Salt Lake Magazine HomeContestDan Nailen's Lounge ActDealsGetawayGlen Warchol's CrawlerIn The HiveIn The MagazineKid FriendlyMary's RecipeOn the TableOutdoorsPC LifeShop TalkUncategorizedThu, 18 Dec 2014 12:05:30 +0000Five for the Road<p class="p1">As you prep for the weekend, here are <a href="/blog/tag/five-for-the-road/">five things</a> to eat, see, do and think about.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>On the Table:</strong> <a href="/blog/2014/12/16/slmags-holiday-lunch-at-jwongs/">Holiday Lunch at J. Wong’s</a></p> <p class="p1"><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/jwongsrib.jpg" width="490"></p> <p class="p1">Who wants sugar plums when you can have J. Wong’s pork belly buns?</p> <p class="p2"><strong>A&amp;E:</strong> <a href="/blog/2014/12/16/review-lower-lights/">Lower Lights</a></p> <p class="p2"><img alt="" height="355" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/kids2.jpg" width="490"></p> <p class="p1">It’s not the MoTabs, so shake and shimmy! </p> <p class="p2"><strong>Talker</strong>: <a href="/blog/2014/12/18/the-challenge-of-marriage-equality-as-good-drama/">The challenge of marriage equality as good drama</a></p> <p class="p2"><img alt="" height="401" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/marry-christmas.jpg" width="490"></p> <p class="p3">While <em>Marry Christmas</em> at Plan-B Theatre, presented as a stage reading, may be more important as an artifact of history than anything else, marriage equality dramas, at least in their present form, are not destined to be part of the the permanent repertoire.</p> <p class="p2"><strong>Dan Nailen’s Lounge Act:</strong> <a href="/blog/2014/12/18/dan-nailens-lounge-act-free-tunes-friday/">Free Tunes Friday</a></p> <p class="p2"><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/thedevilwhale.jpg" width="490"></p> <p class="p1">Local rockers The Devil Whale are hosting a free show at The Urban Lounge.</p> <p class="p2"><strong>Sundance: </strong><a href="/blog/2014/12/17/sundance-our-critics-game-plans/">Critics’ Game Plan</a></p> <p class="p2"><img alt="" height="194" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/egyptian.jpg" width="259"></p> <p class="p2">No matter how fast you jump shuttles, you can’t see ‘em all.</p>Jaime WinstonThu, 18 Dec 2014 12:05:30 +0000 The HiveMary&#39;s Recipe: New Year&#39;s and Christmas Eve cheers<p>‘Tis the season for celebrations. Champagne cocktails offer a festive way to toast each and every one.</p> <p><strong>IN VOGUE... AGAIN</strong></p> <p>The champagne cocktail proves the classics never go out of style. Good sparkling wine can make a celebration out of any occasion. The current vogue for cocktails has revived interest in the champagne cocktail, and new versions of this classic are on bar menus all over Utah.</p> <p><img alt="" height="563" src="/site_media/uploads/December2013/holidaycheers1212.jpg" width="500"></p> <p><strong>The Classic Champagne Cocktail Recipe</strong>:</p> <p>3 oz. champagne or sparkling wine <br>1/3 oz. cognac<br>2 dashes Angostura bitters <br>1 sugar cube <br><br>Place the sugar cube in a champagne glass. Saturate with Angostura bitters. Add champagne and cognac. Enjoy.</p> <p><strong>BUDGET BUBBLIES</strong></p> <p>Three wallet-friendly bubblies when concocting a champagne cocktail.<br><br>1. Gruet Winery in New Mexico makes several styles of sparkling wine, but the flagship is the Gruet Brut, NV, a crisp but complex, classic wine; food-friendly, but great alone and a deal at $14.99.<br><br>2.  Simonnet-Febvre produces several made in the methode champenoise but called Cremant de Bourgogne. One of my faves is the 100% pinot noir, with a food-friendly sturdiness sometimes lacking in less expensive bubblies. $18.99<br><br>3.  Gloria Ferrer’s newish sparkler, Va de Vi Ultra Cuvee, is slightly sweet at first sip, but the sugar fades immediately to a tart fruit flavor with a toasty backbone. $17.99</p> <p><em>This post was originally published on <a href=""></a>.</em></p>Mary Brown MaloufThu, 18 Dec 2014 11:18:20 +0000's RecipeOn the TableGetaway Highway 12: An All American Highway<p>Leaving the colorful, inverted canyon of Bryce National Park, more visual treasure unfolds down the road. Two state parks offer hiking, camping, vistas, visitor centers and perfect places for picnics.