Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Copper Onion

Where: The Copper Onion, 111 E Broadway Ste 170, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Chelsey & Michelle

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: Michelle - Ricotta Dumplings and Grilled Asparagus, Chelsey - French Dip Sandwich with side of Broccoli Raab

What It Cost: $14.50 for me (including tip)

What We Thought: 

I've been wanting to try The Copper Onion for forever, but it never seemed to work out with our schedules, so I decided to settle for going here for lunch last week instead. Normally I don't love trying new restaurants just for their lunch menu since they typically all have a similar boring spread of soup/sandwiches/salads, but The Copper Onion still proved to have something to interest my palate.

They weren't too busy for lunch on a Friday afternoon, so we were seated immediately. Despite the dreary rainy weather, the restaurant was bathed in lovely natural light from their large windows and we loved the rustic decor. Michelle wasn't feeling too hungry, so she ordered a couple small plates, and I decided that I would have to go for a sandwich. My rule for restaurants is that I will only order something I cannot (or am not willing to) make at home, and a French Dip sandwich seemed to fit that bill.

We tested the dumplings first, which turned out to be more satisfying than I had anticipated. They had a soft, tender texture, a delicate infusion of thyme, and were lightly fried. I was surprised at how they were filling, but still didn't feel too heavy. They were dusted with a light sprinkling of cheese and lemon, and are an excellent choice to start your meal.

Lemon seemed to be the accent of choice in our meal, and was paired with a delicious creamy sauce for the grilled asparagus. The asparagus was cooked to perfection, helping eliminate the sometimes bitter taste that accompanies this vegetable.

I ordered the broccoli raab as a side dish for my sandwich - let's start off by saying that this is clearly a different vegetable than broccoli! In fact, broccoli raab (or rabe or rapini) is not related to broccoli at all, and actually tasted to me more like a mix between kale and spinach. Either way, it was delicious, and was sprinkled with hot chili flakes that kept catching me by surprise!

And now the real part of the meal - the French Dip sandwich. I was initially intrigued by this dish because it said on the menu that it came with Tillamook cheddar cheese. I've never had a French Dip sandwich with any kind of cheese except the rare provolone slices, but since I'm from the West coast, I am a die-hard Tillamook fan, and knew it had to be amazing. Fortunately, I was totally right. The rich cheese oozed onto piles of delicious roast beef from Pleasant Creek Ranch, and was highlighted by sweet grilled onions. The meat was a little dry, but in that soft, tender, cured way that is absolutely delicious. It was served with more than twice the amount of au jous I needed, and was topped with two of their housemade pickles. I am a huge pickle snob - I'll only eat Farman's pickles which sadly can only be found in Federal Way, WA now, but these pickles may have changed my mind. Fantastic. The bread it was served on wasn't the best, but it was sturdy and fresh enough to provide an excellent base for the wonderful sandwich filling inside. Totally messy, but a real treat.

What You Should Do: Do what I am going to do, and go ahead and make a reservation for dinner! To me, they proved to be worth all they hype, and I will definitely be going back again. I am particularly intrigued by their wide range of fresh cheeses, and enjoyed the unique flavor twists on their dishes. The service wasn't particularly great, and it's definitely not cheap, but I would say it's certainly worth a trip for a special occasion and delicious meal.

Read other reviews here:
The Copper Onion on Urbanspoon

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