We asked, you answered and the votes have been tallied. Utah Business is happy to announce the winners of the 2010 Corporate Cuisine Awards. Your responses to our 12 culinary categories highlight Utah’s array of mouth-watering dining establishments. But beyond tempting our palates, your responses showed that these restaurants play an integral part of Utah’s business core. Whether examining documents with colleagues during lunch or schmoozing clients during dinner, there’s no denying that eating out and doing business go hand-in-hand. From the power breakfast to the late-night cocktails, Utah’s restaurants continually go beyond good eats to providing thoughtful service and an atmosphere prime for business.
Best Power Breakfast, Lamb’s Grill Cafe
Unique food item: Finnan Haddie, a smoked fish product that’s been on Lamb’s menu for many, many years. Served for every meal, especially breakfast.
Most popular breakfast dish: Eggs Benedict
“[Lamb’s Grill Cafe] is one of the few things that’s still left from that long gone era. I think if nothing else [Lamb’s is unique] because of the longevity and the fact that we’ve been here so long. We continue to provide an excellent product at a reasonable price. We try not to raise our prices in spite of everything that’s going on. We keep the price at a place where people can keep coming back. That’s the old tried-and-true formula.”
-- John Speros, Owner
Best Ethnic Restaurant, Tucanos Brazilian Grill
Unique food item: Rotisserie style meat cut and served at the table or beans and rice with chopped up chunks of pork and beef.
Most popular item: Grilled pineapple or top sirloin steak made from Brazilian meat, rubbed with rock salt and seared over the grill.
“We make everything here from scratch. All of our salads are hand made every day, all of our soups and mashed potatoes, too. All of the marinades we mix together. Everything is our recipe, it’s not something that we just ordered. The prices here are affordable and kids six and under eat free—that’s a hidden secret a lot of our guests don’t know. It’s a great family atmosphere or corporate atmosphere.”
-- Nicole Huntington, General Manager Salt Lake City
Best Business Catering, Cuisine Unlimited Catering & Special Events
Unique Food Item: The 100-mile menu, meant to support the Utah’s Own program was created out of respect for local farmers and agriculture while maintaining a menu that is seasonal and diverse.
Most popular item: caviar gazpacho
“We are retooling our operations to become more earth-friendly. Recycling of aluminum, glass and plastic has become standard practice. We are sourcing alternatives to water served in plastic bottles, serving in glass whenever possible or using green disposables. We recycle all cooking oil, and using cleaning products that are safe for the environment. We recently upgraded our dishwashing system to conserve and recycle water. All paper within our company is used front and back before recycling, cutting paper consumption by 30 percent.”
-- Maxine Turner, Owner
Best Kept Secret, Madeline’s Steakhouse
Unique Food Item: A gluten-free menu with everything from salads, stakes, fish and desserts, all homemade recipes.
Most popular item: Steak and all you can eat snow crab, prime rib slow roasted for eight hours or raspberry halibut—Alaskan halibut grilled in a hazelnut crust and served over raspberry sauce.
“Madeline, our daughter, has special needs and was diagnosed with epilepsy very early in her life … originally when she was diagnosed they thought it would be degenerative and she probably wouldn’t live past her teens. We named our restaurant after her and it gives us a purpose. Madeline [13 years old] comes in all the time now. It’s great for her and great for the family. She answers the phone ‘my restaurant.’ As soon as she’s 16 she’s going to be opening the front door and taking care of guests—when that time comes.”
-- Adam Wheaton, Owner and President
Best Meeting and Event Venue, The Grand America Hotel
Something Unique: The staff. Although The Grand America Hotel is only nine years old, it has many employees who work dual roles at both Grand and Little America who have been with the company for 15 or more years.
Most popular item: Grand America Bread Pudding. A vanilla and cinnamon custard is baked with croissants pieces and topped off with a butter rum sauce.
“Mr. and Mrs. Holding felt that Salt Lake City deserved to have this wonderful property built to accommodate the jet-set travelers or a family weekend getaway, as well as the large convention or local non-profit fundraiser. There is such a tremendous amount of effort that goes into conducting an event and everyone plays an important role from beginning to end. We enjoy the diversity of many cultures throughout the hotel and this brings a whole new aspect to teamwork with over eight different languages spoken in the Banquet Kitchen alone.”
--Cariann Layton, Director of Catering and Convention Services
Best Hotel Restaurant, Little America Hotel
Unique food item: The escargot appetizer, baked in garlic butter and topped with Swiss cheese.
Most popular item: Grilled Halibut, topped with shrimp and lemon butter sauce, or the L.A. rib eye steak marinated in tangy barbeque sauce, or the executive luncheon buffet with a carving station, barbeque spare ribs and roasted turkey, fresh fish and more than 15 salad bar items including shrimp.
