I remember the first time I went to the Copper Onion, I had heard so much about it from friends, colleagues, and fellow bloggers. When I finally got a chance to visit, it did not disappoint. I can say the exact same thing about Eva. I have had a running “Places to Visit” list on my iPhone for the past 6 months. It started out with just 10-15 restaurants, but it has now grown to over 30 places that I want to try. Eva has been there since the first time I made the list. Each time I would add a restaurant, I had that thought in the back of my head “Man I have to get to Eva!” “Man I have to get to Eva!” About a month ago I had a chance to visit Eva’s sister restaurant Eva’s Boulangerie and tried some of the best French pastries in Salt Lake City! Visiting that bakery and realizing how awesome it was only fueled my desire to visit Eva. Finally I have the monkey off my back. Finally I went to Eva to try their famous tapas. Awesome! Everything. Awesome! (I know I say that about a lot of places, but just hear me out and see the pics. This place is GOLD!)
Before I get to far into my review, I have to dispel some faulty rumours that have been floating around the interwebs. I don’t know how things used to be at Eva, but I can tell you the service I received was excellent! I had read a number of different reviews from different sources that the service here was snobby and rude. That this place was to hip for its own good. Nothing could be further from the truth based on my visit. We were sat immediately upon visiting. (around 6:15 PM on a Tuesday night) Our order was taken less than 5 minutes later. Throughout the night, a waitress who wasn’t even assigned to our table, refreshed my water cup 3 times. I didn’t have to ask or wait for a single thing the entire night. It was all done for me. I loved the service.
Now to go into a little about Eva. Eva is a tapas restaurant. Tapas originated in Spanish bars. The baristas would offer small plates to “cover” the alcohol cups. On these small plates there would be a small portion of food to soak up the alcohol as the patrons dined. Pretty cool story. I found the portions to be pretty decent however. The prices ranged from $5 to $15 dollars for these tapas. I actually really prefer this setup to American restaurants. Why not try 4-5 different things instead of just 1-2? I think it’s a great idea!
Finally, why would I include this classic picture of Flick getting ready to stick his tongue to the flag-pole? If you remember the sequence of dare’s leading up to this tragedy, Flick was first dared, to which he refused. Then he was dog-dared, which he also refused. It was at this point, the narrator points out that a “breach in etiquette occurred, and the “Double-Dog Dare” was skipped and the bully went straight for the throat with the “Triple-Dog Dare”. I use this as an example because, forget what you know about appetizers first, then perhaps a soup or salad, and then your entrée in that order. At Eva, they will just bring your choices out to you in the order in which they are completed. You may get your steak before you get your rosemary garlic french fries, but you know what? It’s OKAY! No order etiquette here! Everything is awesome!
Okay enough boring talk. On to the food. The first tapas dish to arrive at our table was the Crispy Chicken Wings. Forget every sports bar or wing bar you have every been to. These things are the best in town. EASY CHOICE. Eva fries them up with a honey-lime sauce and cilantro and chiles. They were just the perfect happy little crunch. Normally I take a few bites of my chicken wings and throw what remains off to the side. Not with these guys. I was on a mission to eat every little morsel of protein and dip it in the honey-lime sauce. This tapas is a can’t miss choice!
I got this dish off name alone. I was reading through the menu and found something called “Oink, Oink, Oink” Are you kidding me? YES I WANT ONE! Listen to what this plate consists of. Pork belly, pork loin, bacon wrapped candied garlic, celery-apple salad, mustard vinaigrette. Everything on this little skewer was delightful. When I was done, out of instinct, I decided to eat the remaining salad. The celery-apple flavor was unique and awesome. If it was a separate salad, I would have ordered it!
When my mac and cheese arrived, it looked awesome, but I’m not going to lie, it smelled a little funky. I was kinda unsure about how it was going to taste. It definitely was anything but your traditional mac and cheese taste. This dish was loaded with other stuff like bacon, tomato, arugula, all wrapped in phyllo. Having said that, this mac and cheese now ranks up near the top of my favorite mac and cheeses. I’m not an expert on many types of food, but mac and cheese is one of them. I never have seen a menu that had mac and cheese and not ordered. I was raised on mac and cheese. Probably 25% of my body is mac and cheese. The stuff is awesome, and this dish was spectacular.
I wish I remembered what the official name of this dessert. All I remember is the word “Ricotta”. There is a funny story to go along with it though. The dish came with 3 of them, and this little vase of creme. As I was eating the ricotta balls, I remember thinking. “I could swear that the menu said something about drinking chocolate?” I actually tipped the jar completely upside down, and no chocolate came out. I guess I figured that there was just really thick creme inside the vase, so we just starting eating the balls and dipping them in creme. It wasn’t until the last ball, that I dipped it as far down into the little vase as I could, and struck gold, much like a Texan striking oil. Springing up from the bottom of the cup was a pool of rich, cinnamony drinking chocolate. Luckily I still had one ricotta ball to completely dunk into the chocolate. That last bite was awesome. I was sad I didn’t discover the chocolate earlier, but was happy because the dessert was so good!
You guys HAVE to visit Eva. Yes this place can get busy in the evening. If you are a large group, I would think twice about visiting during peak hours. The dining room itself is not that big and is more equipped to handle groups sizes of 2-6 people. But let me tell you that the food is to die for. The menu has tons of tapas to choose from. Our waiter even almost sold me on the brussel sprouts and asparagus tapas. Heck the veggies here are probably epic based on the quality of everything else. Eva is a SLC treasure!