Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Leftover Bubbles? Yes, it does happen - 75 'em!

I love a French 75. Everyone loves a French 75. If you haven't had a French 75 yet, even you probably love them and just don't know it yet.

Early this year I realized how many cookbooks I have and how little love the vast majority receive. Because I like to take things to a neurotic level, this month I decided to burn through as much as I could of David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. That's another post for another day, but after making a riff off his Tangering Champagne Sortbet with Champagne Gelée I had juuuuust enough sparkling rosé left to cobble together a pair of cocktails before dinner. I'd purchased a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino that day, so - inspired by the French 75, I shook together some gin and lemon juice with maraschino in place of simple syrup and garnished with a lemon twist and sprig of rosemary to compliment the sage and juniper notes in my favorite gin - Beehive Distilling's Jack Rabbit Gin [keep an eye out later this week for a post highlighting an evening spent with some of the best ladies around touring Beehive's Distillery and Bar X! In the meantime, check out Chelsea's post here

Maraschino 75

Maraschino 75
1.5oz Beehive Distilling Jack Rabbit Gin [or your favorite dry-style gin]
.75oz Luxardo Maraschino
.75oz lemon juice
*Approx 1-2oz bubbles [or more! - your glass size and appetite are the limit. Party hard. I used sparkling rosé, but cava, champagne, and prosecco are all lovely]

Shake gin, maraschino, and lemon juice with ice until thoroughly chilled. Strain into glass of your choice [traditionally a coupe or flute, but I like the flexibility a wine glass offers in the event that you want to go hard with the bubbles.] Top with bubbles and garnish with a lemon twist and sprig of rosemary. Sip outside and feel thankful into your bones that spring is finally around the corner.

Maraschino 75

If you don't have Marashino, a classic French 75 is tough to beat. Shake together 1.5oz gin, .75oz lemon juice, and .5oz simple syrup. Strain into a coupe or flute, top with champagne, and garnish with a lemon twist. Variations are endless - try swapping out the simple syrup for maple syrup and use bourbon in place of gin or try one with mezcal, a lime twist, and agave syrup! One of my favorite podcasts - The Speakeasy just did an episode that was pretty much 33 minutes of raving about French 75 variations... and now I'm ready to shake up another!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pallet's Gem of the Nile and a few bites :: Libretti and Libations Aida

PALLET :: website :: instagram :: facebook :: twitter

Pallet Jewel of the Nile Square Crops slcFLAKE.com

Oh, Pallet. Your Edison bulbs, the charm of your 100 year old industrial bones, warm lights aglow everywhere... you're just, you're just kind of dreamy, you know?

From Pallet's website: "The space and vibe evolve as the day passes, making it ideal for an array of dining experiences. Once the mood picks up; we light loads of candles, dim the lights, and turn up the music to create a vibe that really suits the space." They're not wrong and they're not exaggerating.

The food is modern and innovative, local-centric and seasonal, making stunning use of even the less-than-beloved members of the vegetable world. I mean, transforming a gnarly-as-sin celery root and a handful of steel cut oats into something extraordinary? That's love. That's skill. And that's still on my mind more than a week after trying it.

Pallet's cocktail for Libretti and Libations is the Gem of the Nile - ransom dry gin // aperol // lillet blanc // lavender bitters, from Bijan Ghiai, inspired by the classic Jewel of the Nile [gin, yellow chartreuse, green chartreuse.] If you've only ever had Aperol in a spritz or think of gin as floral-heavy [or worse] you've got to give this a try. Ransom Old Tom Gin has traditional dry gin notes of juniper, lemon, coriander, orange, anise, and orris with the addition of less traditional elements like hops and marionberry. The cocktail has such a nice balance or sweet, bitter, and botanical... and it's one of only... 5(!!) that Chelsea and I shared there, so grab a glass of water [and if we're being real - maybe an aspirin] and let's talk more!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Finca's Flowers For Aida Cocktail :: Libretti and Libations Aida

Finca :: Flowers for Aida, slcFLAKE.com, Utah Opera Libretti and Libations

Since semi-recently moving a little closer to downtown, I have loved having the chance to grab a drink, a coffee, or a bite - or on a great night, all three, at Finca. Bar Manager, Natalie Hamilton has created yet another stunning, interesting, and delicious cocktail for Libretti and Libations.

