The company that owns two of Park City’s better-known restaurants — Hearth and Hill and Hill’s Kitchen — is getting ready to open its first restaurant in Salt Lake City, in a new downtown development.
“We’ll be the first restaurant in a part of Salt Lake that we’re quite confident and optimistic will become a very vital, energetic part of the city,” said David Kirchheimer, co-owner of Leave Room For Dessert Eateries, the group that owns all three restaurants.
Brooks Kirchheimer, David’s son and another owner of the company, said they sought out Semple Brown, a Denver-based architecture firm, to create a vibe that would be unique to Salt Lake City, and set apart from the more family-oriented feel of its Park City restaurants.
“We found them by searching out great restaurants in Denver, because we believe Salt Lake is on the trajectory to be an even-better Denver,” Brooks said. “It’s going to be a fun place, but also refined, with a lot of great wood features, stone, and a lot of really stunning tile throughout, and a really well-placed path throughout the space as far as where the kitchen is. It’s totally open. It’ll be all glass, so you can look in.”
The formal dining room, which seats 90, will be hung with art by Utah artists, he said. The 1,500-square-foot patio will seat another 90. The main space will have a wood-bordered bar and a wine room.
“And then we have two private dining rooms,” David said. “So we are really looking to make a splash in the private dining experience in Salt Lake City. The larger of the two can fit about 50 guests, and has adjacent access to our large patio. And we’re really excited to have a beautiful patio.”
Hill’s Kitchen’s executive pastry chef, Jessie Rae Nakoneczny — a Canadian who also has worked for Montage Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge, Deer Valley Resort and Sundance Mountain Resort and The Saltry in Alaska — is creating desserts for the menu. New Mexico native Nick Zocco, formerly of Tupelo Park City and SW Steakhouse (at the Wynn in Las Vegas), is the executive chef, and will be joined by sous chef Kyle Williams, formerly of the Park City restaurants Handle and Powder (at the Waldorf Astoria).
Zocco said he is excited about Nakoneczny’s desserts for the menu, including a non-traditional banana cream pie that they tested out during an intense menu tasting earlier this fall. He added that the glassed-in display kitchen will be outfitted with a wood-fired grill, which will get a heavy workout, with lots of steaks, including game.
“There will be bison on the menu,” Zocco said. “We’re going to do a bison ribeye with tequila, caramelized onions, roasted brussels sprouts, and then a mole negro. … It’s a little bit of influence of Mexican cuisine, but also an American protein.”
Zocco said he has “really, really tried hard to dig into the whole mole thing. … I’ve made this recipe over and over just to try to figure out what works, based on historical ingredients versus what we have here in America. … It’s definitely super pungent and flavorful, and sort of leans on that traditional side.”
The Kirchheimers said they envision many of Urban Hill’s customers reflecting Salt Lake City’s young, professional population, including the 500 residents who will be living in nearby Post House, as well as visitors to what will eventually be a full, 13-acre mixed-use development with multiple retail spaces. Due to the location, though, they said they also anticipate seeing a slice of multiple demographics, including tourists.
“I think a lot of people are excited about the area between 500 to 600 South,” David Kirchheimer said. “It’s one of the most driven-by spaces in the state. It’s where everybody comes into downtown and where everyone gets back on the highway to go home. So we’re really excited.”