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.