X Marks The Spot: Table X Restaurant Opens in SLC
The stylish new Millcreek eatery dishes up a down-to-earth take on fine dining with a focus on local + seasonal fare, community, and modern design.
There’s no shortage of delicious, inventive, beautifully designed restaurants in Salt Lake City, and as of today there’s a new name to add to that ever-growing list: Table X Restaurant.
With a focus on seasonal fare, local ingredients, and fostering a sense of community, the restaurant is the combined vision of not one cook in the kitchen, but three: Chef Mike Blocher, Chef Nick Fahs, and Chef David Barboza, who all met and became friends at culinary school. As the Table X website states: “We’re a restaurant run by three chefs. We’re going to prepare you thoughtful, honest food without the fussiness of fine dining. In fact, we’re going to give you a new casual dining experience, altogether. Again and again.” Think haute cuisine without the hautiness. This is high-style dining that’s down-to-earth, literally—much of the restaurant’s produce is pulled directly from the dirt in the backyard vegetable garden, and the restaurant’s rustic stoneware dishes (an elegant departure from basic white china) are all made by Utah-based CM Ceramics.
During our visit at the soft opening last weekend, the food was beautiful, the wine was going down easy, and the service was top-notch. Our table of four started with a round of rosés for the three ladies (the warm October weather had us mistaking autumn’s glow for summer’s heat) and a gin and tonic for the sole gent. Then we took a tour of the space with Chef Nick to get the scoop on the restaurant’s chic, modern design, the combined, talented efforts of local pros M3LD, Great Basiner, and European Marble and Granite.
The curtained entryway leads you into the spacious main dining room—round, tufted black leather booths flank the east wall, and a long tufted black leather banquet and tables flank the large, geometric west wall. The center floor is filled with sleek silver four-tops; all of the tables were custom-built by Project Sunday. Overhead, the building retains its original wood-barreled roof. The open kitchen and “chef’s table” (three coveted seats at the bar—get there early or go late to snag a stool) are in view just beyond the main dining area. Walk past the kitchen to get a peek at what’s cooking, and to access the private garden dining room and backyard culinary garden, or to head down a cool flight of stairs to the cozy lounge (a quiet spot to sip on a cocktail while you wait for your table) and to the loo (Instagram alert: the bathroom floors feature a trippy geometric tile pattern).
True to it’s name, there’s an actual table with an “X” on it—make that a very large gold “X” atop an ebony-stained alder table that seats 14 (also custom-built by Project Sunday). The long, sleek table—located in the private garden dining room overlooking the garden—sets the stage for intimate group dinners and special occasions. The secluded space is perfect for small engagement parties or rehearsal dinners. Guests can order off the regular menu or the chefs can tailor a tasting menu to your event and dietary preferences. There are also plans to create a private dining space in the actual garden. Garden-to-table wedding dinner? Done.
Back at our table, we ordered a few “snacks” and appetizers to kick off our feast. First, richly flavored and vibrantly colored red beet curry ($8) made with coconut and spices and served with cauliflower. Second, bite-size chanterelle mushroom biscuits ($9) topped with Christiansen Farm berkshire pork. Third, delicious Morgan Valley lamb tartare ($12) with raisins and maple-glazed carrots. And fourth, a seasonal vegetable board ($12) straight from the garden featuring a selection of fermented and preserved veggies, fruits, and roots including pickled jalapeño pumpkin, grilled leeks, pickled kohlrabi, and something that looked (and tasted!) exactly like miniature kernels of popcorn.
For the main course, we dug into hearty bowls of pasta alla chitarra ($20)—homemade strands of pasta created with a special guitar-shaped pasta-cutting tool—served with autumn squash, dried olives, and piave bread crumbs (we ate every last bite); a plate of Jones Creek Beef ($30) served with grilled zuchinni, potato latke, and a black garlic sauce (the thick, dark sauce tasted like a fancy, better version of a good steak sauce); and a plate of perfectly seared scallops ($25) perched atop green cabbage with trout roe and tomato emulsion. Everything was delicious, including the individual plates of chewy, rustic bread—baked fresh daily by Chef Mike—paired with creamy butter. (Hey, good homemade bread says a lot about a restaurant in our opinion.)
We failed to order the Idaho rainbow trout ($24) with fermented pepper slaw and BBQ beans—a house specialty—but a local food editor did, and later that night she stopped by our table to chat and reported that the fish was excellent. In other words, order the trout. Filing that away for our next visit. We can’t wait to return.
Table X Restaurant
1457 East 3350 South
Salt Lake City
Wednesday–Sunday, 5–10 p.m.