</p> <p><img alt="" height="368" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/kodachrome.jpg" width="490"> <br><span style="">First stop, </span><a href="" style="">Kodachrome Basin State Park,</a><span style=""> a mere 40 miles from Bryce. This park is so colorful that in 1949 a National Geographic expedition named it after the popular eponymous Kodak film. Sixty-seven weird and wonderful monolithic stone spires rise, like giant bowling pins, from the desert floor, so fanciful and fantastic, they beg to be climbed. Angel’s Palace Trail is a highlight that allows you to do just that: climb, explore the formations and gaze down upon the basin below. If you are a photographer, this is the spot for you, with sunset casting shadows a mile long. Take your time and a picture or two.</span></p> <p><span>Unlike national parks, Kodachrome allows biking on most of its trail system. Just be sure to yield to hikers and horses. Twenty-eight reservable campsites and three first-come-first-served sites fill up in summer but late in the season you are guaranteed a spot below the spires. It gets chilly when the sun sinks so be sure to have your winter layers handy. Lodging is available in Cannonville, nine miles away.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="368" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/petrified.jpg" width="490"></p> <p>Driving east an hour and a half brings you to <a href="">Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.</a> Established in 1963 on the shore of Wide Hollow Reservoir, this park’s name is nearly bigger than the site it describes. Though small in area, it is long on geology. Two short hiking trails take you through the heart of an ancient flood plain, where uprooted trees were buried in mud and preserved. Ground water leached minerals into the dead trees, replacing organic material with silica. Iron oxide created the orange, red and yellow colors in the petrified trees while white manganese oxide turned them purple, black and blue. Erosion has exposed this magic trick.</p> <p>There is so much petrified wood to see while you are hiking, you may forget to take a look at the view. Escalante lies over a bluff, the reservoir shimmers and sparkles in the sun while the breeze blows through majestic Cottonwood trees, providing a musical rustling to the day. Don’t be tempted to pocket a piece of this colorful stone—as legend says, misfortune will befall you.</p> <p>Twenty campsites are available year round, but facilities are closed during the winter. Lodging can be found two miles away in Escalante. Day use fee for these state parks is $8. If you are planning on getting away and discovering more of Utah, an annual Utah State Park Pass is $75 ($35 for 62 years of age or older).  </p>Salt Lake magazineThu, 18 Dec 2014 10:41:54 +0000 The HiveThe challenge of marriage equality as good drama<p><img alt="" height="401" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/marry-christmas.jpg" width="490"></p> <p><span style="">Among the many ways Utah's same-sex couples will likely celebrate their first wedding anniversary this weekend is by attending the <a href="">Plan-B Theatre</a> premiere of </span><span style=""><em>Marry Christmas</em></span><span style="">, a play by Elaine Jarvik documenting the recollections of a dozen couples who were married almost as soon as U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert was announced on Dec. 20, 2013.</span></p> <p><span style="">While the play, presented as a staged reading, may be more important as an artifact of history than anything else, marriage equality dramas, at least in their present form, are not destined to be a part of the permanent repertoire. Even in the well-written </span><span style=""><em>Marry Christmas</em></span><span style="">, an ensemble piece which synthesizes the actual words of a fairly large group of individuals and runs just about an hour, it can be difficult to focus on how characters are introduced, delineated and expressed for the purposes of sophisticated drama. Likewise, the real drama of courtroom activity reached a foregone conclusion, as Utah’s case ended anticlimactically in early October when the U.S. Supreme Court denied to certify the case for further appeal.</span></p> <p><span style=""><em>Marry Christmas</em></span><span style=""> (which already has sold out all four performances) caters to a specialized, undeniably committed audience, as all ticket proceeds are going to <a href="">Restore Our Humanity,</a> the group that coordinated the legal challenge to Utah’s Amendment 3 banning same-sex marriage. However, there is a merited question about whether plays like these can have the same lasting artistic value of many other original Plan-B productions, especially in inspiring audience members to see a topic, community or the world differently than when they first settled in their seats for the evening.