Former New York City chef Ryan Lowder is definitely on to something and the foodies in Salt Lake know it. You will be hard pressed to dine at The Copper Onion these days without a reservation so book early and you just might find that you will book often.
With his buy it fresh and local concept, Lowder is able to transform even the simplest of subjects, like watermelon, into a culinary delight. The watermelon gazpacho ($7) is true to it’s name, a cold watermelon soup with a few surprises; you will find chunks of fresh avocado resting at the bottom and a hint of chili oil floating on top. A light, refreshing and satisfying dish that is now something I crave.
Lowder is a native to Utah, but has had traveled far and wide while perfecting his culinary skills. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he worked in several of the country’s top restaurants, like Casa Mono, one of Mario Batali’s group and the prestigious Mercat.
His skills show in is fairly simple yet fresh and house made dishes on the menu. Lowder changes up the menu to accommodate what is in season, but even the pickiest eater can find something they will enjoy-- may I suggest the hamburger ($11). Lowder grinds his own meat to get the perfect ratio of fat content so that the burger is juicy and flavorful, and he is successful. The bun is thick, but not to thick, and toasted to hold up to the juicy burger , topped with your choice of cheese, red onions cooked in red wine, shredded lettuce and a bit of mayonnaise. Large potato wedges are served along side but you will probably have room to eat only one or two.
Other excellent choices are the ricotta dumplings ($9), the arugula salad with sherry vinegar, olive oil and parmesan ($7) and the pasta carbonara with house made fettuccini ($15).
The atmosphere is friendly, the service is great and the prices are reasonable. The Copper Onion, with its spectacular comfort-food, is a wonderful addition to downtown Salt Lake.
111 E. 300 S. (Broadway)
Salt Lake City, UT 84101