Who'da thunk in the last bastion of arch-conservatism, jello and loads of white bread would there be a restaurant the likes of The Globe Cafe, and its alter ego, The Globe Cafe by Moonlight? This joint is like nothing else in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, or, dare I say it, Paris.
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of eating in some of the finest restaurants all over the world. There are stellar dishes to be sure, and bastions of cuisine that are above reproach. Certain restaurants have landmark or signature dishes.
But to me, a really stellar chef creates dishes that are approachable, astounding in their creative simplicity, and assailing all the senses the moment it's placed before you. In addition, in my book, unless I wake up craving certain dishes at 3 a.m., it's 'just' a good restaurant. In the case of executive genius chef Adam Kreisel, there isn't a dish I DON"T crave.
From the appetizers made from ingredients so mundane you'd never feature them at YOUR restaurant to the more esoteric, he shows a deft hand with every dish. Not only is he creative without being contrived, he also runs a great operation from dishwasher to hostess.
There is a laid-back air that belies the intense dedication I have rarely seen in chefs double the age and internationally famous. There is a passion for great, spectacular food here, and I am insanely stoked that it's here in Salt Lake.
I would try to describe the dishes, but as I told Rich and Lindsey (two of the excellent wait-staff), if I worked there, I'd tell the patrons to trust me and order for them. Adam is the kind of chef who, if pickled goat balls were on the menu, I'd order it just because I know he would do something outrageously delicious with them!
The menu is due to change soon, but I heard the edamame fondue will still be on the menu, and it's nothing like it sounds. Just sublime in every bite. The lamb riblets with cardamom-scented matzo balls are equally stellar, with a drizzle of whiskey currant sauce. Heaven.
The roast guinea hen with corn (!) sprouts was the last thing I tried---I hadn't ordered it before, because, well, it sounded like 'just another chicken dish'. Ye Gods! Was I ever wrong! Perfectly juicy breast meat, succulent dark meat, on a bed of crisp yet juicy stuffing---not the kind yo' mama makes, but the kind you scrape from the bottom of the pan when you think no one is looking. The corn shoots are the most perfect foil for a brilliantly simple dish.
A word or two on sous Chef Adam Findlay: if it isn't on the menu, call ahead and see if he will make you the Cajeta Bread Pudding. He is responsible for the desserts, and they are flawless, especially in this land of overly sweet, gooey concoctions. Findlay's are elegant, not too large, just the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Front-of-house manager Pete is also the cocktail wizard. Really, these are not to be missed. From the Italian Stallion (one sip and you're on the Via Venetto, handsome men zipping by you on their Vespas, leaving you in a wake of expensive aftershave and petrol) to the Mission Fig Martini, none of the specialty cocktails misses a beat either.
If you want a steak, with all-you-can-eat salad bar, skip the Globe by Moonlight. But if you crave stellar, creative, 3 Michelin-Star-level cooking, and you think Bocuse is a tad overated, save the Paris plane fare and book your next flight to Salt Lake City. And if you frequent the local 'boo-fays', but wonder what all the fuss is about on the Food Network---TRUST ME! Order a Tasting Menu (samples of everything) and let Adam pair the wines for you. You will be astounded.
If I could only eat in one restaurant for the rest of my life, this would be the place. Sorry Grand Vefour in Paris. You've been slightly nudged out of my #1 spot. Try the Globe Cafe by Moonlight. 264 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. Phone: (801)321-0160. Let me know if you aren't amazed!