Finca flowers for Aida slcFLAKE-5

Finca's cocktail for this round of Libretti and Libations is called Flowers for Aida - ransom old tom gin // lillet blanc // lemongrass syrup // orange bitters // hibiscus ice cubes // edible flowers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Under Current SLC's Egyptian Escape :: Libretti and Libations Aida

UNDER CURRENT :: website :: instagram :: facebook

Under Current's Egyptian Escape *Under Current logo via their website, -here-

It seems wrong to lead into the cocktails for this round of Libretti and Libations - Aida edition with a drink that won me over so completely upon first sip - it's basically the "You had me at hello." of craft cocktails.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Libretti and Libations :: Utah Opera's Aida

Under Current :: Egyptian Escape

Together with Salt Lake Magazine, Utah Opera is hosting another round of Libretti and Libations for their upcoming production of Verdi's Aida -- and that means another chance to win tickets by participating in their #UtahOperaSips photo contest. Visit any of the 10 participating Libretti and Libations restaurants and bars, try their Aida-inspired craft cocktail, and post a photo to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #UtahOperaSips by March 20 to be entered to win a pair of tickets to the Friday, March 18 production of Aida at The Capitol Theatre!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brunch at Manoli's :: Local, Seasonal Greek-inspired Brunch in Salt Lake's Central 9th Neighborhood

MANOLI'S :: website :: facebook :: instagram :: twitter

Manoli's slc website header
*photo via Manoli's website 

Choosing a spot to grab brunch in this town is starting to become damn near impossible... or at least, damn near anxiety provoking (<--- it's like "can't have your cake and eat it too" syndrome, but "can't eat your brunch _here_ and have it at Pago, Copper Onion, Provisions, Rye, Current, and about two dozen other places too." I don't get to go out nearly as often as I used to, so choosing a brunch spot of the month instead of a spot of the weekend is extra tough, but with so many damn delicious restaurants about town - and something new always opening on the horizon! - it's really, truly hard to go wrong. Unless you go to some pancake conglomerate. Don't do that.

The buzz about Manoli's has been strong from the moment they opened in late September 2015. Located in a sleek, modern building at 402 E 900 S in the newly booming Central 9th neighborhood [across from Pig and a Jelly Jar and adjacent to Southeast Market - one of my favorite places to find exotic produce or Asian staples you might now find on your supermarket's shelf.] With a focus on fresh, seasonal, ingredients with a modern Greek influence, it isn't difficult to see why they've become such a fast favorite. I mean, Lamb Belly Sliders? Sign me up yesterday.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Publik Kitchen :: A New Breakfast Spot From Salt Lake's Favorite Toast Maker

PUBLIK KITCHEN :: website :: instagram :: twitter

Publik Kitchen slcFLAKE

Last weekend I had the chance to grab breakfast with friends at Publik's newest enterprise - Publik Kitchen. Located square in the center of Salt Lake's beloved 9th and 9th neighborhood in the bungalow which previously housed 9th So. Delicatessen, Publik Kitchen is both humble and bustling with energy. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bourbon-soaked Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rye Flour


Bourbon Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies slcFLAKE These are my very favorite cookies. Dried Montmorency cherries plumped up by a good soak in some bourbon. Just enough rye flour to add a touch of texture and the ability to feign wholesomeness. Chewy center. Crispy edges. Toffee vibes packed with a combo of milk and bittersweet chocolate chips. Expect any more from a cookie and I'll call you a greedy maniac.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Boulevardier :: You're Only 3 Ingredients and 60 Seconds Away From this Classic Cocktail

:: Boulevardier :: Bourbon + Campari + Sweet Vermouth

Boulevardier - classic cocktail, stirred. bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth. slcFLAKE

The basics  - I love an evening cocktail, but I'm often short on time, short on ingredients, or need to keep it quick and quiet so I don't wake my sleeping toddler. Queue - stirred cocktails. Silky, strong, and delicious. [This article from Serious Eats is a great primer on how to stir cocktails and how to do it well.]

