A new Italian restaurant, Al Dente Trattoria e Bar, opened its doors this winter in the former Jean Louis space in the Gateway building at 136 Heber Avenue. Having given the restaurant a facelift with a warmer, more contemporary flair, the owners kept the bar in tact, which had been a popular draw for locals. New is a more open seating plan complete with comfy banquettes and local artwork that really pops. The staff, some of whom locals will recognize as former servers at Stein Eriksen Lodge’s Glitretind restaurant, are friendly and attentive. Completing the staff is local gem Matt House, heading up the bar in with his cheerful spirit. Matt is a longtime staple of the Historic Park City dining scene, having worked previously at Jean Louis, Easy Street Brasserie and 350 Main Brasserie.
The restaurant’s Italian-inspired menu features an array of appetizers, soups, salads, gourmet pizzas, pastas and a selection of entrées. The wild mushroom soup is a favorite starter, and will warm and fill you up after a hard day on the slopes. Other standout starters include fresh Burrata cheese with olive oil, sea salt, prosciutto and focaccia bread; Calamari Fritto; and the Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio. Three pizzas are offered, including two vegetarian options.
Al Dente features an extensive selection of high-end pasta dishes. Be sure to try the house made Duck Confit Ravioli and Spaghetti con Meatballs which features veal, beef and pork meatballs.
Entrees include Barolo Shrimp Risotto with Barolo wine, pancetta, blistered tomatoes, fresh herbs and parmesan; traditional Veal Picatta; Sea Bass Livornese served in white wine with yellow and red tomatoes, roasted artichoke hearts, spinach and new potatoes; and Lamb Scottadito – a roasted lamb rack with Dijon mustard, a garlic potato puree and sautéed spinach.
The cuisine is hearty, but go ahead and indulge on those carbs – you’ve earned it snowboarding or skiing and will certainly burn them off the following day on the slopes.
Al Dente also boasts a selection of 100 wines by the bottle and a full bar, including a signature cocktail menu. The dinner menu is available at the bar as well. The restaurant is open daily, 5 to 10 p.m. View the entire menu at www.aldenteparkcity.com