Tribune Choice Awards: Dining
Published: July 1, 2013 08:01AM
Updated: June 28, 2013 10:52AM
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Tribune file photo Tribune Choice Awards: Red Iguana.

You voted, and the results are in.

Allow us to introduce winners of The Salt Lake Tribune Choice Awards — your picks for the best Utah has to offer in dining. Tribune editors weighed in as well, with their own selections in each category.

Did fellow readers get it right? Did we?

Restaurant worth a splurge

People’s Choice

Winner

Log Haven • Regardless of the season, this rustic restaurant up Mill Creek Canyon is hard to top, from the “cabin in the woods” setting to the cozy fireplace to Chef Dave Jones’ comforting — and well-executed — menu. Professional service and an approachable wine list — compiled by Ian Campbell, one of the state’s most knowledgeable wine experts — are a bonus. And did we mention it’s also super romantic? If you’re saving up for an important night out, Log Haven, as readers attest, offers the entire package.

First runner-up

New Yorker • Sometimes you just gotta go old school, and The New Yorker is the place to do it with its basement location, retro atmosphere — think deep-seated banquettes and stained glass — and great steaks.

Second runner-up

Takashi • (See Editors’ Choice.)

Editors’ Choice

Winner

Forage • The 16-course tasting menu at this Salt Lake City restaurant costs about $90 a person, not including tax and tip. But that’s a bargain, as it is much cheaper than paying for an airline ticket and hotel in San Francisco, New York or some other well-known culinary city. That’s where you would have to go to get the kind of meal prepared by chef and co-owner Bowman Brown. Ingredients are mostly local and often foraged from the wild. And before these items reach the plate, their taste and texture are carefully contemplated and then handcrafted into an edible piece of art. Dining at Forage isn’t just another meal — it’s an experience worthy of a splurge.

First runner-up

Takashi • One of the best places for sushi thanks to the chef’s attention to detail, including quality ingredients.

Second runner-up

Log Haven • (See People’s Choice.)

Restaurant: Utah Original

People’s Choice

Winner

Ruth’s Diner • When the trolley car was relocated to Emigration Canyon in 1949, few would have predicted it would become one of the state’s oldest restaurants or a favorite dining destination for locals and travelers. The old-time charm of the trolley car remains, but Ruth’s creekside patio, complimentary mile-high biscuits and “Killer Bloody Mary” are what really draw people there.

First runner-up

Crown Burger • (See Editors’ Choice.)

Second runner-up

Market Street Grill/Broiler • This company was reviving old buildings and shipping in fresh fish to the Salt Lake Valley before it became trendy.

Editor’s Choice

Winner

Crown Burger • This family-owned restaurant rises above the rest for its signature offering: the pastrami burger. There have been many imitators, but Crown Burger was the first to introduce Utah to a charbroiled beef patty topped with thinly sliced pastrami and cheese.Several are run by the offspring of the founders, ensuring a solid future for Utah’s most original offering. The Katsanevas family opened its first restaurant in Salt Lake City in 1978. Today there are seven locations from Layton to Sandy.

First runner-up

Ruth’s Diner • (See Editors’ Choice.)

Second runner-up

Kid-friendly restaurants

People’s Choice

Winner

Red Iguana • The family behind Red Iguana has been serving up delicious Mexican food for so long that customers who were brought there as children are bringing their own kids. Owner Lucy Cardenas, whose family opened Casa Grande in 1965, said families like the colorful murals and high energy — it’s sort of a cultural event. “It’s like going to the theater,” she said. The children’s menu offers basic Mexican dishes such as tacos and burritos — and soon will include mac and cheese and a PB&J wrap — but plenty of children are willing to try the real mole deal.

First runner-up

Beastro at Hogle Zoo • With a pizza station, deli, burgers and hot dogs, there’s something to please the pickiest eater.

Second runner-up

Blue Plate Diner • What kid doesn’t love pancakes, especially chocolate-chip ones? Breakfast served all day.

Editors’ Choice

Winner

Flatbread Pizzeria • It may be pizza, and from an Idaho-based chain at that. But when you’re looking to treat yourself and the kids are in tow, try the authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza at one of Sugar House’s newest eateries. The live, local music ensures the restaurant is loud enough (maybe too loud) to mask any kid clamor. And you’ll pay $5.25 for them to make their own pizza. It keeps them busy spreading sauce and cheese on rolled-out dough presented to them on a pizza board (additional toppings 50 cents each). Adult-size pies average $15, except on Tuesdays, when every pie is $10.

First runner-up

Taqueria 27 • Casual enough for the kids while serving upscale street tacos they’ll eat. Don’t forget the donut dessert.

Second runner-up

Cafe Rio • Popular Utah-based chain serves up way too much food — which means you can split the massive burritos among the little ones.

Utah at its best

You voted, and the results are in.

Allow us to introduce winners of The Salt Lake Tribune Choice Awards — your picks for the best Utah has to offer in dining, nightlife, arts and culture, recreation and destinations. Tribune editors weighed in as well, with their own selections in each category.

Did fellow readers get it right? Did we?