</span></p> <p><span style="">Marriage equality, at the moment, does not seem to translate easily into complex, layered drama where the issues of advocacy are leavened with exploring contradictions, paradoxes and doubts. One of the Utah filmmakers who shot hundreds of hours of footage for a potential documentary about the state’s legal marriage battle recently explained they are stymied about how to make a decent cohesive film that does not come off as too judgmental or preachy as historical reenactment.</span></p> <p><span style="">Even talented writers such as Dustin Lance Black, who won the Academy Award for his exceptional screenplay about gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, have struggled. In </span><span style=""><em>8</em></span><span style="">, a play that also had a staged reading for Plan-B audiences during its development, Black constructed the script almost entirely from court transcripts of the Proposition 8 trial in California. The defense’s arguments for keeping a ban on same-sex marriage were picked clean of any merit during the actual proceedings. </span></p> <p><span style="">Black amplified the legal embarrassment and humiliation so aggressively, which certainly did much to stir the coffers for donations benefiting the cause of marriage equality but meanwhile failing to achieve the same dramatic impact of plays such as Moisés Kaufman’s </span><span style=""><em>The Laramie Project</em></span><span style="">, which focused on the aftermath of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 1998. Incidentally, Plan-B had the honor of offering that play’s first independent, regional production. </span></p> <p><span style="">Kaufman and actors from the <a href="">Tectonic Theater Project</a></span><span style=""> interviewed more than 200 people, some directly connected to the case and others who were residents of Laramie, and they probed huge amounts of archived reports, materials, correspondence and press reports. </span></p> <p><span style="">The resulting play was a collage of those experiences focusing on how the residents of this small town in Wyoming responded to a horrific crime that occurred so close to their community. Nearly 17 years after Shepard’s death, critics are beginning to explore just how works of art such as </span><span style=""><em>The Laramie Project</em></span><span style=""> might have influenced the pace at which supportive attitudes about gay rights have evolved. </span></p> <p><span style="">Jerry Rapier, Plan-B’s producing director, explained in a <a href="">blog post</a> earlier this year how the play inspired the theatre company to focus on the work of local playwrights, including plays focusing on issues of equality. </span></p> <p><span style="">He added: </span><span style="">"And in a world where it seems that a week can’t go by without another state embracing marriage equality, it may seem strange to say that LGBTQ voices need a platform. But there’s a lot of work to be done. Voices that have been ignored or silenced for generations will take time to reach their full strength. The very definition of socially conscious."</span></p> <p><span style="">In time the issue of marriage equality will not be challenging as it is now for the couples featured in </span><span style=""><em>Marry Christmas</em></span><span style="">. </span></p> <p><span style="">Last year, playwright Todd Kreidler adapted the story of the 1967 film </span><span style=""><em>Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner</em></span><span style="">, which exposed the hypocrisy of people posing as liberally minded intellectuals who could not abide the presence of interracial marriage in their own families. While the right to interracial marriage was settled constitutionally in Loving v. Virginia (1967), Kreidler’s play, set in the film’s period but with more details about the African-American characters and with a stronger emphasis on generational differences in social attitudes, pushes back against those who prematurely have proclaimed how the country has solved racism. </span></p> <p><span style="">Indeed, as we learn from ongoing court battles about marriage equality, the issues will long remain provocative and in time the benefit of history hopefully will guide artists and writers toward producing aesthetically worthy, socially conscious works about the topic.