Caffé Molise: A Flight of Flavor
404 S W Temple St, SLC, UT
M–Th, Su: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–9 p.m.
F–Sa: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10 p.m.
801.364.8833 | caffemolise.com
Nestled in the iconic Eagles Building is Caffé Molise, an eccentric, upscale blend of tradition and modern zest. More than a restaurant, it’s a bridge between eras. Here, you aren’t just getting a meal but experiencing a flight of flavors under the watchful eyes of the building’s renowned eagle statues. This historic venue, standing proudly since the early 1900s, is now home to a culinary marvel that seamlessly intertwines past and present.
A testament to enduring community love, the restaurant has been a local favorite for almost a quarter-century. It was founded by Shelley DeProto in 1993, not far from where it stands today. By 2003, a chef from Molise, Fred Moesinger, began steering the ship, bringing passion and perfection to the forefront. Moesinger, alongside his wife and business partner, Aimee Sterling, envisioned a place where the pulse of today resonates with echoes of yesterday. “We spent three years searching for the perfect building,” he says. “Finding a downtown location was our biggest focus—with a spacious venue for events, a charming patio and tons of character.”
“Finding a downtown location was our biggest focus—with a spacious venue for events, a charming patio and tons of character.”
Walking into Caffé Molise is like stepping into a design blend of history and imagination. The Eagles Building, named after its early inhabitants, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, preserves stories from days of old. Constructed in 1915, this historic edifice served as a focal point for providing 20th-century medical aid in Utah and even hosted clandestine boxing bouts in its basement. The Fraternal Order of Eagles is a nonprofit organization wholeheartedly dedicated to fostering community engagement, championing charitable activities and nurturing friendships among its members.
As you dine, eagle emblems catch your gaze and an array of eclectic art injects a playful spirit. There’s a gracious design nod to Italy, which is apparent through the space’s Neo-Renaissance architecture, setting the stage with majestic staircases and arches. The owners proudly display family history with formal portraits of great-grandparents overlooking the bar area and a prominent depiction of the patriarch gracing the center of the dining room. The interior design also features opulent walnut wood, plush velvet furnishings and vintage teal and silver brocade wallpaper, helping to envelop guests and make them feel at once royal and at ease.
Every meticulously crafted detail within the building narrates a tale, urging diners to be more than just eaters but active participants in an ever-evolving story. “We envisioned a space that was an elevated experience, yet felt like home,” says Moesinger. There’s also art, not just on the plates but on the walls: the second floor showcases Pamela O’Mara’s original artworks, ready for patrons to take a slice of history home.
“We envisioned a space that was an elevated experience, yet felt like home.”
The culinary offerings at Caffé Molise take inspiration from its namesake region in Italy. While the essence is authentically Italian, there’s a touch of Utah’s soul in every dish. By sourcing many of their ingredients from local farmers and partnering with renowned culinary craftsmen such as Creminelli Fine Meats, every dish is imbued with the distinctive taste of Utah. “Our focus is on blending Molise’s distinct character with the best from Utah farms—sustainably and honestly,” Moesinger explains. Caffé Molise is primarily known for their exquisite pasta creations, though every plate and presentation is a visual and gustatory delight. Each dish is meticulously plated to ensure that the specific type of pasta and its accompanying sauce are showcased in all their glory.
In the vibrant landscape of Salt Lake City’s culinary realm, Caffé Molise is a beacon. It promises more than just flavors—it delivers memories, connections and heartwarming tales. Be it a casual brunch or an intimate evening, Caffé Molise crafts an exquisite meld of history and culinary artistry, leaving you yearning for the next chapter.