Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cucina Toscana–Le Sigh! AND, Happy Holidays from Nosh!

Let me start this post by saying that this isn’t really a review.  I mean, sure–it is in the sense that I am going to tell you what an amazing experience Cucina Toscana is, but I am not going to give a lot of detail here.  For my first time eating at this amazing Salt Lake City restaurant, I didn’t want to have to worry about writing things down, or taking menus with me to study–I just sat back an enjoyed everything, and happened to take some photos.

What I will say is that if you want an ‘experience’ and not just dinner, this is the place for you.  This should be your evening event–not dinner before something else.  Eating at Cucina Toscana should be the only thing you are planning on when you go.  Be prepared to spend a few hours, spend some money, and sit back and let them take care of you.  Outstanding service, food that is succulent, and an atmosphere that is welcoming but also makes you feel indulgent–these are the things you should prepare yourself for.

We splurged on a bottle of $50 Chianti.  It was amazing.  Apetizers consisted of one plate with a half avocado, filled with lump crab, surrounded by fresh mozzarella with olive oil and lemon and one plate with pork tenderloin, mushrooms, and goat cheese.  I am sure there is much more to these plates than those simple ingredients, but like I said, I didn’t take notes.  Either way, both of these were beautiful and luscious. And I also have to say, the dipping sauce that came with the bread was one of the best tasting things ever.

For our main course, I ordered the sampler of their house-made pasta–which came with stuffed ravioli that were so delicate you could see through them and some gnocchi that melted in your mouth. My boyfriend ordered chicken breast with a Marsala sauce, potato, mushrooms, and green beans.  Both delicious.  Also, the server plates the food right next to you, so you can so how carefully they handle everything.  It was beautiful.

And for dessert–the best tiramsau I have ever had and chocolate cake that was so moist it melted in your mouth.  We enjoyed some Limoncello and Grappa as well…but wait, it wasn’t over yet!  Dessert was followed up with more sweets with a plate of homemade biscotti and shots of chocolate.  Oh.  OH!  It was silky smooth and finished the meal off so perfectly.  DIVINE!

Everything was amazing.  Can’t wait to go back–when a $180 bill can be afforded!  🙂  If you need a special place for a special night, this is the place to be.

AND on another note!  Happy holidays from our home to yours!  I am going to eat and enjoy because come January, like the rest of the world, it is back to veggies and chicken breast!

Cucina Toscana

307 West Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Cucina Toscana on Urbanspoon

Spedelli’s: Where the $1 High Life and Tasty Pizza Rule!

We have this new favorite place.  It isn’t some fancy 4 star restaurant nor will you find any white linens or $10 cocktails.  What you WILL find is everything you want if you are looking for low-cost but delicious food, fun entertainment, or a chill hang out session after a day on the mountain.  Welcome to Spedelli’s!

Spedelli’s is on Foothill Blvd., right as you are coming out of the mouth of the canyon–which makes is super convenient for anyone who is starving after boarding or skiing all day. My boyfriend, the obsessed snowboarder that he is, loves Spedelli’s because it caters to his mountain-riding, snow-loving instincts.  I would venture to say that if he can’t be on the mountain shredding or in our garage practicing his skillz–he would be at Spedelli’s eating pizza and watching The Art of Flight for the 11 billionth time.  However, being the non-snowboarder that I am (currently), I still love the place for very different reasons!  YES!

Spedelli’s is just plain cool.  The atmosphere is similar to a lot of pizza joints, but with some very awesome additives.  Spedelli’s big highlight for me is their bar and bar prices.  The actual bar makes you feel like you aren’t just at any other pie-slinging corner diner.  AND, the prices for their beer and wine are pretty fantastic.  $1 High Life and $1 PBR in the can is a great way to go, or take it up a notch for the draft pint of PBR at $1.75.  They also have imports and other drafts for the beer snobs, but still at much better prices than most bars or restaurants.  Wine?  $6 a glass all around.  NICE!

However, the food at Spedelli’s is also pretty awesome–and getting better.  We have been eating there since they opened and find that the pizza only gets better each time. And…there is something about Spedelli’s sauce that keeps us coming back. Also, all of the side or appetizer items we have tried so far have been great, fresh, and reasonably priced.

While you are eating, you can choose to watch snowboarding videos, or if you are so inclined, read some of the local print such as SLUG and City Weekly or even Arkade.  If that doesn’t suit you, you can play a game of pool, or hit up some of their new video games like Asteroid or try to get yourself a killer prize from the game claw.  Spedelli’s even has live music! There is seriously something for everyone regardless of your  shredding abilities or involvement (thank GOODNESS!). Personally, I just like to check out the collection of vintage beer cans. 🙂

So, go support a great local spot that makes a habit of supporting other local artists, boarders, musicians, etc.  They deserve it and you won’t be disappointed!



2352 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84109

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Lemon Dill Salmon & Fresh Veggie Orzo

During the holidays I can start to feel like, well, basically, a fat cow. All of the food around is always so rich and full of calories. Don’t get me wrong, the holidays are the time of year to splurge–and I indeed do. However, I feel an overwhelming need to break up the sugar overload with something fresh and light.

Tonight’s dinner was just what we needed.

Two fresh fillets of salmon from the supermarket, a box of orzo pasta, a few lemons, a box of grape tomatoes, a bunch of asparagus, and you are pretty much set.

I marinated the salmon for about an hour in fresh lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil, dried dill, sea salt, fresh garlic, and 4 lemon wedges. You don’t need to let it sit for very long as all of these flavors are pretty intense….30 minutes to an hour is plenty (in the fridge).

While the salmon is marinating, you can start on the orzo pasta.

First you will want to blanch the asparagus.  Cut in to pieces about an inch or so long and then boil for about 4 minutes.  Take directly out of the boiling water and place into ice water to stop the the asparagus from cooking.  After the asparagus has cooled, you can put it in a bowl with the grape tomatoes, which you can cut in half.

Add some salt and lemon to the veggies and then cook the orzo pasta per box instructions.

Once the pasta is done cooking, add it directly in the bowl with the veggies.  Here is where you get to be a little creative.  I don’t like to follow recpieies.  I like to take suggestions. 🙂  For this pasta, I added a bit of olive oil, some more dried dill, some lemon zest, and about 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.  That might be too much vinegar for some people, but I like things tangy and salty, so I always add a lot of both of those items.  Season with other things such as fresh garlic and onion powder if you feel so inclined.

When the orzo is done, you can put your salmon on the grill.  That is right, grill.  Don’t bake it or cook it on the stove–I feel like those two things can bring out the fishiness of salmon.  I only cook salmon on my George Foreman grill. It really makes a difference.  I also always cook the lemons with the salmon because roasted lemons are amazing and add more flavor while the salmon is cooking and also when you are serving as added lemon on top.

When you plate the mail, add a few more fresh lemon wedges and some parmesan and you have a lovely, colorful, and delicious meal that will leave you feeling satisfied as well as gratified that you didn’t just drink a large glass of eggnog and a bowl of macaroni and cheese (which is all I have been craving for months!).