</span></p>Salt Lake magazineThu, 18 Dec 2014 09:26:43 +0000 The HiveDan Nailen&#39;s Lounge Act: Free tunes Friday<p><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/thedevilwhale.jpg" width="490"></p> <p><a href="">DEVIL WHALE OF A CHRISTMAS, THE URBAN LOUNGE</a>, Friday, Dec. 19, 9 p.m., Free</p> <p>How's this for a fine way to spend your Friday the weekend before Christmas? Local rockers/good dudes The Devil Whale are hosting a whale of a good time at The Urban Lounge, showcasing a bunch of their friends' bands over the course of the night. On tap besides The Devil Whale is Max Pain and the Groovies, the North Valley, Starmy and Pleasure Thieves. I suggest you put on your most ridiculous Christmas attire and head on down for some of the finest local tunes available. After all, it don't cost nothin'.</p> <p><iframe height="315" src="" width="480"></iframe></p>Dan NailenThu, 18 Dec 2014 06:00:00 +0000 Nailen's Lounge ActIn The HiveSundance: Critics&#39; Game Plan<p>As the <a href="">Sundance Film Festival</a> approaches, film lovers are realizing again that worse than frozen feet, missed meals and dry-eye syndrome, the most painful part of the festival is that no matter what level pass you hold and how fast you jump shuttles, you cannot see them all.</p> <p><em>SLMag</em><span>’s critics, of course, have the same compulsion to see as much as possible, and are putting together strategies to see as many stand-out films as possible in hopes of witnessing a breakout success.<br></span></p> <p>At this point, choosing films boils down to personal hunches and the track records of directors and actors, but here's a preliminary list, including a bonus—a film each critic would blow off.</p> <h3>Michael Mejia</h3> <p><strong><em>The Forbidden Room<em><strong> —</strong></em> </em></strong><span>I never want to miss new work by Guy Maddin, who co-directs here. This one promises an abundance of baroque, silent-era joy, as well as Charlotte Rampling and Udo Kier.</span></p> <p><em><strong>Western<em><strong> —</strong></em>  </strong></em>One of two docs on Mexico's drug war I'm looking forward to. <em>Cartel Land</em> is the other. <em>Western</em> sounds more formally inventive, more poetic, <em>Cartel Land</em> more gritty. I'm particularly interested in <em>Western's</em> perspective on two sister towns connected by one street, separated by a river.</p> <p><em><strong>Liveforever<em><strong> —</strong></em>  </strong></em>Book to film isn't an automatic "must" for me (see below), but I'm interested in this take on the final work of highly respected, but little known here, Colombian author Andrés Caicedo, who's often cited as the flip side (read "dark, unmagical urbanism") to that other Colombian author, Nobel Prize winner and magical realist Gabriel García Márquez.</p> <p><img alt="" height="325" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/liveforever.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Liveforever</em></p> <p><em><strong>Mistress America<em><strong> —</strong></em>  </strong></em>I loved Baumbach and Gerwig's <em>Frances Ha</em>. Not sure this narrative suggests much of a departure from <em>Frances</em> for Gerwig, but that can't be bad, right?</p> <h3>I'll pass, thanks:</h3> <p><strong>The End of the Tour —</strong> I was kind of ambivalent about Lipsky publishing his account of a five-day interview he did with David Foster Wallace that <em>Rolling Stone</em> chose not to publish. Turning that into a film just feels exploitative, reductive, and sad, a disappointment out of the box.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Glen Warchol</h3> <p><em><strong>Last Days in the Desert —</strong></em> Ewan McGregor as Jesus! And the Devil, too! It's the New Testament's smack down in the desert meets the <em>Parent Trap</em>. After the lackluster performance of <em>Exodus: Gods and Kings,</em> this could be the film that kills the biblical epic, at least until Judgement Day.</p> <p><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/ewan.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Jesus/Satan/Ewan dance in the desert.</em></p> <p><em><strong>The Hunting Ground</strong></em> <strong>—</strong> From the makers of <em>The Invisible War</em>, an exposé of rape on campus. Following the <em>Rolling Stone</em> journalistic fiasco with the University of Virginia hoax, this is going to be one of the most talked about docs at Sundance.