On your next visit to Salt Lake City, add Stoneground Kitchen to your list for the housemade pizza & pasta, rustic Italian cuisine and a killer patio…all in a beautiful loft space in the heart of downtown.
I began this blog in 2012 to force myself out of my rut–going to the same restaurants and eating the same things. The blog was a hobby, with about 10 regular readers. In the last 2 years I became very active on social media, improved my writing, and made significant upgrades to my website. In late 2016 I decided to turn my hobby into a business. I’m still in the infant stages, but one of the best things I did was attend my first food blog conference last month in Salt Lake City. I was nervous going in, but I made some wonderful new friends and learned A LOT. I’m still working my way through the pages and pages of notes.
This was my first visit to Salt Lake City, so I flew in a day early. My flight left OKC at 6am, and so my only food was the bag of peanuts on the plane. Aaron’s sister-in-law gave me several restaurant recommendations and, after some back and forth I finally decided on Stoneground Kitchen.
Salt Lake City revolves around Temple Square and the Mormon Church. As a matter of fact, the downtown city street names are based on their distance from Temple Square. I’m glad I got to town early, because I spent most of my first day completely confused. By the end of my trip I had it figured out, but I definitely made several wrong turns in my quest to find Stoneground Kitchen.
Stoneground Kitchen is in the loft space of a building in the heart of downtown. The dining room has 3 distinct sections: tables and booths to the left as you enter, long tall tables in the middle, and a beautiful partially covered patio at the far right end. The open kitchen has a large brick oven, as well as barstools on one side. The space is a unique mix of materials, with wood tables and floors, stone walls and distressed wood exposed ceilings.
Stoneground Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner Monday – Friday, and dinner only Saturday and Sunday. The rustic Italian menu is quite large, which is not good for someone like me who already has a tough time making decisions. The menus include daily lunch specials, lunch, dinner, and Sunday Supper. They also have a large wine list.
I planned to drink water, but then I saw Scaia Corvina on the wine list. It is one of my favorite reds, and I’ve never see it on a restaurant menu.
I rarely get an appetizer when I dine solo, because then I can never finish my entree. However, my blogger friend Chava–and a lot of online reviewers-raved about the polenta tots so I had to check it out for myself
One bite, and I understood the reviews. They are scorching hot, crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and the parmesan on top adds such a wonderful bite. I could easily have eaten 2 more bowls of these all by myself.
Another Stoneground Kitchen specialty is the balloon of foccacino, straight from the oven. The server bursts the bread at the table. I seriously considered that as well, just for the presentation. As cool as that would have been, I’m glad I did the tots instead.
Stoneground Kitchen makes both the pizza and pastas in house, so I quickly narrowed my entree choices to one of those. With the help of my server I finally settled on the bolognese pasta.
The pasta is very al dente, which is standard in many restaurant kitchens. I prefer my pasta fully cooked, but I couldn’t complain because the dish is excellent. There’s nothing like the distinct texture and bite of homemade pasta. The mixture of veal, pork and beef in the bolognese sauce creates a beautiful balance, and it works so well with the pasta. I love ricotta, especially housemade; so I was more than a little disappointed that there was only a little bit in the dish. But that was the only negative. Pasta portions tend to be outrageous at restaurants, but Stoneground Kitchen does the opposite, with a true single portion.
I really liked the mix of textures and flavors in the side salad. The toasted pistachios added a unique and delicious crunch. I really need to figure out how to make them, because they were excellent. Just like the tots, I could have eaten a bowl of the pistachios.
I was at perfect full point after my entree, and knew I didn’t need dessert. Then I saw a couple of delicious-looking plates go to the table next to me. And then my server told me the desserts are all homemade. I reconsidered again, since I planned to walk the city afterwards and figured I could walk off the calories. But I decided to be good and pass.
I definitely want to go back and visit Salt Lake City. My Uber driver was a ski instructor for 19 years, and I may need to look him up for a lesson. And yes, I’m definitely going back to Stoneground Kitchen. I want to sit on the patio, at this awesome table, in the evening