We’d heard some great comments about the Tin Angel Café before our trip out to Salt Lake City, so we had pretty high expectations. (Which can be dangerous. How many times have you gone to the movies on a friend’s recommendation—“A Good Day to Die Hard is so much fun!”—and lamented the $20 and two hours you’ll never get back?) Well, we’re happy to report that the Tin Angel exceeded our exceedingly picky tastes.
While located in an unusual neighborhood—downtown Salt Lake’s less-than-scenic Pioneer Square area—the Tin Angel is a haven of hip, laid-back atmosphere and fresh, creative, carefully crafted food. The restaurant was founded by chef and world traveler Jerry Liedtke (we hear he’s also a badass snowboarder), his wife, Kestrel, and their best friend, Robin Fairchild, in 2007 in an 1870s-era house that’s decorated with original art and jewelry (some of it for sale), so it has the close, intimate, no-hurry feel of a Spanish tapas joint. The food, served on vintage china, is European-influenced and focused on refined flavors from sustainably grown, local foods. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the prices are very reasonable (2 for $12 for the tapas, and around $20 for entrees). And did we mention that Anthony Bourdain has eaten here? Instant cool cred.
We each savored the fresh arugula salad with sliced beats and goat cheese in a balsamic reduction, and couldn’t decide on tapas or entrees, so we got a bit of both. Our top picks were the Cheese Encroute (Asiago fresco, caramelized onions, candied pecans, and fresh sage wrapped in homemade dough), the Moroccan-spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas, and the Chicken Marsala (with a mix of delicious mushrooms and topped with crispy prosciutto). But we’re pretty sure you can go wrong with anything you might pick at the Tin Angel. So the next time you’re in SLC, make a date with an angel.