</p> <p>Just about anything in Park City at Midnight including:<br><em><strong></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Cop Car</strong></em> with Kevin Bacon. Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car and encounter Kevin. Truly disturbing.<br><strong><em>The Hallow <strong>—</strong> </em></strong> An environmentalist disturbs an ancient forest, raising a horde of terrifying beings. Rep. Mike Noel in a cameo role?</p> <h3>I’ll pass, thanks:</h3> <p><em><img alt="" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/kimjungununiform.jpg"></em></p> <p><strong><em>I Am Michael, </em></strong>starring James Franco as a gay activist who rejects his homosexuality to become a Christian pastor. Based on a trueish story. <em>Michael</em> reeks of gratuitous James Franco—do I need any more reason to avoid it? In fact, Sony can strike back at Kim Jong-un for forcing them to cancel the release of <em>The Interview—</em>by parachuting thousands of unsold copies of Franco's <a href=""><em>Your Highness</em></a> into North Korea<em>—</em>the Supreme Leader will assassinate himself.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Richard Bonaduce</h3> <p><strong><em>Being Evel</em>  —</strong> An unprecedented, candid portrait of American daredevil icon Evel Knievel and his legacy. I used to want to be Evel Knievel when I was a kid (aside from breaking every bone in my body). I jumped over wheelbarrows, a car, other kids—on my bicycle.</p> <p><em><strong>Racing Extinction</strong></em> <strong>—</strong> The Academy Award-winning director of <em>The Cove</em> assembles a unique team to show never-before-seen images that expose issues surrounding endangered species and mass extinction. With some shmucks still not buying climate change and all of the damage it can cause directly and indirectly, this is tough for me to resist.</p> <p><img alt="" height="276" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/hotgirlswanted.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Hot Girls Wanted</em></p> <p><em><strong>Hot Girls Wanted</strong></em> <strong>—</strong> <em>Hot Girls Wanted</em> is a first-ever look at the realities inside the world of the amateur porn industry and the steady stream of 18- and 19-year-old girls entering into it. No jokes here. I often wonder how and why some people get into that business, and if they ever make it out alive.</p> <p>From Park City at Midnight, films that fulfill my doc-tooth as well as a slight horror fetish:</p> <p><em><strong>The Nightmare</strong> </em><strong>—</strong> A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds. I know some folks who say they suffer from sleep paralysis, and I think it's bullpucky, so I guess we'll see!</p> <p>From New Frontier:</p> <p><strong><em>Station to Station</em></strong>  <strong>—</strong> A compilation of 60 individual one-minute films featuring different artists, musicians, places, and perspectives. This revolutionary feature-length film reveals a larger narrative about modern creativity. It's like 60 movies in one!</p> <h3><span>I'll pass, thanks:</span><strong><em></em></strong></h3> <p><strong><em>Advantageous</em></strong> <strong>—</strong> "In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic hardship, Gwen and her daughter, Jules, do all they can to hold on to their joy, despite the instability surfacing in their world." Wait, "near future?" That future is now; no need to go to a movie theater to see people struggling to hold their heads up, just look out the window. Or hell, look in the mirror.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Jaime Winston</h3> <p><span><strong><em>The Witch <strong>—</strong> </em></strong></span><span>In this one, the son of a devout Christian couple in the 1630s vanishes into the nearby wilderness where a supernatural evil lurks. Honestly, I love horror, and missed </span><em>The Babadook</em><span> during the festival last year. I’ll be there for this. </span><span>Same goes for </span><em><strong>The Nightmare.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><img alt="" height="276" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/thewitch.jpg" width="490"><br></strong>The Witch</em></p> <p><em><strong>Call me Lucky <strong>—</strong> </strong></em><span>I was turned on to Bobcat Goldthwait’s directing when I saw <em>World’s Greatest Dad</em> starring Robin Williams a while back. In this film, he turns to documentary work to profile comedian, political satirist and activist against child pornography, Barry Crimmins. It will be interesting to see how one experienced comic covers another and these heavy topics.