When people think of Southern food, images of fried chicken, collard greens and peach pie might come to mind. But what really steals your heart is the feeling of comfort—maybe even of home. And with all those thoughts and feelings come two new Southern-inspired restaurants to the Wasatch Front dining scene—both of which will surprise and delight with their daring and stunning takes on cuisine. Meet Tupelo and Porch.
In Park City, Tupelo has taken over the old Silver restaurant location and warmed up the atmosphere with creams and gold while Executive Chef and co-owner Matt Harris’ global cuisine rooted in his Southern upbringing heats up the kitchen.
Harris, along with his wife Maggie Alvarez and their stellar team of pastry chef Shirley Butler and general manager and wine director Morgan Craft and event director Carla Craft have gathered an experienced staff from around Park City who will cater to every need during your meal. Then, take a spin around the world via shared plates reflecting cuisines from both near and far.
Start with the lightly fried Maine crab fritters accented with hot sauce butter and tangy okra or the crunchy grilled heirloom carrots with a zing of cured lemon and spiced sour cream.
Don’t miss the housemade pappardelle pasta lovingly tossed with Brussels sprouts and pecorino cheese and studded with melt-in-your-mouth braised rabbit. Believe me, you’ve never eaten rabbit like this before and you’ll want to enjoy it again and again. Seafood lovers can get their fill with the seared scallops served with a slightly sweet squash puree and smoky collard greens.
End you meal with a selection from Butler’s dessert creations like the sticky toffee pudding with a pecan caramel sauce and a heavenly scoop of Earl Grey bitters ice cream.
Tupelo is located at 508 Main Street in Park City. Open for lunch Monday through Friday, brunch Saturday and Sunday and dinner seven nights a week.
And back in the Salt Lake valley on the western edge in Daybreak is Porch. Porch is the sophomore offering of restaurateur Jen Gilroy who has been delighting diners with small plates at Meditrina for nearly the past decade. Porch harkens back to Gilroy’s time spent in Nashville and offers up spins on Southern comfort food with Gilroy’s trademark flair for the unusual.
Highlighting the importance of using local products, Porch dishes up a wide variety of menu items featuring the best of Utah. Start with the Porch lemonade made with SugarHouse Distillery vodka. Next, sample Drake Family Farms chevre in the Porch salad with a tangy cider bourbon vinaigrette or the house pimiento cheese with candied bacon on warm grilled bread.
For dinner, enjoy the Porch meatloaf boasting juicy ground pork and beef in a tomato balsamic glaze alongside a tomato confit, charred green beans and whipped potatoes. Or seafood lovers will melt over the crawfish mac & cheese with cheddar, chevre and parmesan hidden beneath a decadent bacon butter crumble.
Porch is located on SoDa Row at 11274 Kestrel Rise Road, Building C, Suite G. Open Tuesday through Sunday.