Restaurants + Cocktails

{the rest} | Embrace the Dark Side

11/9/2016 | Amy Tibbals

Were Happy Valley to have a silkily sauntering, dark evil twin, she’d be broodily personified best by {the rest}. As envisioned by owner Sara Lund, this elegant and cozy underground lair provides delicious sustenance, atmospheric solace, and impeccable intoxicants for “The Rest” of us. Rejoice, ye quirky misfits, outliers, freaks: for this is your weird and eerie place to call home away from home. It’s the antidote to the “see and be seen” splash-and-glam of our salty city’s bustling restaurant scene, which we adore when we’re in the mood. But as cityhomeCOLLECTIVE founder Cody Derrick says, “Sometimes I prefer to not be seen. Then, I go to {the rest}.”

Really, the entire space is the best kind of moody and broody

We can (and have) spent hours lounging there, taking in all of the delightfully macabre details that Sara has collected in this snug space. Groovy tunes spun on old-school vinyl. Massive taxidermy pieces sourced from friends in New York. Her personal collection of brass candlesticks, custom wood work of the substantial bar surround hand-built by Chad Parkinson, an entire wall of faux woodland greenery designed by Sara’s honey, Scott. In each booth, reliquary-like curiosity boxes (by local artist Jake Buntjer) portray creepy, sexy, dark vignettes of the seven deadly sins. Really, the entire space is the best kind of moody and broody (but we'll talk more about that in an upcoming design feature). Unlike many restaurateurs--who first develop a food and beverage concept and then build a space to match that program--Sara created a bar based upon her passion and honest desire to create a simultaneously swank and quirky space with a seriously clandestine vibe. The food and beverage service echoes her vision with the same touch of sly wit.

 

you're likely to be floored any time of year by any and every plate you have brought to the table.

That’s not to say that the food and drinks aren’t superb, because they are. Full stop. During our May visit, Chef Brandon Cagle was back at the helm after traveling in the U.S. south and southwest, and he'd brought those bold flavors back with him. Think fried green tomatoes with Nashville hot chicken powder and an ethereal riff on classic pimento cheese. Steamed pork buns, tender gnocchi with a flavor bomb of spring veggies, or smoked bone marrow with anchovy. The menu changes quarterly at {the rest}, so you might be staring down the barrel of a different smoking gun, but don't be deterred…you're likely to be floored any time of year by any and every plate you have brought to the table. Adam Albro’s bar program--as shaken and stirred by some of our favorite booze-slingers, Marco and Trevor--turns out some of the tastiest libations in town, and they’ve offered absinthe fountain service since {the rest} opened in 2013.

Here’s the deal, pals: Make a reservation. You'll need one to get into this 21+ bar; it’s part of the covert gig. Use a false name if you’re feeling particularly 007. When you arrive, give the folks upstairs at (also fabulous) Bodega your reservation info. And once you get downstairs--all cozy in your spot, candles abound and Bowie howling through the space--tell your server that you read this story and you're there as a cityhomeCOLLECTIVE friend (for you, we have a nice little perk *wink). Be prepared to linger a little longer, have another cocktail, and speculate on the distinct possibility of ghosts, because if ever a spot were to be haunted, it’s this one. Embrace the dark side.

Bodega/{the rest} | 331 S. Main, SLC | 801.532.4042

 

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