</span></p> <p><strong><em>The Tribe <strong>—</strong> </em></strong> (Ukraine) Director and screenwriter: Myroslav Slaboshpvtskiy. T<span>his film is set in a Ukranian boarding school for the Deaf, and all of the dialogue is in sign language sans subtitles. I just want to see if they can really pull that off.</span></p> <h3>I’ll pass, thanks:</h3> <p><em><strong> The Strongest Man <strong>—</strong> </strong></em>A<span>n anxiety-ridden man who believes he’s also the world’s strongest man, goes on a quest to recover his stolen bicycle. Sounds like a plot my 6-year-old niece made up, and I’ve seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.</span></p>Glen WarcholWed, 17 Dec 2014 23:18:56 +0000 The HiveWeight training to lose weight and inches<p class="p1">Most people, when it comes to weight training, believe that it will only bulk their muscles up. <span style="">But what weight training could actually do is help you tighten and tone up your body so you can fit into the clothes you have always wanted to fit in. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="">If you are afraid of bulking up, there is nothing to be worried about if you decide to lift heavier weights. What determines how big you get is your nutrition and calories that you are taking in. So unless you are deliberately trying to bulk up, you will be safe from adding too much size. </span></p> <p class="p2"><span style="">What weight training will do for you is slim your body down, give you the definition that you want in the places that you want, help speed your metabolism up so even when you are not working out you’re body is burning calories and help prevent future diseases. </span></p> <p class="p2"><span style="">Listen to the video all the way through to learn the specific ways you can incorporate weight training to hit your goals.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span style=""><iframe height="270" src="" width="480"></iframe></span></p> <p class="p2"><span style=""><em>Greg Marshall is the head trainer at <a href="">The Gym at City Creek</a> and <a href="">The Gym at Station Park,</a> and a contributor to <a href="/"></a>.</em></span></p>Salt Lake magazineWed, 17 Dec 2014 13:03:22 +0000 The HiveFresh, local and sustainable fine dining at Provisions<p><span><span><img alt="" height="331" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/drinks.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Cocktails started off our night at Provisions.</em></span></span></p> <p><span><span>We arrived to </span></span><a href=""><span>Provisions</span></a><span><span> late on a Friday night. Although my boyfriend, Tejas, complained that I did not make a reservation, their waiting area was comfortable and spacious; plus the very nice hostess offered us cocktails while we waited.</span></span></p> <p><span>While we waited, I took in the fun and vibrant décor. They had black chalkboard painted accent walls, which were in contrast to the vibrant orange and white flower-patterned wallpaper. On the chalkboard walls, they had drawn Christmas ornaments and a Charlie Brown-style Christmas tree, all of which added great holiday cheer. While I was admiring the clever decor and wondering what they would draw for other seasons, I accidentally erased an “n” from the list of specials written in chalk behind me. Now, the special read “Sired Ahi Tuna… with roasted pie nuts,” instead of “pine nuts.” This had me laughing all night (though I did feel bad about messing up the perfect handwriting).</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/tejas.jpg" width="490"> <br><em>My wonderful boyfriend, Tejas, made the meal a special night.</em></p> <p><span><span>Shortly after receiving our two whiskey-based cocktails, we were seated in the corner of a large dining room. </span></span><span>The restaurant looked clean, fresh and modern. The lighting was simple and well done, the room had that perfect balance of bright and lively and dim and intimate. </span><span><span>As we passed the kitchen, I noticed that it was nicely planned and had a good flow from the cooks to the servers. They also had a large wood-fire oven as the kitchen centerpiece. There was rock-n-roll music playing in the background and boisterous chatter among the guests. The whole restaurant was grooving.