Love at rst bite: You had me at pump­kin soup.

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Amy Baird

You know that feel­ing when you take a bite of food and you know that there is no way that bite could be im­proved upon? It is the epit­ome of that food: the ul­ti­mate ver­sion. It was like the chef was a match­maker find­ing the per­fect part­ner for each in­gre­di­ent. Com­bine that culi­nary per­fec­tion with invit­ing sur­round­ings dec­o­rated with nat­u­ral woods, muted grays, and crisp whites and you will have Ta­ma­rack.

My hus­band Nick and I started our meal with the co­conut shrimp ($11). The crust on the shrimp was light and crispy with a co­conut bread­ing. Alone they were de­light­ful, but when dipped in the mango chut­ney sauce, they were divine. We both or­dered soup to go with our en­trees. I or­dered the pump­kin soup. I am a huge fan of ev­ery­thing pump­kin: pump­kin choco­late chip cook­ies, pump­kin pie, pump­kin bread, (you get the pic­ture). The soup came out photo-ready with a dol­lop of maple whipped cream. The smell was en­tic­ing, like au­tumn com­bined with bak­ing cook­ies. The deep, rich fla­vors of pump­kin com­bined with cin­na­mon and just the right amount of creamy good­ness to make a de­light­ful soup that begged to be clas­si­fied as a dessert.

I felt pretty bad for my hus­band, be­cause, hon­estly, what can com­pare with pump­kin soup? He had or­dered the creamy potato soup. I en­vi­sioned that thick, starchy potato soup you get at some church gath­er­ings. Boy, was I wrong. The soup came out with ap­ple­wood smoked ba­con crum­ble on top (it’s all about the pair­ings, I am telling you). After the first bite, I was hooked. The fla­vor had a lot more depth than your typ­i­cal potato soup. It also did the im­pos­si­ble, it was a rich potato soup that did not feel heavy.

The main dish. Are you ready for this? I or­dered the 12 oz. Black An­gus rib eye, $19. I thought that I had ex­pe­ri­enced an ex­cel­lent steak be­fore. I was wrong. The steak was ten­der and per­fectly sea­soned and beau­ti­fully paired with a sweet potato hash. I was imag­in­ing hash­browns; it was ac­tu­ally cubed sweet pota­toes baked in a sweet maple brown sugar glaze. The fla­vors blended and high­lighted each other to cre­ate a sub­lime ex­pe­ri­ence. If you ever want to ex­pe­ri­ence steak taken to next level, go to Ta­ma­rack.

Nick or­dered the chicken roulade (chicken wrapped around a filling made with mush­rooms and cheese with a red pep­per sauce), $14. The filling pro­vided a nice con­trast to the chicken. The deal breaker was the red-pep­per sauce. It was de­lec­ta­ble. The chicken roulade came with creamy mashed pota­toes and a beau­ti­ful as­sort­ment of steamed juli­enned vegetables. The food was rich with com­plex fla­vors with­out be­ing overly heavy. My hus­band laughed be­cause I said that while eat­ing a steak. How­ever, that was my over­all im­pres­sion of the meal. Even though I was eat­ing a very rich meal, I still could sense the del­i­cate fla­vors and it was very palat­able.

We ended our meal with desserts. Once again the food ar­rived and was beau­ti­fully plated; this was no sloppy scoop of peach cob­bler. The peach cob­bler had a sweet, light cake paired with not-overly-sweet peaches, which made a re­fresh­ing, warm treat ($8).

The star of the night though was the bread pud­ding ($8). It wasn’t the bread pud­ding I grew up with (sorry, Mom) with soggy and con­gealed bread bits in a thick sauce. This bread pud­ding has soft, firm cubes of cake slightly caramelized mixed in with bites of choco­late and cher­ries. It was a deca­dent com­bi­na­tion that was hon­estly quite ad­dic­tive.

Ev­ery­thing was plated beau­ti­fully. It seemed a shame to eat it, but I in­dulged. The beau­ti­ful pre­sen­ta­tion com­bined with the rich fla­vors made for a sump­tu­ous din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. If you ever want to eat some de­li­cious food in a beau­ti­ful en­vi­ron­ment, this is the place. Think an­niver­saries, dates, girl’s night out, BYU pre-game meal, etc.

We only went for din­ner, but Ta­ma­rack also of­fers break­fast and lunch op­tions and is open daily from 6:30 am to 10 pm. I hon­estly don’t think you could go wrong or­der­ing any­thing on their menu. Ta­ma­rack is ad­ja­cent to the Court­yard Mar­riott on 1600 North Free­dom Boule­vard in Provo.

Ta­ma­rack takes up­scale din­ing to the next level.

Pho­tos by Amy Baird

Black An­gus Rib­eye with Sweet Potato Hash

The in­fa­mous pump­kin soup.

Chicken Roulade

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