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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
I am not a restaurant critic. I know. I know. It seems I do talk about a lot of restaurants on this program but it's just because we have so many great ones in the state.
I frequent fast food outlets. I go to diners. I visit the little Ma & Pa eateries throughout the state. I have eaten off of oilcloth and fine linen. There is a huge spectrum of eating establishments and there is something to be said about all classes of eating out. However, when you talk about the defining standard of haute cuisine in Utah you think of the Metropolitan Restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City.
My friend, Izzi Wagner, first introduced me to The Metropolitan. When we first entered, I was wowed by the careful attention given to every detail of the fine dining experience. Tables are set with Italian Frette linens, Limoges china, Riedel crystal and spaced three feet apart for more privacy.
An exposed kitchen, framed with heavy gauge copper cookware from France, illuminates the sizzle and flare of staff as they prepare dinner five nights each week. One night when I was there, I saw them prepare Seared Maine Diver Scallops, Pacific Oyster Soup with Perigord truffles, Roasted Loin of Alaskan Caribou and Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!
Owner and general manager Karen Olson is from Michigan. The Olson family opened The Metropolitan just six years ago. Karen has continually refined the Metropolitan experience. The cozy horseshoe-shaped granite bar off the entryway is a chic bistro where diners can order from a more modestly priced menu. There is live jazz on Saturdays, and Karen has introduced a monthly cooking class that explores everything from Asian fusion and classic French cooking to regional cuisine's from around the world.
Not long ago, YoYo Ma, the world famous cellist, was in town to perform with the Utah Symphony. Joyce and I were privileged to be invited to a post concert dinner with YoYo at The Metropolitan. This artist has performed in all of the great cities of the world. After we finished our spectacular dinner, he commented that this was one of the finest restaurant experiences he had ever had. I agreed.
Karen Olson has been given just about every dining award that you could receive. All are richly deserved.
For Zions Bank, this is Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.