</span></span></p> <p><span>Our server’s name was Mikey. He was delightful and informative. He had a great energy and was genuinely engaging. Provision’s dinner menu is divided into raw, small plates, wood fired veggies, large plates and sweet. We decided to make up our dinner from the small plates.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="349" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/meatcheese.jpg" width="490"> <br><em>Provisions’ abundant charcuterie and cheese plate made with local ingredients</em></p> <p><span>We started our meal with their charcuterie and cheese, which had local ingredients from </span><a href="">Creminelli</a><span> and </span><a href="">Tony Caputo’s</a><span>. The plate was filled with candied pecans, mixed olives, ginger-berry compote and toasted bread. Putting together different flavor combos is one of my favorite ways to eat, and Provisions did not disappoint. It was a delicious mix of flavors varying from creamy, tangy, spicy and earthy.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="372" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/buns.jpg" width="490"> <br><em>Steamed buns with pork belly were the highlight of the meal.</em></p> <p><span>Next we ordered the steamed buns with Kurobuta pork belly, Hoisen, pickled cucumber and scallions. Kurobuta is a high-end quality meat that is often compared to Kobe Beef. These buns were scrumptious and my favorite of the night. The Hoisen dripped down the sides of the bun; I was told that their Hoisen was made from sweet potato instead of the traditional plumbs. The bun was soft and chewy with a tangy crunch from the cucumber. The salty, fatty pork belly melted in your mouth.</span></p> <p><span>Because I am a huge fan of Hoisen sauce, we also ordered “wok bbq Niman Ranch pork ribs with Hoisen Carmel, scallion, roasted peanuts and kimchee.” The ribs tasted like a wood fire and were salty and sweet. Thankfully, Mikey brought us warm, wet napkins to help us clean our hands after enjoying our food. </span><a href="">Niman Ranch</a><span> is a meat vendor often used by thoughtful and attentive chefs, made up of a network of 700 independent family farms committed to sustainable practices, humane treatment of animals, the use of fine vegetarian feed and rejection of antibiotics or added hormones. It is meat that you can feel good about eating.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="323" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/walking.jpg" width="490"> <br><em>Provisions’ kitchen rock-n-rolling</em></p> <p><span>We spoke with Tyler Stokes, chef and owner of Provisions, at the end of the meal. He was previously the chef at Dashi, an Asian fusion restaurant in Sun Valley, Idaho. Tyler decided to open Provisions because he had family and friends in Salt Lake, and he was interested in a year-round, non-seasonal venue. Tyler brought along some of his staff from Dashi including our waiter Mikey. Provisions opened on Oct. 1. Tyler is committed to fresh, local and sustainable ingredients and he explained that the menu changes quite frequently depending on what's in season. Some of Provisions' local and regional vendors include </span><a href="">Fog River Seafood</a><span>, </span><a href="">Frog Bench Farms</a><span>, </span><a href="">B.U.G. Farms</a><span> and </span><a href="">Sweet Valley Organics</a><span>.</span></p> <p><span>After working in restaurants, I have a deep respect for the industry. This appreciation provides me with a critical eye for details. Some of the details I noticed were the hostess opening the door for departing guest, fresh and healthy flowers on each table, the staff’s casual and fitting uniforms for each position and the overall exceptional service. Provisions did a great job creating a seamless, sophisticated and fun experience.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="337" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/mikey.jpg" width="490"> <br><em>Our fantastic server Mikey bringing us chocolate pudding dessert</em></p> <p><span>When you have a great meal and cocktails like we had, it is almost necessary to end with a desert, like “Chocolate pudding with salted caramel, whipped cream, and caramel popcorn.” </span><span>At the end, I had scraped my plate clean and was licking my fingers.