Boulevardiers are one of my favorites. Bourbon! Campari! Sweet Vermouth! You'll find a dozen flowery posts rejoicing the comeback they've made in recent years  - see: LA Weekly and Serious Eats. Part Manhattan, part Negroni. I love both, but Manhattans can be heavy and cloying and Negronis are bitter as hell and can feel out of place in winter. Even if you don't love either, you might be amazed by what the amalgamation of the two yields.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Three Pines Coffee :: Gallivan Avenue, SLC

THREE PINES COFFEE :: website :: instagram :: twitter
via threepinescoffee.com

I first heard about Three Pines Coffee on their last day at their cart, hosted at Liberty Heights Fresh and I was just shy of enough time to stop by. Fortunately, excitement trumped disappointment when I heard they were soon opening a brick and mortar location. 

Now open for just two weeks and located at the epicenter of downtown Salt Lake City, Three Pines is a nook of a spot not to be missed. Tucked away in a shared corner of From Scratch, Meg Frampton and Nick Price capitalize on their small bit of soon-to-be bustling L-shaped Gallivan Avenue. With 2014's opening of From Scratch (whose ingredients are local and from scratch in a very literal and delicious way!) and recently Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen, It is so exciting to see some development finally taking hold between State St and the Wells Fargo Building. 
4oz espresso + milk

Much like their space and logo, the menu at Three Pines is clean and simple, unadulterated with hyper-saccharine, blended novelties. Instead you'll find a series of espresso and milk sizes [featuring beans from Portland favorite, Heart Roasters,] house-made almond milk, match lightly sweetened with vanilla syrup, and chai. Every drink I've had so far has been poured skill and attention to detail. Super delicious. I'm excited to buy a bag of Heart's beans to play with at home. Keep an eye out for drink specials in the future. The bitters and floral-inspired coffee and tea beverages that have been popping up recently are some of my favorites and I'm eager to see what Three Pines brings on that front. 
Three Pines menu via threepinescoffee.com

Don't be put off by the small square footage Three Pines inhabits. While it's a great location to grab a cup to go and be on your way, seating is available at From Scratch outside of From Scratch's own business hours [From Scratch is open M-F 11:30-3:00. M-Th 5:00-9:30, Fri-Sat 5:00-10:30.] Though the area will need to be cleared half an hour before From Scratch opens, it's perfect for cozying up with a book or cards or catching up with a good friend over a few pastries while the light pours in from the giant windows - one of the more urban views in the city! And those pastries!! Made by From Scratch's bakery, their blueberry muffin was the stuff dreams are made of and the scone I tried was just as delicious. Dense crumb, but not heavy; tender, and flavorful; substantial enough to seem like a reasonable breakfast choice, but decadent enough to feel like a total treat - I talked about that muffin for days until my husband brought me another from his visit during lunch. I haven't have the chance to try their coconut crumb donut, but I have it on good authority that it's a damn fine treat.

In short, while Salt Lake has no shortage of fantastic coffee shops, Three Pines Coffee is a welcome addition. 

:: Through February, check in on Yelp and receive $1 off your drink! ::

Three Pines Coffee
62 E. Gallivan Avenue // Salt Lake City
Open 7 days a week
M-Th 7am-6pm // Fri: 7am-8pm // Sat & Sun: 8am-6pm 

Three Pines Coffee 4oz espresso and milk square fit
Tamp made by SLC local, Saint Anthony Industries

Three Pines Coffee Chai SipsThree Pines Coffee Chai Sips

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Libretti and Libations & Utah Opera's The Merry Widow

*photo via Utah Opera

Saturday Devon and I had the opportunity to attend the premier of Utah Opera's The Merry Widow at Capitol Theatre. It was our first opera experience and we had such a fun time!

**You have until tomorrow, 1/20, at noon to enter my ticket giveaway to see The Merry Widow for yourself!**

Before the opera we had planned to hit the remaining three downtown spots serving craft cocktails for Salt Lake Magazine's and Utah Opera's Libretti and Libations partnership - Bodega [The Rest,] BTG Wine Bar, & Pallet Bistro. [See Finca's L&L cocktail, the Sloe Waltz here.] Unfortunately, Devon left his wallet and ID behind and had to run home. In the meantime, I grabbed a cocktail at Bodega while waiting for a spot to open up at The Rest downstairs. If you haven't visited The Rest, it is such a special spot. I highly advise making a reservation 3 days to a week in advance, especially if hoping to visit on a weekend.
Bodega's BUFFALA NEGRA :: Bourbon, Rye, Balsamic, Basil, Ginger Beer. Really, really good.