“Little America restaurants have a certain atmosphere that appeals to many people that have been coming here for generations. We have a large local following and our customers feel at home in both of our restaurants. The personalized service and home cooked food brings them back for more. Our food in both the coffee shop and dining room is based on comfort food and cooked from scratch every day. Customers know what to expect when the come to Little America and they get it every time.”
--Bernhard Götz, Executive Chef
Best Cocktails, The Red Door
Unique food item: Extensive martini menu, including high octane, medium octane and decadent martinis.
Most popular decadent martini: Cocaine Lady, a desserty cream martini, with a little amaretto, kahlua and Bailey's Irish cream, making a sweet, fun drink.
“We try to utilize a lot of different flavors in our martinis. Different types of fruit liquors, fresh fruit, juices and unique garnishes that go on or with the drinks. The ambiance and feel gives a laid back, chill atmosphere that’s also inviting. Different types of people feel comfortable here whether you’re going out to the opera or to the baseball game.”
-- Louise Hannig, Proprietor
Best Coffee Break, Beans and Brews
Unique beverage: The Grasshopper, a creamy mint frappe with real Ghirardelli chocolate chips, is a new summer drink.
Most Popular Item: The Mr. B’s is the most popular drink. It’s a frozen latte with Ghirardelli white cocoa and Irish cream flavoring.
“Beans & Brews was built on an unwavering commitment to quality. We have a wide variety of drinks to match the diverse culture of the Salt Lake Valley, and many of our drinks are proprietary and unique to Beans & Brews. We have 18 locations across the Salt Lake Valley, so our customers can always conveniently find their favorite drink nearby. Yet we are still a locally owned coffee house chain, so each location has its own local feel to it.”
-- Jeff Laramie, Founder
Best Steak, Spencer’s
Unique Food Item: A toss-up between their classic coffee-and-donuts-combo, kahlua crème brulee with homemade donuts, or the sweet balsamic vinaigrette, made from scratch and used on salads and appetizers.
Most Popular Item: USDA prime filet mignon
“We source our steaks as locally as possible. We buy natural steaks from top ranches with cattle raised to the highest specifications, with prime and natural grades. The number one thing people come here for is steak, so we do periodic tastings of our steaks to see where they need to be. By cooking them in an 1800 degree broiler and giving them a quick sear, it keeps the juices where they need to be, which is inside the steak.”
-- Scott Stanfield, General Manager
Best Business Lunch, The New Yorker
Unique Food Item: Premium steak entrees are Certified Angus Beef-Natural, the “natural” component ensuring the cattle used have never been treated with antibiotics or steroids and have only been fed a vegetarian diet.
Most Popular Item: The 9 oz. filet mignon with a gorgonzola crust or the wild Alaskan salmon.
“Our restaurant encompasses quality ingredients and attentive service. We offer different types of dining experiences for every customer. So whether you want to grab a quick bite to eat at our granite bar or enjoy the sophisticated casual atmosphere of our café or even a private dining room, the choice is yours. We have a wine cellar where we store about 1,200 bottles. Our award-winning wine list includes 185 selections and 18 wines by the glass. On top of that we never charge a corkage fee if you want to bring in your own bottle of wine.”
-- Will Pliler, General Manager
Best Company Party Venue, Log Haven
Unique Food Item: Fried halibut cheeks with Uinta Beer batter and tartar sauce.
Most Popular Item: Grilled bison bavette steak with warmed mushroom salad, roasted fingerling potatoes, and rosemary-red wine aioli.
“We are in a historic log mansion, built in 1920, and located in a national forest just minutes from Salt Lake. We are located on 40 acres of private mountain land. Guests enjoy a waterfall patio in the summer and ass-through fireplaces in the winter and beautiful mountain scenery. Since our opening and renovation in 1994, Log Haven has been consistently honored with national and local awards in the industry.”
-- Margo Provost, Owner
Best Place to Impress, The Roof
Unique Food Item: Twenty different buffet-style desserts surrounding a clear acrylic piano.
Most Popular Item: Toss-up between chilled jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce, chicken cordon bleu, prime rib or crème brulee.
“The many choices of gourmet food options on the buffet is impressive to our guests. The service, live piano music and spectacular view all make your dining experience very special. Windows surround the three-tiered restaurant so every table has an incredible view. No matter where you are seated, you can see out the windows.”
-- Lauri Pickett, General Manager
Best Business Casual, Market Street Grill
Unique Food Item: Award-winning clam chowder made daily from scratch.
Most Popular Item: Fresh halibut
“We get our fish and oysters flown in fresh on Delta airlines. We pick it up at least four times a week. We serve different varieties of oysters every day. What separates us is we get our seafood flown in fresh and the volume of halibut we serve. Halibut is fresh through November and we are the nation’s largest provider of halibut. We pride ourselves in offering a diverse menu with exceptional service. We are one of the few restaurants still offering soup or salad as part of the entrée price instead of a la carte.”
-- Will Keesen, General Manager - Downtown