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><em>Sarah Lappé is a local foodie, who worked in the restaurant industry for many years, and has a strong family legacy of food activism. Follow her blog, <a href="">Farm to Table Utah</a>.</em></span></p>Sarah LappéWed, 17 Dec 2014 10:56:37 +0000 the TableReview: Lower Lights<p><img alt="" height="173" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/fullband.jpg" width="490"></p> <p>For the past few years, <em>Salt Lake</em> magazine has rated <a href="">Lower Lights</a> now-annual <a href="/blog/2012/12/11/dan-nailens-lounge-act-getting-spiritualized-with-the-lower-lights/">Christmas concert</a> as one of the best holiday music events in town. This year is no exception and if you haven't got tickets you're probably too late. (Don't blame us, we've told you LLs is a <a href="/blog/2013/12/16/the-city-library-review-local-christmas-albums/">good thing</a>.)<br><br>Despite being highly family friendly, the LLs bring a rootsy approach to Christmas standards, including ol' timey hymns and carols most of us learned in grade school. But what makes the concert worth the trip is that LLs never hesitate to throw a few curve-balls at the audience, including Hank Williams' <em>House of Gold</em>, a little Loretta Lynn and even a zombie love song. Somehow nothing sounds inappropriate when it's run though these amazing musicians.</p> <p><img alt="" height="355" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/kids2.jpg" width="490"></p> <p>The highlight of the evening was a recitation of <em>The Grinch Who Stole Christmas</em> that pleased adults even more than the kids.</p> <p>We appreciate the LL's keeping the show at the Masonic Temple (SLC's "other" temple) because without it, a significant part of the night's magic would be lost.</p> <p><img alt="" height="653" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/stage.jpg" width="490"></p> <p><em>Ahem</em>. Now for an audience review: As the holiday concert's popularity has grown, its audience has become increasingly sedate. To call Monday night's crowd bumps on a log is insulting to the <em>joie de vivre</em> of both logs and bumps. We won't speculate on why this is, but we offer a note to audiences: A Lower Lights concert, despite most or all the musicians being LDS, is NOT anything like a MoTabs experience. LLs encourage clapping, dancing, swaying, singing along, and even call-and-response when the spirit moves you. Like Christmas, it's a joyous experience.</p>Glen WarcholTue, 16 Dec 2014 22:50:21 +0000 The HiveSLmag&#39;s holiday lunch at J.Wong&#39;s<p>One of the most heartwarming scenes in holiday film history—as good as Bing ringing the Christmas tree bells with his pipe—is the Chinese restaurant scene in <em>A Christmas Story</em>.</p> <p>So when we were deciding where to go for our office holiday lunch, <a href="">J. Wong's</a> came to mind. The family-run restaurant downtown is one of our favorites—terrific service and amazing food.</p> <p><img alt="" height="306" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/jwong-staffphoto.jpg" width="490"><br><em>The SLmag crew at J. Wong's</em></p> <p><span>Chinese menus are famous for their length; J. Wong's should be famous for its constant innovation. Jordan and Jason Wong travel frequently to China where their father lives and bring back new ideas and dishes to perfect in their own kitchen. Not only that, but because their mother, Kwan, is Thai, they all travel equally frequently to Thailand and—more and more—J. Wong's menu is reflecting that.</span></p> <p><span>So our menu today included Thai and Chinese dishes—lamb chops in curry, pork belly buns, whole fried fish with ginger black bean sauce, giant prawns in a honey-walnut sauce, stir fry of filet mignon, flash-fried scallops and mango and sticky rice­.</span></p> <p><img alt="" height="327" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/jwongsrib.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Lamb chops in curry</em></p> <p><img alt="" height="280" src="/site_media/uploads/December%202014/jwongsfishdish.jpg" width="490"><br><em>Whole fried fish with ginger black bean sauce</em></p> <p><span>It was a fantasia of Chinese and Thai flavors that eclipsed any dreams of mere sugar plums.</span></p> <p><span>Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Wong family from <em>Salt Lake</em> magazine.</span></p> <p><em>J. Wong's is located at 163 W. 200 South, SLC. Click <a href="">here</a> for more info.</em></p>Mary Brown MaloufTue, 16 Dec 2014 17:11:04 +0000 the Table