The restaurant is situated on a hill on State street, right on the border of Orem and Provo. A really nice looking building, and a great interior. Troy Wilson and Peter Sproul run the place and are both certified executive chefs. I will admit, I actually applied there at one point ... maybe two, I can't remember. Either way. Both times, they had a full staff though. Sad.
Fortunately, everything seemed to work out. As much as I loved working in kitchens, it takes a toll. Kind of like running. You know it's good for you, but that doesn't mean that every step is enjoyable. For one thing, kitchen folk are strange, strange folk. I love 'em. The ones I worked with were tattooed from the neck down, had some of the worst language (and a tiny vocabulary outside of that), occasionally drunk, but they were all SOOO passionate about the food. It was a true art form for them--a way to express themselves in a truly beautiful way. So that's kind of what I imagined happening in the back kitchen of this place.
Anyway, enough with my tangent.
Lunch: $9 ish appetizers, $12 to $16 mains
(not as bad as I would have thought)
Dinner: $9 ish appetizers $26 to $36 mains
Each meal starts off with a tiny drop of lemon sorbet to cleanse the pallet. It was good, but more so fun than anything else. I really liked it because it represents that the place is going beyond what's expected to make your experience unique and enjoyable. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of it.
We ordered the coconut crusted shrimp. -Quite good. Ya know what? They were perfect. Exactly what you would expect a fantastic coconut crusted shrimp to be. However, it came with a lemon marmalade, and chopped chives. Separately, I love both, but I was not a fan of the combo.
Coconut Crusted Shrimp
Now, before I go on to talk about my entree, I have to preemptively state that I am not steak guy. I love a good steak as much as anyone, but when going out I barely ever get it because usually, there is much cooler stuff to eat. When the server came to take our order, I said I'd have the Steak Frites. As is typical, he asked how I would like that cooked. I asked "what does medium mean here?" (It's important to ask because there really is no standard. Each chef considers it differently, and it's tough to match a chef's taste to a customer's in meat temperature) "Medium is a hot red center, and pink on the edges." He said with confidence. "Great, I'll have that."
The steak was great. Seasoned fantastically, tender--but! there was not even a trace of pink in there. It was at least 2 temperatures overdone. I cannot stand overcooked meat. There is sooo much less flavor in it. (It breaks my heart being married to someone who always orders "well-done"). And it makes sense, I mean, the more cooked the meat is, the less liquid it has, hence, the less of a vehicle flavor has to tell your taste buds "I'm delicious!" So even though it was good, I just really feel like a place with such caliber of excellence should never overcook meat since it is such a basic element of cooking.
Like I said though, nonetheless, it both tasted and looked great. The dish came with Parmesan fries and was topped with broccolini and a sun dried tomato. It came with a side of what seemed to be a hollandaise sauce. It went really well with the broccolini and steak.
Ash got the Macadamia Encrusted Halibut. (I don't really understand that combo, since macadamia nuts come from the tropics and halibut comes from Alaska.) It looks great. A very smooth potato mash topped with summer squash and the Macadamia Encrusted Halibut (with a crunchy wafer on top). I thought it was great.
Macadamia Encrusted Halibut
Ash however was appalled that we had to pay $16 for what she considered to be a halibut nugget. It was too small for her. Now you have to understand that I am much more passive than she when it comes to confrontation. She flagged down a waiter and told them that the halibut was unacceptably small and wanted more. I was shocked when they came out with a whole new plate, as we were both expecting just more fish. (She left a little bit of the potatoes to show that she really only wanted more fish)
We recently found out that Ash is gluten intolerant, so we were a little more limited in the dessert category, but it turned out great.
NAPOLEON AU CHOCOLAT
This really was all about presentation. Ill give you the recipe. Cut a sheet of puff pasty into rectangles. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Make ganache by mixing 1 part bittersweet chocolate with 1 part cream. Melt till smooth. Layer the two. Top with raspberry and powdered sugar. Did it taste great? Absolutely. Did I have to call my family about it? No. Still though, with the layered action, the berries, and the design on the plate, you can't help but feel like it's a special occasion.
I'm mixed. For a special occasion or you want to impress someone? Then this place would be great, if for nothing other than the atmosphere. It is definitely not your stop-in and grab something place. Don't expect to leave full, but do expect to leave satisfied. Again, this place has a focus on creating a food experience, not just feeding the customer. So if you're "feeling like a sir," then find some occasion for it, cause you need to try it once, but there are places far better not to far away ... even if it did win best in state or whatever.