By Corinne Humphreys
Hotel Monaco’s Bambara restaurant is a lively, inspired New American Brasserie in downtown Salt Lake City. Housed in the historic Continental Bank building across from the Capitol Theater and near the new Eccles Center, Bambara is the perfect venue for pre- or post-theater dining. Elegant arched windows and brass accents blend well with the contemporary feel of the adjoining pet-friendly Monaco Hotel, and there are even tables that accommodate four-legged friends. Earning awards like “Best Salt Lake City Restaurant” by Zagat and the “Certificate of Excellence” by Trip Advisor, Bambara is also one of an elite handful of restaurants in town to earn AAA’s Four Diamond Award.
Executive Chef Nathan Powers graduated with honors from Culinary Institute of America and has more than 20 years of experience in celebrated restaurants like Stars and Farallon in San Francisco, and Bambara’s sister restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “When I came to Bambara, I was encouraged to treat the restaurant as if it were mine,” he says. He puts a new twist on classic meat and potatoes dishes, introducing a new menu of innovative American bistro fare four to five times a year. Of the experienced staff of Bambara veterans, Powers says, “I inherited a Swiss watch — I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, I’m just here to tighten the spokes.” Watching the action around the open kitchen, he is indeed like a conductor leading an orchestra of talented musicians.
The old teller windows still stand, but now instead of bank transactions, Executive Chef Nathan Powers invests in fresh organic ingredients to create house favorites like Silky Corn Bisque, Dry-Aged Pork Porterhouse and Seared Maine Scallops. Catering to the diverse international clientele, the menu also features vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan items.