Restaurants + Cocktails

Provisions | Millcreek FTW

Chef Tyler Stokes has got it goin’ on all up in here: the talented chops of a top-resort chef [count it out; PC, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole], the work ethic of a Wyoming rancher’s kid [true story], and the good looks and charm of a foodie-fueled celebrity TV cook off [we have no idea, but we’ll take credit for y’all hearing it here first]. For those Utahns who have been hearing about Provisions—this “great place that popped up” two-and-a-half months ago—it’s like a lot of cranking success stories. Actually, Stokes’s boom was built upon superb business timing, great market research, and tremendous culinary skill. Stokes has been working in professional kitchens since the age of 17, when, as he said, “I loved it from the first minute,” and he’d been looking for the perfect place to start his own kitchen SLC for the past three years. In moving into the space formerly occupied by Lugano, Stokes inherited a prime location paired with a full liquor license, sans Zion Curtain. Lucky us.

Stokes calls Provisions “an American craft kitchen,” and does so with complete sincerity

There’s a renaissance goin’ on in the greater Millcreek/Holladay/Murray area, and it’s about damn time. The folks living there have long lauded their easy access to recreation in the glorious nearby canyons, stunning views, and—hello—fab MCM architecture sprinkled liberally throughout their ‘ville [Olympus Cove only being one example]. In addition to the internet-breaking win of Caputo’s Market, Copper Kitchen, and Taqueria 27 moving extensions into M-H, those smug bastards in Millcreek can crow about their latest coup, Provisions, featuring the tasty triumvirate of truly superior plates paired with creative and delicious cocktails concocted by bar manager Giancarlo Farina in a delightful space. Add in a thoughtfully-sourced wine list [including some of the best stuff coming out of Washington and Oregon we’ve had in ages] and a surprisingly reasonable price-point and we are sold, sugar.

Stokes calls Provisions “an American craft kitchen,” and does so with complete sincerity. Chef Stokes should know; he really does carefully select and craft by hand the entire ever-changing menu, from starters to desserts, with generous integrity. While there’s the occasional hit of molecular gastronomy [that plum wine ‘caviar’ on the Hamachi sashimi? Next to that crispy fried ginger? Genius.], the food remains simultaneously fresh, bright, and dramatic, even in the waning days of December. Sticking to a seasonal menu based on winter foodstuffs, the Provisions kitchen cranks out fresh and delightful food, full of comfort, flavor, vigor, and whimsy. Try out any item on the “wood fired veggies” section of the menu and you’ll be hooked: all superlative plates $10 and under featuring supah-fresh veg roasted in the kitchen’s wood-burning oven with tender lovin’ care. Sure, the sexy beets and ‘shrooms with truffle oil and a panko-crisped poached egg #cometomama are a dead easy choice, but don’t overlook the cauliflower tossed with a completely addicting blend of fish sauce and pine nuts.

The cocktails coming out of their tiny bar space are as lovely for the palate as they are for your peepers

And don’t even get us started on the mains and the heartier small plates, ‘cause for those we will COLLECTIVELY ring rhapsodic for days. Since the menu changes on the regular [like, a couple of times a month], we’ll just give a quick shout out to the tower of fan-fecking-tastic beef tenderloin—no, really, it’s a tower!—over wood roasted fingerling potatoes delicately resting on top of a soy-garlic jus—and to gild that fantabulous lily, topped with blue-cheese butter and tempura enoki [those long skinny rather phallic mushrooms]. Then there are those plates you can’t get just anywhere in the SLC, and thank goodness Stokes is taking the time to make ‘em ready for our greedy paws: perfect oysters, crispy pigs head torchon, wood roasted bone marrow with, have mercy, red onion marmalade. The  ever-underrated rabbit, in this case paired perfectly and generously sauced with sage brown butter over house-made tagliarini pasta. The cocktails coming out of their tiny bar space are as lovely for the palate as they are for your peepers. Locals already claim favorites like the Lions Tale and their smoky orange marmalade Old Fashioned. We’re looking forward to seeing bar man Farina’s amazing lemon-dusted Vesper on the menu, soon. Very soon, pretty please.

Chef Stokes and crew are cooking up some delicious variations on the current menu in the next couple of months. Book now for the menu à prix fixe New Year’s Eve Dinner with two options for each course, an original cocktail, and decadent wine pairings. Sure to be a stunner of an evening. In addition to Tues-Sun dinners, they’re also planning to add Sunday brunch with a few noteworthy day-drinking cocktails and even more reasons to keep us coming back to Provisions again and again. We’ll be there.

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