Avenues Bistro on Third is a quaint little restaurant located in the Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah. At first glance, the restaurant blends in with the surrounding houses which gives it a homely charm. This relaxing atmosphere continues to manifest itself when you step through the doors.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is stress-free and warm. The decor is made up of books, paintings, and other such things that one would expect to find in their living room. While it is a rather cozy restaurant, it isn’t cramped. The centerpiece is the diner-style kitchen where chefs are tending to their pots and pans. This is a cool feature; I like being able to see my food being prepared and have contact with the chef because it adds to homely atmosphere of a restaurant. It’s as if you are sitting at the dining room table while someone is in the kitchen preparing a meal. The service here is rather laid back, which is good and bad. It’s not the fastest or most formal experience, but you won’t be bugged constantly by an overeager waiter.
The food at Avenues Bistro goes well with the building and ambience. Simple and tasty dishes on the menu are complimented by creative daily specials. Local, fresh and high-quality ingredients are used to make clean and healthy dishes. There are separate menus for breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner, all featuring New American dishes like sandwiches, salads, and small plates. There isn’t a huge selection but the dishes are all rather diverse and should please most palates. Prices are very affordable. Avenues Bistro also has wine, beer, liquor and mixed drinks along with soft drinks, tea and coffee. In fact, there is even a speak-easy where one can go to socialize over food and drink and listen to live music on some nights. A small patio outside the restaurant made me long for warmer weather but could not be reviewed on this occasion as it was covered in snow.
Two of my favorite dishes at Avenues Bistro are the Old Avenues Special Sandwich and the Fish tacos. I have also sampled the Bistro Burger and Frisée and Duck salad, both of which were excellent. As I mentioned before, the use of quality ingredients really brings out the flavors of the food. Each dish is served on a colorful plate and presented in a way that is eye-pleasing. The portion sizes are excellent, being neither too big or too small.
A neat aspect of this restaurant is the in-house bakery that serves up freshly baked cakes, pastries, and other treats. Rather than selecting from a set menu, you get up from your table and go to the “Back-Alley Pastry” section of the restaurant to pick you treat from a vitrine. Once again, the comfortable low-stress atmosphere of this place shines thanks to this original quirk. I feel that it’s important to mention that Avenues Bistro currently has my highest-rated carrot cake in Salt Lake City (per my carrot cake quest). I highly recommend trying this decadent dessert! My guest on one occasion that I ate here tried an Opera cake which they found really good as well.
Avenues Bistro is a great restaurant to visit for a warm and relaxing meal made with great ingredients. I definitely recommend trying this place and want to reiterate that the carrot cake is a must-have! For more information, visit Avenues Bistro on Third on Facebook.