It turned out to be serendipitous that Devon had to go back for his wallet - I hadn't expected The Rest to be completely booked, even at 5pm, and while I waited I grabbed a fantastic cocktail at Bodega. I don't think The Rest would've been able to accommodate the two of us in time, but alone I was able to slip into a corner spot and sip their Libretti and Libations special - The Rue Royale [Linie Aquavit, Old Tom Gin, B&B, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Honey syrup] I'm not the biggest Aquavit fan, and it was a tad sweet for my tastes, but if you're into Old Tom Gin or anise-y flavors at all you've got to give this one a try. I was trying to flag cocktail to try for future visits, but I would have highlighted their entire menu - it's an experience not to be missed / please take me with you.
The Rest's' RUE ROYALE :: Linie Aquavit, Old Tom Gin, B&B, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Honey syrup
The Rest's' RUE ROYALE :: Linie Aquavit, Old Tom Gin, B&B, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Honey syrup
Once finished, I ran back to meet up with Devon and we had just enough time to find parking and grab a quick drink (and another) and split a plate of gnocchi at BTG. BTG opened while I was pregnant and I still somehow hadn't made it over there. With dining options from next door's Salt Lake Italian staple and their sister restaurant, Caffé Molise, if you're a fan of pasta, southern Italian fare, or wine at all, BTG [hint: BTG = by the glass] is worth the visit. We ordered a pair of their L&L special - the Good Fortune [Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Fresh Orange Juice, Black Walnut Bitters.] As a whiskey lover through and through and with the vibes of a fancied up Old Fashioned, I enjoyed this one.
BTG's Good Fortune :: Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Fresh Orange Juice, Black Walnut Bitters

[Side note: I so wish I had taken note of our server's name. We were so short on time, scrambling to make it to the opera in time after the forgotten wallet detour, and our server was nothing short of incredible.]
BTG's / Caffe Molise's Tomato Gnocchi

BTG's Good Fortune :: Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Fresh Orange Juice, Black Walnut Bitters
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to check out Pallet's offering by Bijan Ghiai, winner of the Utah Chapter's US Bartender's Guild's 2015 competition - A Widow's Welcome [Cognac, Creme de Cassis, Pernod, Lemon, Hot Water.]

*Photo courtesy of Pallet Bistro :: A Widow's Welcome :: Cognac, Creme de Casses, Pernod, Lemon, Hot Water

The opera itself was incredible. I was fully prepared to not have a clue of what was going on - despite their website clearly listing The Merry Widow as spoken and sung in english. Between the subtitles being projected above the stage and the libretto [text of the opera's spoken word] available to be read at the Libretti and Libations locations, it was perfectly easy to follow and laugh along. I hadn't expected the opera to be full of such humor... or snacks! I highly recommend arriving early to attend the pre-show lecture series and have time to get situated. We had to get home to our babyguy-turned-toddler-dude, but the Q&A session offered afterwards with Christopher McBeth, Utah Opera's Artistic Director, sounded like such an interesting opportunity.

It was so fun to get our of our usual movie or dinner date routine. It was fun to get dressed up, but the opera is not the stuffy, pretentious affair some might imagine. Seeing the enthusiasm and joy radiate from the artists on stage and imaging all the work it takes to present such production was an inspiring way to spend a Saturday night downtown.

**Don't forget to enter to win tickets to The Merry Widow here on slcFLAKE by commenting on which opera this season you're most looking forward to *here* or by entering in the Libretti and Libations Photo Contest by hashtagging your L&L cocktails with #UtahOperaSips! Good luck!**

*Tickets for the event were provided by Utah Opera, all opinions are my own ♥

Saturday, January 16, 2016

GIVEAWAY :: Win Tickets to Utah Opera's THE MERRY WIDOW


Win a pair of tickets to see Utah Opera's production of The Merry Widow (1/22 evening or 1/24 matinee - winner choice!) by visiting Utah Opera's Website and commenting below with your email on which of the three productions you're most looking forward to this season!

**bonus entries**
1- subscribe to slcFLAKE.blogspot.com and leave a comment letting me know.
2- Follow both @caroline.slcflake and @utahopera on Instagram and leave a comment below
3- Follow both @utahopera and @slcflake on Twitter and leave a comment below.
4- Visit @caroline.slcflake on Instagram and share this post with your followers and leave a comment below!

