The Copper Onion and Bruges Waffles and Frites
May 18, 2010
Just outside Broadway Centre Cinemas
I ate at The Copper Onion for the second time last night. Bottom line: I like.
Having really enjoyed their house-made pappardelle with pork ragout the last time I was there in January, I was tempted to order another pasta dish. Carbonara always sounds good to me, but since I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I figured I’d do something lighter.
Whether I accomplished this by getting the griddled halibut, I’m not sure. The first was straight ahead: perfectly cooked fish, a rarity in landlocked Utah, with a light, crisp crust of very fine cornmeal. The fish is served on a bed of dark-green herb spaetzle which has a vibrant red, mildly spicy piquillo vinaigrette around it as a sauce. And, to push things over the top, as well as add a really welcome unctuous note, a few chunks of grilled pork belly scatted around. The overall look of the plate is all fish, all the time, which is how I want my seafood entree. Although the menu said the dish came with market vegetables, they didn’t appear on my plate, unless they were somehow disguised cleverly, hiding in the spaetzle.
Dessert, on the other hand, was a disaster. What was sold as an apple cobbler was really more of an apple crisp, and light on the crisp: only half a dozen very small clusters of oats sprinkled over my bowl of limp, dead-tasting apples with a scant half-scoop of vanilla ice cream and some caramel sauce.
I love dessert to an unnatural degree, so it’s a strong recommendation when I say that I’ll go back to Copper Onion despite that apple cobbler. I’ll skip dessert next time, though, in favor of a two-block walk to Bayleaf Cafe or maybe take the short drive straight up Third South to
where dessert nirvana awaits in the form of the vanilla gaufre, a dense, moist confection served hot off the iron. Although Bruges sells the lighter liege waffle that I was more familiar with, they cannot hold a candle to these small, dense little jewels. Owner Pierre Vandamme has blessed Salt Lake City with a real gem here. They sell frites and a variety of dipping sauces sure to stretch the palate of we living in The Land of Fry Sauce. But, for me, this place is all about dessert. Although they offer ice cream, berries, and chocolate as potential toppings, after maybe a dozen of the things with topping combinations from plain to smothered, I go back to the simple vanilla waffle with creme fraiche. If I really feel the need for a change, I’ll maybe do the cinnamon instead.