By far, one of the best new additions to the very upper East side of 'Broadway East' is Caffé Niche at 779 East 300 South. Business partners Tara Southard, who owns the connecting salon and self-taught chef Amanda Lundahl talked about renting the space that once housed Grunts & Postures if it ever became available. Well it did come up for lease, although much sooner than they speculated. Southard and Lundahl decided to go for it anyways and began the arduous year-long process of designing and building the distinctively chic Niche.
What I adore about Caffé Niche is the fact that everything is done almost perfectly. No, really. It's love at first sight from the attention each customer gets with a smile (important!), to the splendid design aesthetic, to the asymmetrical floor plan. All leading up to your moment with a slice of their luxuriant flossy quiche, a plate of the Italian scrambled eggs or breakfast strata and coffee (Ibis Fair Trade organic).
Many items are vegetarian and all are reasonably priced. Expect European portions however. If you're looking for a buffet head one block South to Chuck-a-Rama where you can binge to your hearts content with transfats, fake plants and wagon wheels staring you down.
I'm yet to visit after the brunch hour but Tara tells me some of the more popular lunch items are their P.L.T. (pancetta, lettuce and roasted tomato) and Grilled Turkey with blue cheese mayonnaise. They've also recently added a light Dinner menu from 5-9pm on Friday and Saturday's featuring salads, pasta and tartines which are a fancy open-faced sandwich on imported baguette. Still, prices for dinner remain extremely affordable ($7-$8 plates) including a well selected wine menu with glasses set at $6 and bottles at $25 such as the refreshing Riff Pino Grigio and a rarely offered Louis Latour Chardonnay and Pino Noir. All this plus a clean spacious patio should be reason enough to visit the neighborhood haut spot early and often.
779 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
More info and sample menu at www.caffeniche.com.