That's four ways to enter AND don't forget about Utah Opera & Salt Lake Magazine's Libretti and Libations ongoing photo contest on Instagram and Twitter - #UtahOperaSips

Good luck! A winnter will be selected at random on Wednesday 1/20. I'll be at tonight's premier and I'm so excited to experience the opera for the first time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lipstick Making with Craft Lake City and Skinworks School of Advanced Skincare

Craft Lake City is an amazing organization at the heart of Salt Lake City's thriving handmade and DIY community. Going on its 7th year, CLC's 2016 DIY Festival will span 3 days this summer [EEP!] running from August 12-14 - it's my very favorite event of the summer, if not of the year! In the meantime, they host a series of workshops featuring several events each month - keep an eye out for upcoming events on the Craft Lake City WebsiteFacebook, or Instagram to view more info and see upcoming workships.
Pigment measuring!

Yesterday, Craft Lake City hosted a Lipstick Making Workshop with Natalie Parkin of Skinworks School of Advanced Skincare. If you haven't checked out the student spa menu at Skinworks yet I highly suggest you do so soon. I haven't had a service done in years, but it's such a great value [a 60 minute facial for $30 and/or 60 minute body scrub for $25? Yes, please.]

Natalie Parkins, CLC Advisory Board Member and owner of Skinworks School of Advanced Skincare, working some lipstick mold magic.
I had seen a few photos on Instagram of custom-made lipstick, but had never experienced it firsthand. This was such a fun class and surprisingly easy considering how hard it can be to choose a shade while out shopping. There was a bit information on different lipstick base formulas [our options were matte, crème, and butter] some basic color theory, and a demonstration before being set free to play with pigments. It was 2 hours and $30 well spent - and we each got to walk away with two custom shades and a little bonus pot of leftovers. This workshop sold out fast and was such a good time that I'm crossing my fingers it's offered again soon!

:: Pigments + silkening potion! ::
:: Mixing Pigments :: 
:: Add the base :: 
:: Pour into the mold :: 
:: Magic! ::

:: So fancy, so fresh, so diy-rad! ::
So much fun! Sometimes the people you're closest to can be the hardest to shop for. I purchased tickets to this event as a Christmas gift and I loved getting the chance to spend time with one of my favorite ladybabes while creating something unique. Keep you ears out for upcoming classes - a little bird told me to keep an eye on Craft Lake City's social media this week for an exciting new class series you could toast to!

Friday, January 8, 2016

FINCA // Libretti & Libations


Last week I got together with a girlfriend to catch up over a late lunch and drinks at Finca. With so many amazing spots around Salt Lake it can be hard to make a decision. You know FOMO - fear of missing out? It's like that, but instead of being bummed by your cousin's friend's sister's vacation photos on Facebook it's being crushed that you can't squeeze more meals in a day. That said, there's not a thing to be disappointed about when you step foot into Finca. It's a damn sexy space from the muted floral wallpaper peeking out of the side rooms to the deep, dark, peacock walls and the cozy lounge area - colors, texture, and lighting, it's all spot on whether you visit for brunch, midday, or an evening date.

Pick a seat by the window and spend two hours letting the light wash over you with some salty, savory papas y aioli, a bocadillo [the gambas and bikini are both extraordinary,] some good conversation [or a good cookbook!] and at least a cocktail or two. You won't regret it.

Finca is one of 6 Salt Lake and Park City restaurants participating in the Utah Opera's and Salt Lake Magazine's Libretti and Libations. Running through January 24 Bodega, Finca, Pallet Bistro, BTG Wine Bar, OP Rockwell, and Handle are serving craft cocktails inspired by Utah Opera's The Merry Widdow. Visit and post a photo of your Libretti and Libations cocktail to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #UtahOperaSips by January 20 to be entered into a contest for a pair of tickets to see The Merry Widow at Capitol Theater on January 22.

SLOE WALTZ :: described by creator Natalie Hamilton as "light, happy, and teasing," it's one of the best cocktails I've had in some time. 

BOCADILLO :: GAMBAS :: fried rock shrimp, avocado spread, smoked tomato jam, greens w/ PAPAS Y AIOLI - local potatoes, paprika, house-made garlic aioli

Spruce Gin & Tonic :: It's a near-travesty to visit Finca and not order one of their gin and tonics with house-made tonic syrup.