The small plates concept is ideal for the financially strapped and indecisive. People can nosh on a plate or two or compose an all-out feast of several dishes. Add glasses of wine to the mix and you have a place a savvy dining crowd can call their own.
This is the case at Meditrina, where co-owners Amy Britt and Jennifer Gilroy have carved a sophisticated space in this neglected side of Salt Lake City. In the former Southern Plantation location, there's a new aesthetic to the food and decor. A hand-hewn, DIY sort of cool radiates from the colorful chalkboard (listing specials) over the open kitchen. Mixed media collages and industrial, textured surfaces and finishes tell the eyes it's an urbane place that isn't afraid to venture beyond the Iberian peninsula for culinary inspiration.
The influences are wide, spanning the globe and incorporating the all-important seasonal philosophy. Subsequently the menu features tender garlicky prawns presented in a tight embrace and patatas bravas that were once thickly-sliced par boiled red potatoes, but after a turn on the grill transformed into crisp-skinned, char-marked discs. Likewise, the steamed artichoke amplifies in flavor with the same grill treatment. Then there's an asparagus stack with marinated beef.
A slightly sweet, Asian inflection to the seasoning provides a bit of contrast and interest to the grassy stalks. The wine list has slowly evolved to offer more variety and emphasizes labels and regions that suit the breadth of the kitchen's culinary influences. One of the most unique applications for some of its red wine -- Drunken Oreos. A unique dessert featuring the childhood favorite treat marinated in a fruity red and served simply with ice cream in all its tender glory. It's an intriguing dessert and one that polarizes table companions ("Does the cocoa cookie and tannic red wine work?" or "The creamy filling goes with the wine!") and also provides another necessary component to any meal, small plates or otherwise -- stimulating conversation.
Bottom line » Small plates with international flavors, try the patatas bravas and garlic prawns. During the warmer season, the front patio is prime real estate. Check out the evolving wine list.
Location » 1394 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City; 801-485-2055
Online » http://meditrinaslc.com" Target="_BLANK">meditrinaslc.com
Hours » Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Children's menu » No
Prices » $$
Liquor » Beer and wine
Corkage » $10
Reservations » Parties of 8 or more
Takeout » Yes
Wheelchair access » Yes
Outdoor dining » Yes
On-site parking » Yes
Credit cards » MC, Visa, Discover