Here goes my first review into the world of fine-dining. I’ve found that when it comes to places like these, it becomes even more important to do your homework and find out from peers how good the food and experience is. The reasoning for that is if you go to a dive during your lunch break and the food was gross, or the service was horrible, you are probably only out $10 bucks, and you can try again the next day. Fine dining is different. The food is generally more expensive, but these are the places that you normally only visit on special occasions. Do you really want to have a negative experience on your anniversary or birthday? I don’t think so. If you want to go some place nice, you want to be treated like a king or queen, and you want the experience to be worth your money. I’ve been to a few posh restaurants downtown, and a few of them were way under par. The Wild Rose not only provides you excellent service, but I found all aspects of the food to be legendary from the pre-meal butter and bread, to the salad, and finally to the main course. The fact that I found them on Groupon and got my meal half off of course helped as well. So here it goes! The Wild Rose!
The Wild Rose is located at the north portion of the District and is facing East. The restaurant was open and lightly decorated with dim lights. I have to say I enjoyed the ambiance. In the middle of the place there was a huge wine rack that resembled an entertainment center. I’m sure there are some that would be truly entertained by their selection, but for me I decided to stick with water in order to maximize my Groupon. After sitting down I was provided with some warm bread with some peculiar looking butter. It almost looked like a little scoop of ice cream, but after taking my first bite WOW. This butter was amazing. My waitress informed me it was made of balsamic vinegar, parsley, bell pepper, salt, and honey. (I hope I remembered that right). You guys know I love it when restaurants care to give you quality butter and not little frozen bricks for your bread. The bread itself was a warm baguette sliced in one inch thick pieces. I was already starting to feel like royalty with this little appetizer provided at no extra charge at the Wild Rose.
I’m not really a salad guy by nature. I do have a salad on occasion when I go to Cafe Rio, but that is because it is basically a burrito filled with rice, beans, and meat. I like to save all the precious room in my stomach with the main course, but as I was sitting there enjoying my bread I thought “You know what? If these guys are so good with butter and bread, I’m a little curious to see what they could do with a salad” So feeling like a king, I had my waitress bring me a Caesar salad which was made of hearts of Romaine, “Granpas” garlic/anchovy dressing, and Asiago dressing. The waitress even ground fresh pepper over the salad until I told her to stop. The end result (photo above) was so beautiful it was as shame I had to ravage it with my knife and fork. The taste was so good I wanted to jump up and do a little leprechaun dance around the restaurant with the other patrons. I mean this is me, Hyrum, we are talking about going to town on a …. wait for it …. Salad?
After finishing my salad I have to say my anticipation level was pretty high as to what the main course was going to be. With the way my table was positioned I could see just a little bit back into the kitchen and my waitress was preparing a little dish with what looked like ice cream inside. I thought “wow, some lucky guy is about to get a scoop of some yummy treat” But the waitress left the kitchen and walked right over to my table, and you know what? She set that dish right in front of me. ”Here is a dish of our green apple sorbet to clean the palettes” Uh what! Mind = officially blown. What restaurant gives you sorbet to “clean the palettes” I eat my sorbet so fast and was so happy with it, I forgot to take a picture. Just take my word folks, it was good!
More drum roll.
I took a few minutes to admire my dish and was waiting at any second for that dude from “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” to pop out and interview me. You know in the cartoons when the waiters come out dressed in a tuxedo holding the plate with a silver dome over the top. That is this meal right here. Look at how pretty it is! I got out my napkin and threw that bad boy down on my lap. Some gal just set a serious piece of meat in front of me, and it was time to go to work! First the creamy mashed potatoes. I’m an Idaho boy, and if you are going to be having some protein, you better be serving up some creamy mashed potatoes beside it. These mashed potatoes were dished in a little funnel of happiness on my plate. It looked like one of those frosted flowers you would find on a wedding cake. Next to it there was a yummy carrot in a bed of mashed sweet potato. This plate really was that legendary that it came with two types of mashed potatoes. The Wild Rose really didn’t need to score bonus points with me, but they did. The pork chop itself was the crown jewel of the plate. I noticed that they really laid the delicious glaze on thick, because they knew I could use the extra glaze as gravy on my mashed potatoes. Well played Wild Rose! Well played! The meat itself was definitely the crown jewel of my plate. It is not every day I get to enjoy a piece of meat of this magnitude. (Every time I hear the word “magnitude” I think of Admiral Akbar from Star Wars) I’ll say it again … It is not every day I get to enjoy a piece of meat of this magnitude! It was delicious. You know that point in the meal when you make up in your mind if a meal was worth it or not? It was at this point I thought “Wow, this meal was soooo worth it” At the end I was hesitant to pick up the pork chop by the bone in order to eat every last remainder of flesh, but I threw caution to the wind and licked my plate dry. (okay I didn’t really lick the plate, but wanted to)
In conclusion the Wild Rose was excellent in every aspect. Great atmosphere, awesome service, and amazing food. My waitress was fantastic. She didn’t come around too much as to interrupt the meal, but she definitely knew exactly when to refill my drink or bring out the next plate. She had excellent spider sense. So remember, you don’t have to go downtown Salt Lake to find food fit for royalty. You can get it at Wild Rose at the district. Awesome place!