Faustina Restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City
I recently attended a blogger lunch at Faustina Restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City. (Faustina is one of LaSalle Restaurant Group’s dining establishments.*) While there we were treated to delicious fare from Chef Jared Young and Chef Billy Sotelo, the same chefs who recently won the title of Utah’s Ultimate Chefs and went on to impress attendees at this year’s ChefDance event during the Sundance Film Festival. It was an afternoon of great food and great conversation (more on the conversation in a later post).
I had never eaten at Faustina, so I visited their site to learn a bit more about this downtown restaurant:
When we decided to create this place for you, our goal was to warmly welcome you into our home for a relaxing experience where the food is comfortable but exquisite, the surroundings beautiful but efficient and the hospitality upbeat yet genuine.
“Comfortable but exquisite” food was definitely on the menu that day. As we meeted and greeted, we enjoyed an antipasta platter and fruit & cheese platter along with focaccia bread, garlic-infused olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Oh, and all the chilled Diet Coke I could drink. It was pretty much appetizer heaven.
Once everyone arrived and we were all seated, we inhaled sampled one of Faustina’s signature dishes: Smoked Sanoma Chicken Salad. I’d have left happy even if that was all they’d served. Not kidding. You can actually order this as an entree, which I will be doing next time I visit.
Next up was Crispy Fried Calamari with cocktail aioli. It was so good I even ate the pieces that actually looked like squid. (Usually I only eat the rings and save the wiggly guys for Nathan.)
Now, I can’t give the San Francisco Style Cioppino a true review because I’m not a seafood lover, but I will say the broth, tomatoes, spinach and shrimp in this soup were tasty. (The broth made a great dipping sauce for the baguette topped with roasted garlic and olive oil.) I can’t vouch for how the other sea creatures swimming in this classic fish stew tasted, but everyone who sampled the soup thoroughly enjoyed it.
Time for the main course. By this time I wished I’d worn pants with a little more stretch! The plate of Roasted Beef Tenderloin Medallions was one of my favorite dishes along with the aforementioned Smoked Sonoma Chicken Salad. I could not get enough of the glaze and the perfectly cooked potatoes. The meat was tender and flavorful—simply perfect!
As far as aesthetics, the Grilled Lamb Chops were my favorite. I oohed and aahed over the celery root chips, especially when the sunlight hit them just right. But although the lamb was good, I definitely preferred the beef tenderloin.
Good thing Chef Young (left) and Chef Sotelo (right) came out and chatted with us for a while about the dishes and their experience at ChefDance, otherwise we might not have had room for dessert.
Who am I kidding? There’s always room for dessert especially when it’s Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Soup…a sort of creamy vanilla custard topped sitting in a strawberry soup and topped with fresh strawberries and finely chopped pistachios.
I loved Faustina‘s simple yet chic decor and its location (454 East 300 South).
I later discovered they have a lunch menu as well. The only problem is deciding what to try first, the Steak Sandwich, Chipotle Burger or Grilled Vegetable Panini? Decisions, decisions!
454 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Monday – Friday: 11:00 – 3:00pm
Monday – Thursday: 4:30 – 9:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 4:30 – 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00 – 9:00pm