Last night I was able to get a first look at Salt Lake City’s newest downtown restaurant, Current Fish and Oyster. And let me just tell you, it was impressive on many fronts.
Located on the newly redeveloped 300 South corridor at 279 East, Current adds big excitement to downtown Salt Lake City’s dining options. Until recently, Salt Lake City hasn’t had many great options for fresh seafood. Yes, we are a landlocked state, but that hasn’t stopped other great foodie cities from showcasing lovely dishes from the sea. Current’s Executive Chef, Logen Crew, is doing a wonderful job at “not recreating the wheel” (as he said), but really doing the basics well, and some with a new twist. Everyone involved in creating Current Fish and Oyster has put a lot of love (and money, with over one million spent on the build out) into filling a void in Salt Lake City’s seafood dining options. And they all get a big “thank you” from me!
The vibe of Current Fish and Oyster is one of “elegant grunge,” which is a perfect description; a warehouse feel, with warm lighting and white linen was welcoming and interesting. Current sidesteps the Edison light blub/wood pallet motif that many new restaurants have recently gone for. Their industrial skeleton actually makes for a beautiful and contemporary atmosphere, perfect for indulging in some grilled oysters, paired with one of their signature wine blends, created especially for Current. The “OFC Cab Sauv” was especially delightful.
So, let’s talk about Oysters: they have never been my favorite. I love seafood – especially mussels and scallops, but oysters just always took it a little too far for me. What I am realizing now, is that my experience in Salt Lake City with oysters might have been the problem. Also, raw vs grilled – it makes a big difference if you don’t think you are an oyster lover. Because Current touts their oysters as their specialty, we had to get them. However, we opted for the Grilled West Coast Oysters (with Caper Herb Butter $9) – hoping for a better experience than both of us had previously had with raw oysters. (All you oyster lovers, stop judging me now!)
Friends. <<Mind blown>> These oysters are like butter. The texture didn’t bother me in the least, and the flavor was out of this world. I might be the girl that is like “hey, let’s go for oysters and champagne” now. No, really. Let’s go.
We also started off with the Smoky Clam Dip (with house-made chips, chives and sour cream $9). Also excellent! Not too heavy, not too smokey, and while it was rich — the portion was perfect and there was no ‘overdoing’ it. My only complaint with this dish was that I wish the clams were highlighted in more of a chunky and less pureed way. I wanted to know I was biting into a fresh clam! We also tried the Potato Dumplings (spinach, curried golden raisins, almonds, goat cheese $10). These little puppies were delightful and the hint of curry made them super interesting and surprising. Definitely many layers of flavor in this dish.
We were off to a great start – so naturally, it was time for more cocktails! Current has a great list of house-made, artisan cocktails that pair well with their seafood theme. As you can see, making a choice wasn’t easy. In the end, we went with the Brown Derby (bourbon, honey water, grapefruit $9) and the Fish House Punch (cognac, rum, brandy, English tea $11). Both were great, but we really enjoyed the tea flavor and mild sweetness of the Fish House Punch (shown below on the right).
The entree list is pretty impressive, and it was hard to decide. However, since the theme of the night was seafood, we decided to stick with it. But, would the scallops be cooked perfectly? Would the consistency of the cheesy grits be velvety smoothy? Yes. Yes they would! Pictured below: Pan Seared Diver Scallops (carrot ginger broth, snow peas, beech mushrooms $26) and Gulf Prawns and White Cheddar Grits (bacon, crimini mushrooms, green onion, bbq sauce $25).
And then, there was dessert, of course. One light and one rich – both of these desserts did our sweet tooth a lot of good. Pictured: Mezzo Chocolate Pot de Creme (dehydrated champagne mousse, roasted white chocolate, creme fraiche, fried sage $8) and Honey Tart (creme de casis, malted anglaise, black current sorbet $8). If you just skipped over those ingredients, please take a minute to read them. That is art, folks!
Beautiful dishes, with great flavor.
What I really loved about everything that we ordered is that everything was incredibly satisfying without being overbearing. The seafood was perfectly cooked and was well showcased. And, while there was hearty flavor, nothing left us feeling heavy or as though we ate too much. On the opposite hand, lighter dishes still left us completely satisfied. That is a hard line to walk, especially when ordering multiple plates. The portioning was great, the price point was spot on for the quality of food, and did I mention our service was outstanding? For a soft opening, our server was SO well educated on each dish, cocktail, wine selection, and dessert. It was as though Current Fish and Oyster had been in operation for quite a while. I was really impressed!
Also, this is one of those new Salt Lake City joints that just makes me happy to live here. This place is really, really cool. 🙂
Check out Current for yourself at 300 South 259 East…and don’t forget to order the grilled oysters!
Find them HERE on Facebook.
Categories: Restaurant Reviews