well as the yellow raisins that came along with the chicken liver patè dish.
Entrees came next, of course…and they were all delightful and different. We ordered – Roasted Beet Gnocchi (browned butter, brussel sprouts, fets, mushroom, pecans $17), Short Rib Lasagna (pomodoro, house-made ricotta, mozzarella $19), Saffron Pappardelle (scallops, shrimp, clams, sea bass, spicy tomato broth $19), and the Pan Seared Scallops (full vegetable succotash, popcorn grits, bacon dressing $23).
The beet gnocchi was a lovely dish – full of just as many delicious vegetables as gnocchi. Gnocchi can sometimes be gummy and heavy, but this gnocchi had great texture. The short rib lasagna was also a favorite – the short rib really added new flavor to a classic dish. Three people at our table ordered the short rib lasagna and each of them loved it. The scallps, as well as the pappardelle, were also well-received. The house-made noodles took those dishes to the next level.
And we can’t forget dessert! A big thank you to Bistro 222 manager, Miles, who took such great care of us and delivered these wonderful desserts to our table. The Pot o’ Creme, Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with Berry Geleè, and Chocolate Cake with Carmel (or was it Toffee?) Ice Cream and Popcorn were all fabulous and house-made. House-made is a big deal, as so many restaurant outsource their desserts. It was nice to have something fresh, right from the Bistro 222 kitchen. Desserts are not listed on the menu, as they change depending on what sounds most delicious to the chef that evening! Love it!
Thank you, Bistro 222, for such a great night! The food and service were excellent and I can’t wait to get back and try more items on your menu. Also, a big thank you to Tiffany, Caroline, Paula, V, and Kelli for great company – you ladies are the best and I am grateful to call you friends. There is nothing better than a great meal shared with great people.
Try Bistro 222 for lunch or dinner and make sure to keep an eye out, as a new brunch menu will be coming soon!