Overall 4.5 / 5.0

Refined casual dining with a rustic urban charm

Cultivate Craft Kitchen –

Salt Lake City, UT – $$ to $$$ – Casual Elegant
Sifter Critique

Brandon O.Pro Sifter & Photographer - Published Feb 3, 2019

Overview

Aside from Oak Wood, Cultivate is one of the only restaurants near the Point of the Mountain to offer contemporary, refined casual dining. This is one of those restaurants that made us say, “Wow, what a local gem!” We chuckled about keeping it a secret! The flavors are so original and presented beautifully. From the rustic urban charm of their space, to their elevated version of toast, this restaurant will leave you wanting more!

4.6

Food

4.3

Value

4.5

Service

4.7

Ambience

The Food

Most Popular
The Waygu Burger, Toast, Cauliflower, Bison Burger, and Carne

We went for lunch. Some of the entrees we tried are available all day while others are specific to the afternoon. Cultivate’s menu pays tribute to Draper’s rich farming heritage. They divide their menu into sociables, farmers market, and ranch food. You’ll also find seafood “from the coast” and a large cocktail menu, as well as a few mocktails.

Toast: (Lunch and Dinner Menu)
This delectable sociable is colorful, appealing, and unique. I found the sunflower seed bread to be soft, moist, and to have a slight crunch with a nice nuttiness. A rich sweet potato puree acts as the base spread. Peppers add tang and acidity. Corn adds extra sweetness. Saltiness comes from the feta cheese and melted butter. Combined, you get an incredible diversity of flavors and texture. You’ll be hard-pressed to find toast like this anywhere else! Outstanding!

Hummus (Lunch and Dinner Menu)
Cultivate makes their hummus in-house, combining it with blue cheese. Cherry pepper puree, diced cherry peppers, and finishing salt. It’s both tangy, acidic, and slightly sweet. If you eat the garbanzo bean and blue cheese blend alone, you’ll taste mild fermentation. With the cherry sauce, it’s unnoticeable. It also comes with pita wedges, fried roti bread, and fresh vegetables.

Asparagus: (Lunch and Dinner Menu)
With the first bite, you’ll notice deep sweet notes from lavender honey chili peanuts. Crispy bacon adds a critical savory element. Walnut vinaigrette adds nuttiness and a sweet maple profile. Asparagus adds an earthy undertone and freshness. The poached egg adds visual appeal and creaminess.

Chicken Bowl: (Lunch Menu)
If you’re looking for something wholesome, get the chicken bowl! The grilled chicken is juicy and smoky, with a hint of sweetness from the Jerk marinade. You’ll find the mango salsa to be citrusy and a bit tart, complimenting the other components. This was the highlight of the dish for me. Pickled carrots create a light, cleansing feel. The broccolini tastes sweet from the marinade. The arborio rice tastes of chicken stock and absorbs all the other flavors.

Thai Salad: (Lunch Menu)
Cultivate cooks the crust perfectly on their New York steak. The meat was tender, a little fatty, but well-seasoned. A citrus vinaigrette on the salad adds acidity and tartness. The candied chili peanuts and spring roll cabbage give off a spicy, ginger flavor. The ramen adds contrasting texture to the salad but not much flavor. Hidden tiny chili slices mixed in the salad pack heat. Bring it together and you get a fresh citrusy salad that tastes more Asian fusion than Thai, but still good!

Cubano: (Lunch menu)
This tasty panini was our favorite lunch item. Sweet honey ham serves as the first layer. Tender cumin crusted pork, with a strong wood-fired smoke profile, acts as the second. It’s somewhat crunchy like burnt ends. The swiss cheese is a bit bitter and the pickles acidic. Dijon mustard adds contrasting flavor to complete this decadent ham and cheese sandwich. It also comes with house-made plantain fries and a homemade fry sauce. The plantains are a bit firm with light salt but still enjoyable.

Wagyu Burger (Lunch and Dinner Menu)
This burger uses quality ingredients but lacked a diversity of flavors. It hosts white barbecue sauce and sautéed pickled onions. Unfortunately, the runny brie cheese was overpowering. I wanted to taste a hint of horseradish and tang from the sauce. I requested my burger medium rare and it came out medium well. The meat was perfectly marbeled, but the patty was only juicy in the center. Great bun, but the bottom came overcooked. It could use more toppings to add brightness and contrast to the burger. At minimum, less cheese so I can taste the other flavors.

The burger also comes with light, puffy, crisp English chips and homeade ketchup too. This was my favorite part. Homerun on the fries!

Mocktail – Grove
This non-alcoholic drink is very fresh and light. It’s essentially a sparkling limeade with a hint of fermentation, similar to a kombucha. The blueberry and mint act as subtle flavors in the background.

Value

Cultivate’s dishes are time-intensive, with pasta, sauces, and even ice cream made in-house. Starters range from $13 to $18. Main entrees run from $15 for the Rigatoni to $69 for the Carne 26 oz bone-in ribeye. Cocktails and mocktails start at $9.

Dietary Needs

Many dishes at Cultivate incorporate tree nuts, wheat, and dairy ingredients. If you have an allergy, be sure to check with their staff.

*Food prepared in this establishment may contain wheat, shellfish, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts. Please ask the establishment prior to consuming any food.

Service

Great service! The waiters are punctual, polite, and well versed about the menu. If we had questions, they were quick to answer or get answers from the chef. Our dishes were also delivered in a timely manner.

The only thing that we disliked, upfront we were told that everything is made in-house. After inspection, we found out that most items are, but not all. They buy their bread, buns, and a few other items from local vendors. They also smoke their meat outside the restaurant at a local commissary. This is to be expected, but tell people most items are made from scratch in the restaurant instead of everything. Other than that, our experience was exceptional!

Ambiance

Cultivate sits on the side of the hill next to the Cliffside Restaurant. This space itself feels like it belongs in a thriving downtown square. The restaurant has tall ceilings, large windows, a swanky bar, and a rustic urban charm. Before arriving, we had expected sweeping views of Draper valley. In stead, all the windows awkwardly face the parking lot and neighboring apartments.

Our Verdict

We’re adding this to our go-to date night picks! We loved their modern spin on traditional dishes and unique combinations.

What I Liked Most
The sociables. Very creative and full of flavor.

What I Disliked Most
The lack of luster in the burger. Where most of their menu is distinctive, we expected something less traditional with more flavor. It’s also too bad that the windows don’t face outward to the valley.

Price tag range icon
Price Per Person $15 to $69

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