Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resturaunt Review: Spark

Spark Restaurant and Lounge

86 N University Ave Downtown 
(Bottom of Wells Fargo Building)

Provo, UT 84601 / 801-701-6780

My husband and I are big fans of Spark Restaurant and Lounge. A few years ago, my husband and I were discussing that someone or some restaurant needed to specialize in non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Then Spark opens up and they do exactly that. We have only been there twice, but I have been impressed both times.

The first time we went I ordered one of their bottled specialty drinks: red cola. It was the best cola drink I have ever had. It had a little spice to it which was awesome. Trent ordered a house-made drink: the Pomegron. It is made with pomegranate puree, tarragon, lime and seltzer water. It was not my favorite drink mainly because I do not like tarragon, but my husband enjoyed it very much. 

Along with our drinks we ordered two appetizers: a shrimp appetizer and dueling edamame. They no longer serve the shrimp (at least it is not on their menu) which is so sad because it was seriously the best shrimp I have ever eaten. The shrimp was big, plump and juicy and the seasonings were spot on. The dueling edamame is half edamame with Hawaiian lemon salt  and the other half sautĂ©ed with bacon . Bacon goes well with everything, and the lemon salt was light and refreshing compared to the salty rich bacon edamame. I am a huge fan.

This second time we went with some friends. For drinks we ordered double berry martini made with raspberry and blackberry purees, seltzer water with berry garnish. This was my favorite drink so far. Sometimes when you order berry brinks they can be a little too bitter or too sweet, this was absolutely spot on. It was creamy and cool. My husband ordered a peach bellini made with white peach puree and seltzer water. My husband enjoyed it, but he admitted mine was better. 

For appetizers we ordered fried pork lollipops and pommes frites. The pork lollipops were really good (though something you could copy and make at home). I always enjoy things with sauces so was pleased to try out the jalapeno tartar, orange sweet chili, lemon soy vinegar dipping sauces. They were all delicious and I ended up dipping my pommes frites in them. I was a little disappointed by the jalapeno tarter though, it was more tarter and not very much jalapeno. The pommes frites (fancy name for french fries) were also very good. These came with dipping sauces as well: garlic aioli and blue cheese sauce, which were thoroughly enjoyed. Over all, Spark is very good with their drinks, appetizers, and desserts. 

For entrees we ordered the butternut squash ravioli made with roasted hazelnuts, guajillo puree, leek cream, grana padano and fried leeks. This is was not my favorite. The ravioli and the nuts were very good, but the butternut squash was way too sweet for my liking, and I did not enjoy the cinnamon flavor that accompanied it. It was not horrible (I still ate all of it), but I probably would not order it again. We also ordered lemon and chives risotto with rock shrimp and Parmesan cheese. I really like the risotto, it was so creamy and comforting. I have never had risotto so I cannot compare it, but I would eat it again. Lastly is the pan seared salmon with warm truffle potato salad, baby arugula , beets, and lemon beurre blanc. I did not try the salmon (though it looked delicious), but the potato salad was excellent. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't taste the truffles. I have never had one before, so I was thinking it would be this wonderful experience, but I think the pieces were too small to really catch the flavor. 

Over all I really enjoy Spark and the fine dining atmosphere. However, I do not think I will order an entree next time. I think I will just stick to the drinks and appetizers. 

If you are interested in visiting Spark, they do have lunch special every day that include an appetizer, entree and dessert for $10. If you become a fan on facebook or twitter they post the lunch special daily.

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