Pallet has an edge. The restaurant as a whole had a buzzing harmony that started when we first spotted the candles escorting us up the walkway and continued until we were seated at a modern but cozy table which offered pillows to sit back and relax on their bench seating. We were surrounded by wooden ceilings, tables and floors – all salvaged from the original creamery which was Pallet’s predecessor – it certainly added warmth and certain vibe to our dining experience.
Our server was delightful. We were a picky table and she rose to the occasion. She let us lead the way in what we wanted and because of that; her service was excellent, especially in accommodating my guest who is lactose intolerant. Never did I feel that we put her off with all our questions; knuckles to her for the service we received!
Pallet…life is short and you made it sweet: I appreciated having an initial taste of dessert first – how unique to be treated to sliced up apples with a salted caramel sauce. As we were munching on the apples, we decided to order a number of small plates that were all presented very nicely, including truffle fries, apples and bacon, a kale salad, and meatballs.
The truffle fries were nice and hot sprinkled with a generous helping of parmesan cheese and a side of aioli. As far as I’m concerned, these fries are in competition with Bruges Waffles and Frites (the best fries in Salt Lake City) – man were they good! Surprisingly, Pallet actually gave us a few samplings of truffle bits instead of just teasing us with truffle oil. Way to have integrity! For sure we would order these again.
The apples and bacon (or rather pork shank rib) we ordered was too elementary and certainly an appetizer that neither my guest nor myself would return for, but we certainly tried to enjoy it while we were dining. The quasi citrus salad on the plate complimented the main components of the dish, however, as my guest appropriately determined: the dish was unmemorable. What this dish was missing was a little bit of sauce, which we kyped from the meatball dish. Needless to say, the flavor of the meatball sauce and pork dish didn’t mesh, but we dealt with it.
The kale salad was presented with some nice, crispy squash chips on top of a bed of blanched greens, surrounded by luscious blood oranges and apples. I can’t recall the bacon standing out in this salad, but it had to be there, right?! It said so on the menu. Hmmm. My guest loved the salad and wants the recipe, as she hadn’t tasted kale so tender in a salad before and hands down would order this again. As for me, one pet peeve I have with restaurants when it comes to salads is the fact that the greens are not cut up into manageable, bite-sized pieces. I also don’t appreciate a salad drenched in dressing. I’m pleased to announce that Pallet did this salad justice and other restaurants should take note of their execution.
Gloria’s meatballs were a bit disappointing. I have to applaud Pallet for offering a trio-combo of pork, veal, and beef; however the sauce was the saving grace, because the meatballs were not tender enough for this diner. Perhaps the percentages of the trio are off – that or this dish ought to be served with a small helping of egg noodles or something to change the texture. Not certain of that, but absolutely think this dish needs to be tweaked. My guest offers up her insight and mentioned to me that the sauce to the meatballs was excellent, but smaller meatballs would have allowed each piece to be infused with more of the flavor from the sauce, making the dish that much better.
So, we were getting full. Lots of small dishes were ordered and therefore we couldn’t stomach any entree, but that doesn’t mean I missed out on an official dessert. Our server informed us that the dessert menu has changed a few times recently, but the warm oatmeal walnut shortbread has remained throughout the changes. My decision was made. I wanted to taste the chocolate goodness that was sandwiched by the crumbly satisfying shortbread, accompanied by a scoop of ice-cream and a few raspberries. I devoured it! No doubt this item ought to stay on the menu.
In lieu of dessert, my guest had the Porch-Swing dessert-like cocktail that had a fascinating combination of sage, cucumber, mint, and possibly an orange peel – a Salt Lake City quasi Jungle Juice that my guest deemed as excellent to indulge in at the end of her meal.
All of Pallet’s small dishes were beautifully presented on a variety of white dishes in order to highlight each ingredient on the plate. My mouth watered by just looking at them. Nothing left the table with any remaining morsels, even the dishes we were disappointed with. In short, we had no concerns about the freshness or quality of the ingredients in any of the dishes which were served: none of the ingredients seemed to be compromised in the culinary process.
The service was so smooth that I didn’t even notice the staff –finished plates magically disappeared from our table and a status check on our beverages didn’t interrupt the flow of our conversation. In conclusion, there is a possibility that another restaurant can makes these dishes; however I don’t think the execution would match that of Pallet’s standards, service, cleanliness or ambiance.
Rating: I would be willing to return and make this my go-to restaurant, because the overall quality was very impressive. Salt Lake City is lucky to have Pallet for their palate.