Wednesday, June 1

Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar: Plenty of Vegetarian Options!

House made pasta <3 Cresto de Gallo with Roasted Mushrooms ($19) 
Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar opened in late April in the building that was Faustina on 454 E 300 S in Salt Lake City. I was excited because 1. Italian Food and 2. any restaurant by LaSalle and Trio Restaurant Groups is awesome. When I saw the menu, I was super excited - finally, a fancy restaurant with PLENTY of vegetarian options!

Stanza interior
My husband and I attended the soft opening and were impressed by the food, drinks and atmosphere of the restaurant. My husband fell in love with the meaty dishes and I was pleased that my vegetarian fare looked just as good as his. Sometimes it feels like veg options are an afterthought at upscale restaurants, but not Stanza!
 Our cuisine is super simple, but more fun and adventurous,” say Chef Logan Crew and Phelix Gardner. 
Burrata - fresh Mozzerella with hearty Fava Beans ($12)
Yummy Arancini ($8)

Vegetarian small plate offerings include: House Ciabatta with ricotta and local honey or cultured butter with olive oil and sea salt; Marinated Olives with fennel, preserved lemon and red chile. We tried both the Arancini with fresh mozzarella and the Buratta with fava bean relish and crostini. They were both delectable!
Little Gems (awww!) ($8)
Included in the salad course vegetarian options include: Stanza’s Caesar Salad with romaine hearts, mustard vinaigrette, Parmesan and olive oil croutons (skip the anchovies) and the delightful Little Gems  with shaved beets and Moscato vinegar.  The toasted hazelnuts and baby lettuce was wonderful!
Cresto de Gallo with Roasted Mushrooms ($19)
House made pasta is given tender loving care in Gardner’s kitchen and there are plenty of vegetarian options: Gnocchi with nepitella and green garlic pesto, fiddlehead ferns, asparagus and Pecorino; Casarecce with Le Grein cheese, Gold Creek butter, cracked pepper and chives; Cannelloni with ricotta and mozzarella, artichoke caponata and smoked tomato butter and Cresto de Gallo with roasted mushrooms. Handmade pasta always makes me swoon and the Cresto de Gallo did not disappoint. What really impressed me was how the light pasta soaked up the savory mushroom broth. This dish was the most memorable pasta I've had in quite a while.
The entire restaurant is also a wine bar. James Santangelo, beverage director, and Amy Eldredge of Under Current fame have jointly created an exciting new beverage program for Stanza that pairs perfectly. Guests can order a 5 oz. carafe between them so they can just pour some sips to share, taking the risk factor out while trying something new. “Every selection on the wine menus pairs perfectly with at least one dish on the menu. Service staff is highly educated in the nuances of each and will be on hand to guide guest selections,” says Santangelo.

Negroni - Classic Style

We ordered off the Negroni menu because we've never tasted this cocktail before. It's considered an aperitif, especially made for enjoying before a meal to whet your appetite. Negroni's are made with gin, vermouth, Campari and garnished with an orange peel. There are quite a few different ones on the menu and I think we tried them all!
Celebrated mixologist Amy Eldredge has created an overall bar program that will have some simple cocktails, mostly classical in style. There will be a focus on digestifs and aperitifs, and educational programs ongoing about the flavor and nuances of amari and vermouth. She’ll have some great grappa selections and will feature house made classic Italian sodas, made the right way. They are very approachable, there’s less cream than in their American counterparts, and Amy infuses her own simple syrups.
Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich ($12)
Stanza recently opened for lunch, with quite a few veg options on the menu including two sandwiches that I can't wait to try! I can't think of a more enjoyable restaurant to enjoy handmade pasta on the patio with a few glasses of wine.  I'm over-the-top in love with Stanza, as I'm sure you can tell. Everything was just perfect - really my idea of fine dining!

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