Best Restaurant (Park City)
Talisker on Main
Must order: If you don’t spring for the famous tasting menu, be sure you get the fried chicken.
Chef Briar Handly continues his run as the star of Main Street, the genius in the kitchen at Talisker on Main. His energy is unbelievable: He works constantly, seeking out local food products, making his own charcuterie, maintaining a rooftop garden on a building next door to the restaurant. Beyond that, his inventiveness is boundless. Witness the chef’s tasting menu, course after course of dishes like no other. 515 Main St., Park City, 435-658-5479
Best Restaurant (SLC)
The Copper Onion
Who would ever believe: Salt Lake has an appetite for bone marrow. But it’s one of the best sellers at Copper Onion.
For a place that started out as everyone’s favorite, it’s hard to improve. But that’s what Ryan and Colleen Lowder have done with Copper Onion. Delving ever deeper into the local Utah pantry, pushing the envelope with foods thought unsellable in Utah, and insisting on seasonality in everything, including the wine list, Copper Onion has become at once a more serious and a more enjoyable restaurant since it opened. 111 E. Broadway, SLC, 801-355-3282
Our unlikely favorite: The butter lettuce salad is a whole head smothered in green chile–gorgonzola dressing with pears and pumpkin seeds.
Taqueria 27 guacamole may be made with tomato, onion, cilantro and lime, like you’re used to, but it might come with mango, jicama, serrano peppers and green onions. At T27, there’s more than one way to mash an avocado. Chef/owner Todd Gardiner cooked at Z’Tejas for years and developed a lot of ideas in that time, like queso fundido with housemade turkey chorizo. And tacos stuffed with duck confit. And a whole slew of tequilas. 1615 S. Foothill Dr., Ste. G, SLC, 385-259-0712
Best New Restaurant
What we love: You can enjoy an early supper, an after-theater bite and a full-on dinner, but best is a glass of wine and some of Elio Scanu’s carpaccio interpretations in Il Baldacchino.
On fine nights, request a table right on the cusp—under the roof but next to the opened wall. The gelato bar along one side and the bar, “Il Baldacchino,” curving into the middle of the room give Vivace a casual, chic and very Italian vibe, inviting you to dine or snack and to converse using lots of hand gestures.
308 W. Broadway, SLC, 801-328-3466