Vinto Pizzeria

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Ever since I first read about Vinto Pizzeria early last year, I have been wanting to try it.  We live about an hour away from Downtown Salt Lake City, so it hadn’t happened until last week  Becky, also know as The Vintage Mixer or @slcfoodie on Twitter, put together a dinner for some of us local bloggers.  (You can read her post here.)

It was really fun to see familiar faces and say hello to new and old bloggie friends–Annalise from Completely Delicious, Heather from the Salt Lake Examiner, Barbara from Barbara Bakes, Ryan from SLC Eats, Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod, Jenny and Matthew from SLC Cheap Eats, Mike from Foodie from Scratch, Marsha from About.com Salt Lake, and Kelley from Mountain Mama Cooks.

Vinto has won some local awards and most recently was featured in Sunset Magazine–pretty good for a restaurant that’s only been around for two years, I say.

Did it live up to the hype?  Why, yes, it certainly did.

The decor is really hip, fresh, and fun.  Not too fancy, and not too casual.  Perfect, in other words.

We were late, as usual.  (Don’t get me started on traffic and construction in Utah.  It is never ending.)  Everyone was so nice to us.  We were able to catch up on the appetizers that we’d missed.  But first we started out with some Italian sodas.  I ordered peach and my husband ordered hazelnut.  I’ll tell you what, that’s a good drink–one that I hope to recreate throughout the rest of the summer.
Becky joined us at our table and we discussed the Sorrel Soup made with potatoes and cream.  Chef Clay makes sure to use as many local ingredients as he can, and he picked up some locally grown sorrel for this soup. If you’ve never had or even heard of sorrel, it’s like a lemony spinach–including the bright acidity of lemon.  It was refreshing and balanced out the richness of the creamy soup.  Becky recreated it at home and I can’t wait to try out her recipe.
Then our antipasti were brought out.  Caprese Arrostito made with roasted San Marzano tomatoes, giant basil, and fior de latte mozarella; followed by Grilled Artichokes with wild arugula and a shallot vinaigrette.  I could have a steady diet of those artichokes and never tire of them.

Mmm…I want some more artichokes right now.

Next came the Housemade Meatballs, which I did not try because they weren’t gluten-free.  My husband assured me they were incredible.

The chopped salads came out next.  I was very excited to try the Verdura salad.  My husband said it was the kind of salad I would make at home–an eclectic mix of ingredients that tasted really good together.  (Thankyouverymuch.)  Completely vegan and delicious.  The lemon-basil vinaigrette was fresh and delightful.

The Italiana Chopped salad seemed to be the favorite of my husband–greens, chicken, pancetta (from Caputo’s Market), pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, fontina with a red wine vinaigrette.  It was very satisfying.

After the salads, the tantilizing smell of orange wafted by as the Fettucine Arancione was brought to the table. Again, I didn’t try this, but Becky was smitten with it.  A creamy orange citrus sauce with prosciutto sounds great, right?

Then it was time for the pizza–the moment I had been waiting for.  I’m relatively new to eating gluten-free.  I’ve been doing it on and off for about a year, but recently I’ve been more dedicated to it.  It has been awhile since I’ve had pizza and I miss it.  I almost told Becky I wouldn’t be able to go to the dinner because I wouldn’t be able to eat anything anyway.  But I did a smart thing–I checked Vinto’s menu online and saw that they had gluten-free pizza.  So, I requested a little special treatment for the night.  I had never tried GF pizza before, and there aren’t a lot of places around here that do that.  When I got to Vinto, Becky said they were excited to hear what I thought about the GF pizza because it’s something they’ve been trying to get perfect for their GF customers.

I really like those kinds of details–it means a lot to know you are valued as a customer.  Now, if the pizza had not been delicious, that might not have mattered quite so much, but it was delicious.

Now, when you go to Vinto, you won’t be able to get a 3-in-one pizza.  This was a special thing they did so I could taste the same varieties as everyone else.  But, my advice is to go there and just order three pizzas.  You’ll want to try them all.

There were the three kinds–Margherita (fior di latte mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil), Tuttabella (housemade sausage, caramelized onion, fresh tomato, garlic, roasted peppers, fontina, and fior di latte mozzarella), and Patate (sliced yukon gold potatoes, fontina, goat cheese, rosemary, wild arugula, and white truffle oil).

I was blown away with the deliciousness of these pizzas.  The housemade sausage is worth the trip alone.  Best sausage ever.  The patate pizza is right up my alley and I loved every bite.  What a great combination of flavors and textures.

The crust was fabulous.  They really took great pains to find the perfect GF crust to make available to their customers.  It isn’t housemade, but they don’t rip you off either.  It’s only an extra $2.50 per pizza.  They give it to you at cost–no price gouging because you have a food allergy or sensitivity.  Awesome.

The secret to their great pizza (besides great ingredients and a great chef)?  The wood-fired oven.
What came out next?
Desserts.  Oh, the desserts.  We were able to try three different desserts–Butterscotch Budino, the Gelati-Sorbetti sampler, and the Vanilla Gelato with olive oil and grey sea salt.  The basil gelato was out-of-this-world.
We got to meet the pastry chef, Amber and ask her some questions.  Then I asked Chef Clay if I could see the gelato machine–a Capriani imported from Italy.  Amber makes all of the sorbet and gelato fresh each day in small batches.
Left to right, back row:  Orange Honey, Dark Chocolate Sorbet, Lemon Sorbet.  L to R, front row:  Basil, Fresh Strawberry, Chocolate Chip.  Some of the best gelato and sorbet I’ve ever tasted.

While I recommend all of the flavors I tried, the orange honey and basil are my very favorites.  I was in love with this machine and begged my husband to buy one for me.  I even offered to trade in my car for one. :)

The vanilla with olive oil was surprisingly good.  The olive oil was very fruity and the grey salt was nice in contrast with the sweet gelato and the fruity olive oil.
The budino (Italian for pudding) was addicting.  I think I ate the most of the three of us at our table.  I totally dig that kind of dessert and the salted caramel on the top was just right.
My hubby with Chef Clay.
Should you visit Vinto?  The answer is a resounding YES.  The food was spectacular.  The prices are as fantastic as the food.  We looked at the menu and had to rub our eyes because the prices are so good.  You could easily eat our for under $20 for two people and not go away hungry.  They even have a kids menu.  The service was quick and friendly.  The servers use a cool new high tech gadget when they take your order so that as they enter it in, the kitchen receives your order and starts to prepare your food immediately.  No waiting around forever to get your food.  A huge plus if you are eating out with small children.  And if you aren’t in a rush, then you can still get your food quickly and sit and leisurely enjoy your food.  All around a great place to go.
Thanks to Becky and the people at Vinto for a great dinner.  (And the leftovers for lunch the next day.)  We will definitely be back again and again.
Should you want to visit, here is all the info:
418 East 200 South
Salt Lake City, UT
801.539.9999

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11 Comments

  1. I can’t believe we’ve now been to two events together and haven’t officially met. We had to run Tuesday night, but I wish I would have taken a moment to say hello. Lovely recap of a fabulous evening! I’ve already been back to Vinto since, it’s one of my faves.

  2. Stop it already!!! You are making me wish I was a food blogger!! All that food sounds so delicious. We will have to try it out next time we are in SLC!

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