Dinner at Martine

The first thing you notice about Martine is the 19th century sandstone architecture, an inviting contrast to Salt Lake’s newest downtown renovations. Walking up the foot worn stairs of the historic building, you can sense this restaurant is special.

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Vaulted ceilings, huge windows and dark wood create a sophisticated ambiance. Fresh flowers and candlelight decorate each table. Martine is a restaurant that’s ideal for a special night out. The low lights and cozy atmosphere are a perfect setting to a wonderful meal with a special someone.

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Open since 1999, Martine is a local favorite. Chef and owner Tom Grant focuses on seasonal, local ingredients. His dishes are classic and sophisticated.

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We were graciously invited to try the new winter menu and we’d been looking forward to it for weeks! We hadn’t visited Martine in years, and frankly, the restaurant had dropped off our radar with the influx of new dining options in downtown Salt Lake City. We’re pleased to re-discover Martine.

The service was superb. Our server, Miko, knew the menu inside and out and was happy to share recommendations. I was especially impressed with her throughout knowledge of the long wine list (100+ bottles!).

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Our meal started with cocktails. The Nectar was a pleasant combination of Salt City Vodka ($10), Slide Ridge honey vinegar, vibrant orange blossom, a hint of mint, finished with a splash of soda.

Martine has always been popular for their tapas menu, and we eagerly indulged in a few different dishes. Grilled Oysters ($9) were served with a spicy chili mignonette – very tasty. The Wagu Beef Tartare ($13) was delectable with buttery, melt in your mouth beef served with crusty bread, chili oil and fresh greens.

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We both loved the Chanterelle Mushrooms ($12), a combination of savory mushrooms served with caramelized apples and melty taleggio cheese.

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We both ordered a bowl of the silky smooth Butternut Squash Soup ($8) for our next course. Topped with a drizzle of mascapone, the soup was rich and comforting with a hint of sweet spiciness, perfect for a chilly night.

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One of the nightly specials was Farro with Roasted Vegetables ($16).  It was a filling, gratifying dish with flavorful roasted beets, greens, mushrooms and okra. The farro was cooked perfectly, firm and a bit chewy (and awesome for lunch the next day). I was so impressed by Martine’s vegetarian dishes! This is one of the few American restaurants where you can order a substantial, filling vegetarian meal.

Dave ordered the Pan Roasted Pheasant Breast ($26) served with butter beans and andouille. It was rich and hearty – the sort of meal thats fit for a king. The low lights made it impossible to get a good picture, but trust us, it was impressive. Miko, our server, suggested the perfect glass to accompany the dish, a full-bodied pinot noir.

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For dessert, we opted to share the gingerbread cake topped with vanilla gelato ($7). Each bite of the frozen gelato melted over the warm gingerbread cake was heavenly. Accompanied by frothy cappuccinos, it was a perfect end to an unforgettable meal. If you haven’t been to Martine lately it’s time to visit.

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