I hate it when this happens. Contrary to what many believe, I don't know a single restaurant critic who relishes the misery of restaurateurs or celebrates the shuttering of eateries—even the terrible ones. It pains me to see any restaurant go out of business and its staff sent packing. But it's especially sad when an excellent restaurant closes, as is the case with Ikigai, which locked its doors permanently last week. I, and many others, will miss it as we did its predecessors, Naked Fish and Mikado, and hope that owner Johnny Kwon will be back in business with another outstanding eatery soon. Before closing the doors, Kwon invited a few guests, along with some former and current chefs, for one final celebratory dinner. "We're going out with our heads up high and celebrating the amazing memories created with our restaurant," he says.
There are lots of Sunday brunches to enjoy at many restaurants around town, but I know of only one gospel brunch. On various Sundays, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., The Gateway hosts a Gospel Brunch at the Grand Hall (18 N. Rio Grande St., SLC). The brunch features a bloody mary bar sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka and music by the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir. Local favorite Cubby's Chicago Beef offers its new spicy-beef and garden-fresh breakfast items, with beverages provided by 3 Cups Coffee. Brunch tickets are $19 per person, plus $6 (optional) for two beverages at the bloody mary bar. Upcoming dates include May 21 (benefiting SLC Presents) and June 11 (benefiting the Utah Pride Center). Additional drink tickets are $3 apiece. Visit bit.ly/gospelbrunchgateway for dates and ticket info.
Zucca Goes Underground
Ogden's Zucca Trattoria (225 25th St., 801-475-7077, myzucca.com) has launched a posh speakeasy called, aptly, The Underground. The new hot spot features a full bar, overstuffed chairs, buffet-style dining and live music from performers like the talented Brooke Mackintosh. It's also available as a private event space.
Quote of the week: "Cooking breakfast and brunch professionally really kind of ruined breakfast service for me." —Anthony Bourdain
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