The first European explorers set sail with hopes of finding new, exotic spices to placate the palates of epicurious monarchs, but all they found were heaps of boring, inedible gold. Pick up where they left off by broadening your mouth's horizons with today's Groupon: $15 for $35 worth of modern cuisine at Spark Restaurant Lounge in Provo, an hour south of Salt Lake City on I-15.
Spark's lunch menu offers an inspired selection of modern culinary treats to enjoy among the eatery's modern décor and soaring ceilings. Commence the meal by revisiting the meaty candy shops of yore with fried pork lollipops—juicy pork cuts coated with jalapeño tartar and orange sweet chili and served with lemon soy vinegar dipping sauces ($8). For a main bite, grab a gourmet grilled white-cheddar-cheese sandwich served on sourdough bread, lightly smothered in onion-sherry marmalade, and begging to be dipped into its side of tomato-parmesan soup. For dessert, climb up to the rafters and swan dive into a mound of refreshing sorbet ($5).
The dinner menu packs the same culinary punch as the midday meal, but with an enhanced lounge-vibe circulating in Spark's two-tiered dining space. Thai chicken lettuce cups (gluten-free; $6.95) deliciously fill vacant hands with Thai chicken, roasted peanuts, and spicy tamarind sauce resting comfortably inside Boston-bibb-lettuce cups. The butternut squash and arugula frisée salad is tossed in honey-balsamic vinaigrette with roasted butternut squash, pepitas, and goat-cheese crostinis ($8.95). Become the king or queen of cuts by devouring the former leader, filet mignon ($24.95 for 6 oz., $32.95 for 10 oz.), which is served with blue-cheese mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and red-wine demi sauce.
Though Spark is an alcohol-free establishment, you can still get your bubbly on with a glass of all-natural sparkling California-wine grape-juice soda, rose or chardonnay ($4.50). Other house-made refreshments include the bellini, made with white-peach puree and seltzer water ($3.50), and the red cola with a kick of heat ($3.50). With occasional live-music performances and an atmosphere that's constantly abuzz, diners are sure to leave Spark feeling energized, pleasantly stuffed, and ready to take on any aggressive hypnotists that get in their way.
Valid for dine-in only. Reservations are recommended.
OpenTable reviewers gave Spark Restaurant Lounge the Good for Groups Diners’ Choice award. The Daily Herald and Utah Valley magazine featured the restaurant. More than 2,700 Facebookers are fans, and OpenTable reviewers give it an average of four stars:
- they wanted Spark to be a "dining experience," like a thrill ride for the palate. That's about the only way to characterize the meals, which are so different from most local restaurant offerings that you'll spend plenty of time just looking things over and figuring out what you might like. They're all beautiful on the plate and full of a variety of flavors and textures we'd never heard of, much less tried. – Logan Molyneux, Daily Herald
- Spark is a whole new style of restaurant and lounge where exquisite trendy cuisine is served for lunch and dinner, and creative non-alcoholic cocktails are served until late night. – Utah Valley