X Appeal: Table X is Fixing to be the Ryan Gosling of Millcreek’s Restaurant Scene
1457 E. 3350 S., SLC || 385.528.3712
Wednesday–Sunday: 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
If you happen to have an early dinner reservation at Millcreek’s Table X, you might be fortunate enough to see members of the kitchen staff dutifully gathering produce and herbs from the restaurant’s onsite box gardens. Admittedly, it was a surprise to see the cheerful staff in their freshly pressed chef coats gingerly selecting the root vegetables and edible flowers that would find their way to their seasonal dishes. While locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine is hot right now, it’s rare to see the people who will eventually be cooking your food out gathering the evening’s ingredients—especially in the middle of Millcreek’s metropolitan area.
This spirit of innovative cultivation permeates everything about Table X, from its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it menu changes to the rustic-chic exposed ceiling beams and geometrically painted walls. The open kitchen design gives diners an all-access look into the preparation of the evening’s meals, and the adjacent banquet room is impeccably dressed for any occasion in need of a stylish meal. All in all, Table X is a space that feels unmistakably, effortlessly cool while remaining warm and inviting—just like Ryan Gosling.
After being charmed by Table X’s outdoor box gardens and wowed by its sleek yet accessible design, it was time to see how the food played into the restaurant’s overall aesthetic. The menu’s tendency to shift and metamorphose based on what food happens to be in season reveals the collaborative strength shared among executive chefs and owners David Barboza, Nick Fahs and Mike Blocher. Not only are these three culinary-school buddies obsessed with using ingredients at their seasonal peak, but they’re also versatile enough to shift their focus to make the most of what they have on hand.
Consider the Kimchi Gazpacho ($10). I had originally planned on ordering the Kimchi Egg, but the dish had shifted to gazpacho at the time of my visit. As the knowledgeable server explained the differences, I realized that I got to see a seasonal shift happen before my very eyes. The key components of the dish were replaced with a chilled broth made from tomato preserves and kimchi, puréed together and served table-side over half a pickled egg. The relationship between gazpacho and kimchi would never have occurred to me, but upon tasting this refreshingly savory broth, it seemed like a no-brainer. The tomato flavor was front and center, a welcome rarity in a dining environment that has bastardized tomatoes into a delivery system for high-fructose corn syrup. The spicy kick of the kimchi arrives right on time, harmoniously melding with the rich tomato, and the pickled egg works as a salty, textural foil to the gazpacho, which rounded out this impressively conceived dish.
My experience with the entrée section of the menu was deceptive. With options like Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms ($20) and the modestly named Scallops ($28), I was curious to see the minimalistic descriptions play themselves out on my plate. Both entrées are absolutely beautiful when they arrive—the sear-gilded diver scallops are cradled in warm barley and fava beans, and the mushrooms came arranged like the fertile bed of a deep forest floor. The Scallops are spot on, and the barley/fava bean mixture is precisely the right complement to their rich, buttery flavor. The Intermountain Gourmet Mushrooms were positively disarming—as I navigated my way through the morel, shiitake, oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms so carefully arranged on my plate, I found myself wishing most steaks were this satisfying.
Dessert is a bit of a mixed bag—it’s all tasty and well thought-out, but some options work a bit better than others. The Cardamom Sponge Cake ($9) is a fluffy cloud topped with a surprisingly tart lemon-honey sorbet, which kicks the cardamom into high gear. The Honey Poached Rhubarb ($9) offers nicely sweetened stalks of poached rhubarb beneath an herbaceous crème anglaise, but it strays a bit too far from the dessert spectrum to warrant a place in this section of the menu.
In addition to their regular menu selections, Table X also offers a Chef’s Tasting Menu ($55), which offers up a culinary mixtape of what the chefs are working with in a given week. It’s a five-course meal that features smaller portions of some existing menu items and can be served with an optional beverage pairing ($20 for wine, $15 for non-alcoholic beverages). The standouts of my particular visit were the Red Beet Curry ($9), the Morgan Valley Lamb Tartare ($12) and the White Sturgeon ($28). The Red Beet Curry is a silky, curry-spiked beet purée that makes those salted, garden-fresh radishes sing. It’s a small, flavor-filled jumpstart to the senses. The Lamb Tartare is all about playing with texture—it comes with a house-made cracker that makes an excellent vehicle for the smooth lamb tartare and the pungent pop of mustard seed. I’d definitely love to get a full-sized portion of that White Sturgeon, which was perfectly cooked and lightly crispy.
It’s nice to see restaurants like this branch outward from the restaurant hubs of Salt Lake and Provo—Millcreek is the perfect place for a hip, sustainability-oriented place like Table X. And any place that can sauté locally grown mushrooms into a meal that would satiate even the most carnivorous of carnivores has to be doing something right.