Just beneath the ceiling, a psychedelic mural by artist Dave Doman stretches along the wall opposite the bar. Sheet metal wraps along the wall, an industrial touch that balances Spedelli's antique-looking hardwood floors and bright blue chairs. This mashup of styles creates a relaxed vibe, which is in keeping with the ownership's vision of turning Spedelli's into "Salt Lake's new favorite hangout." Beyond the mellow environs and a menu crowned by humorously named pizzas, Spedelli's crew encourages patrons to linger with three flat-screen televisions, a pool table, and occasional live performances, such as rock covers performed by pizza-box puppets.
For more than 30 years, Green Street has been dishing out a full menu of beer-hall staples while invigorating ears with live entertainment five nights a week. During warm months, customers can lounge on Green Street's palatial garden patio while noshing on palate-pleasing appetizers such as sweet potato fries ($4.99), artichoke dip ($7.29), or the Combo Mombo—a platter of chicken wings, potato skins, southwestern egg rolls, and battered fried mushrooms ($9.99) easily shared among friends or devoured by one huge toddler. An onslaught of entrees includes the blackened-salmon caesar salad, which parades across the palate led by an 8-ounce filet ($9.49), or the chili verde burrito ($7.99) served as a special on Tuesdays, sating beginning of the week tortilla-entrapped cravings. An Angus bacon cheeseburger ($7.99) and a half-rack of grilled, barbecued baby-back ribs ($12.99) round out meat-centric menu options.
Fats Grill fills its space with all the ingredients of a good time, including a menu populated with burgers, pizza, and sandwiches, a fully stocked bar, 12 flat-screen TVs, and seven pool tables, a setup that has won the hangout City Weekly's Best Pool Joint 13 years in a row. Twelve is the number of its burgers, all served on toasted sheepherder rolls with toppings such as bacon, jalapeños, and pastrami. Toasted sourdough builds the foundation for the grill's sandwiches, and pizza crust keeps italian sausage, red onion, and pineapple chunks from gracing the floor with their presence. Fats Grill also houses a newly renovated basement concert venue, a place where local musicians take the stage every Friday and Saturday night to belt out the name game using every audience member's name.
From the fresh trout caught in local waters to the piles of splintered logs, the chefs at The Wild Grape Bistro keep their kitchen fully stocked to craft New Western dishes that earned a Zagat-rating of good to very good and the title of Best Salt Lake City Restaurant from Salt Lake Magazine readers in 2010. The eatery’s talented chefs try to use locally made and sustainable ingredients as much as possible when slathering homemade steak sauce on Colorado bison burgers and tossing linguine noodles with grilled shrimp and heirloom tomatoes. Pork chops and elk patties take on rustic flavors while cooking atop the wood-burning grill or inside the authentic smoker.
The décor straddles a similar line between modern and rustic. Rough brick surfaces hold pieces of art and long green banquettes rest beside polished wooden tables. Post meal, diners can move to the copper-hued, V-shaped bar to sip some of their carefully chosen wines or imitate migrating geese.
Murphy's Bar and Grill combines the homey menu of an Irish pub with the nighttime hours of a neighborhood bar, remaining open until 1 a.m. seven nights a week. The bartenders pass the evenings serving drafts and bottles of domestic and imported beers, although they also pour more potent tipples from the stock of single-malt scotches and triple-distilled waters. To accompany these drinks, the cooks carefully forge a menu of hearty comfort foods that includes Reubens with kosher corned beef, beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips, and flame-grilled burgers.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.