By Courtney Buell
Photography by Cody Buell
Provo, Utah: A chic, urban destination with gourmet dining, sleek style and a buzzing social scene. What? Not the Provo you know? Well, I can think of one spot that fits the bill. Meet Spark Restaurant Lounge.
Located in the Wells Fargo Building on University Avenue, Spark serves up hip, gourmet eats and sophisticated atmosphere unlike anyone in Utah Valley. You can enjoy a delicious meal at a table, or drinks and appetizers at the bar, or cozy up in the lounge and loft areas.
One of the first things you should know about Spark is that it’s a teetotaler’s paradise. A playful drink menu includes such fun refreshments as mango mojitos, peartinis rimmed with cinnamon sugar, and even Shirley Temples topped with clouds of cotton candy—and all non-alcoholic but still delicious. Particularly interesting was what they call the “hot and cold:” a layered beverage with a warm, lemon base and cold Coke on top.
Appetizers are equally novel with options like cumin fries with garlic aioli and house-made pasta with lamb ragu. One of our favorites was the “dueling edamame,” feauturing soybeans two never-had-before ways: vanilla-steamed and bacon-sauteed. The chef also whipped up some just-for-us fancy mushroom and swiss profiteroles (kind of like a cream puff, but without the cream). We hope to see them on the menu soon.
For dinner, we ordered roasted black cod with spaghetti squash and crispy mashed potatoes, and flat iron steak and short rib with fingerling potatoes. The cod came topped with garlic foam and was cooked to flaky perfection. The flat iron was tender with a great crust on the outside, and the short rib literally fell apart it was so well-cooked.
Dessert, anyone? Choices range from delicate to decadent with pink grapefruit frozen mousse and poppyseed cake with lavender foam, to almond-coated fried chocolate pudding with orange coriander ice cream. Despite their complex sounds, these sweet options taste oh-so-right at the end of a meal of this kind.
Here’s the deal: Don’t let Spark’s chic decor (did you see that chandelier?) and gourmet options scare you into ordering small. Even when it includes appetizers, drinks and dessert, the bill won’t hurt too much. Specialty drinks range from $3 – $4.50, appetizers from $5 – $10, salads from $8 – $11, entrees from $14 – 20 and desserts from $6 – $7, so you can impress your date and still make rent. In style.
Spark Restaurant Lounge
86 N. University Avenue