Dear 100 Hour Board,
My roommate recently said that he wants to go to a really expensive, fancy restaurant, but we can't think of any good options around Provo. (Normally I specifically avoid anything where I have to spend more than $13.) So I told him I would consult you guys!
What are some of the fanciest, most expensive, best restaurants in and around Provo? Also, in case those options are limited, what are some really fancy and expensive restaurants in the Salt Lake City area? (And bonus question: which ones will give you the best experience considering the current Covid climate?)
Dear Frost Steele,
Thanks for your patience with this answer! We appreciate you writing in.
Communal is what first comes to mind, and is open for dine-in. Their mains aren't more than $20, though, and so probably not in your desired lack-of-budget. Cerulean discusses your Utah Valley options nicely, so I'll discuss things slightly further away than that.
If you don't mind a 25-min drive up Provo Canyon, you might really enjoy The Tree Room at Sundance Resort. It's not the most expensive restaurant in Utah, but it's is vaguely expensive. BYU takes high-profile film guests there during their Theatre and Media Arts writers conferences—like the people who made A Quiet Place, or the makers of Despicable Me—and they found it to their satisfaction, so you might as well. I ate a fair amount of Sundance-catered food one summer at an internship—including brunch twice at the Tree Room—and personally I feel it's a little overhyped, but I'm a spoiled child, so there's that.
Salt Lake Valley
In Salt Lake Valley, at perhaps 45 minutes away and the priciest option I've found nearby: you've got La Caille, a French-Belgian Restaurant that is both fancy and expensive. Do I think it's worth it? They had me at LOBSTER BISQUE.
(Their desserts actually sound good, though. Pastry chefs make the actually interesting stuff, for realz)
Expensive, but not as expensive as our last entry is Log Haven in Millcreek Canyon. While their website is altogether unimpressive, their food sounds actually pretty good.
Valter's Osteria in Salt Lake is an upscale Italian restaurant, and is fancy enough that they don't even put prices on their schmancy menu (Google merely says $$$$), striking fear into my dumpster-diverly heart and likely ensuring I never dine there. That is, unless they don't lock their dumpster. But you are you, and maybe it's your thing. The dining, I mean, not the dumpster.
Snowbird Resort features a number of fine dining options with a nice pairing of slopeside views. They're mostly not open right now, but I think that's mostly because the resorts haven't opened for the ski season. Worth a check in a few weeks, certainly. One of the fanciest meals I've personally had was at The Wildflower in the Iron Blosam lodge—I think—when I was treated to a food-eating session there as a freshman by a friend's generous family. I still think about those scallops sometimes. Usually, I think "Where was that place, exactly? What are scallops?"
Alta Ski Resort has Collins Grill with "a full-service European mountain bistro-grill menu," and The Shallow Shaft, "Little Cottonwood Canyon's only independent, casual fine dining restaurant." The Shallow Shaft is currently closed for COVID-19.
There are a handful of wildly expensive steakhouses in downtown SLC, but let's be real—steak is waaay overrated. If you must, though, might I suggest skipping Ruths' Chris (why does Chris belong to Ruth anyways? what a stupid name) and opting instead for a pairing of medium-expensive prices and innovative options at Tiburon?
Park City Area
Deer Valley Resort has three options, (and each website includes COVID-19 policies): The first is Rime, a seafood and steak place. They also have an intriguing-sounding raw seafood bar and sick graphic design, so I'll deign to include them in my pretentious list.
The second Deer Valley Resort option is The Mariposa, "a blend of classic and current cuisine, including vegetarian and gluten-free options."
Thirdly, the resort also hosts Goldener Hirsch Restaurant, featuring "exquisite contemporary Alpine cuisine with a seasonal American spin." Fondue, folks. Both show COVID-19 policies on their website.
Park City has Riverhorse on Main, a place that claims to be "Park City's Top-Rated Restaurant" and thinks highly enough of itself to sell Crispy Tofu Cubes for a sizzlin' $40 per plate. They also have a variety of meat options, and are probably outstanding, but my derision of Park City's bloated ego runs deep and I'll just have to settle for eating the chip on my shoulder.
P.S. Yet-to-be-published Board Question #93770 features the fanciest restaurants we Boardies have personally dined at, and suggestions about how to eat at those places (namely, Park City eateries) less-expensively. One day, though. One day. Maybe.
I'm pretty sure there are no restaurants in Provo/Orem that appear on Google Maps when the price "$$$$" filter is set...so yeah, there aren't very many super fancy, super expensive restaurants around here.
However, there are a few in the "$$$" category. The first is Communal, which Ardilla has already recommended. A few others are Black Sheep Cafe, Block Restaurant, and La Jolla Groves. I cannot personally speak to the merits of any of these places because I've never been to any of them, but they do seem like they fit the bill. I've heard good things about Black Sheep Cafe from various people, including my cousin just now who told me it felt very fancy. The first thing on the menu at Block Restaurant is a $22 charcuterie board, so that seems pretty fancy. And lastly, La Jolla Groves is described on Google Maps as a "serene eatery with European atmosphere & a lemon-tree theme, offering a globally influenced menu," which again seems pretty fancy. Also, they are all reservation type restaurants, which immediately makes them seem more fancy.
Unfortunately, I don't have any info on how these places are handling Covid. The Black Sheep Cafe website did say they were limiting the amount of guests in a party and total guests in the restaurant, and I imagine the other places are doing similar things.