Spanish-inspired chef set crowns massive new Utah hotel – Gastronomic SLC


This week there was the first big PR boost for the glittering ones Hyatt regency in downtown SLC. The press, including yours, has been invited to an online presentation for the towering structure that has sprung up at the corner of West Temple and 2nd South. The new four-star project is one of many impressive projects in the capital that are about to be realised; and luckily for us, most have big culinary ambitions that lead eager chefs to Utah ovens far and wide.

Let’s get straight to the headline and the piece de resistance, or should that be called pieza de resistencia? The pinnacle of culinary offerings at the new Hyatt Regency will be in March | Muntanya – a bistro with a Spanish touch. My Catalan is missing, Google tells me, that essentially means sea and mountain, a motif the forthcoming menu will run with.

Sea and mountains as interpreted via Stable diffusion AI in the style of Picasso, Dali, Goya, Velasquez

March | Muntanya will be located on the sixth floor of the dazzling new build, adjacent to a rooftop terrace known as Sundance Terrace. In the kitchen March | Muntanya will be managed by Tyson Peterson, a Utah native who is back at the Beehive after an eight-year hiatus. His resume includes a recent stint in Las Vegas at the Sin City’s Renaissance Hotel and a LinkedIn browse also reveals a seven-year stint at the chic St. Regis in Deer Valley; Many moons ago he served as sous at Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant (before the space last became RIME under Matthew Harris).

Tyson has a strong backstory when it comes to Spanish cuisine. March | Montoya appears to be the third such restaurant the chef has either opened or assisted with (Vail’s Leonore such an example). On his return to Utah, Peterson remarked to emphasize the similarities he saw between “Utah’s preservation and homeland heritage, [and how it] Parallels to the pastoral communities of northern Spain.”

Regarding the menu, Peterson came up with several ideas for the restaurant. Tapas and sharing platters will kick things off, as will a ‘signature’ oyster offering. It’s a hotel so it would be madness to expect a full dive conejo Hole — there will be salads and soups and proteins, “something for everyone,” noted Peterson. Guests can also expect game such as elk, a “suckling pig experience,” as well as a gin-themed craft cocktail menu. Apparently Spain is a massive consumer of the stuff, who would have thought. Of course there is also plenty of sangria, Spanish wine and local wines cider – mind you, not poured on all that beautiful new building in the traditional splashy splashy way.

Peterson rounded off his presentation to the press, “We really want guests to leave Mar Muntanya feeling as if the communities of northern Spain have settled here in the Salt Lake Valley and brought their vibrant culture with them.”

We hope that Peterson will be assigned to dig a little below the surface, beyond the patatas bravas and albondigas. What wouldn’t I give to order a plate of mineral-rich morcilla with quivering scallops, maybe topped off with some firm and fresh Utah peas, eh? In any case, Utah has been missing Spanish flair and taste variety for ages. Despite the foodie press promising us a revolution of the stuff a decade ago, local arrival never materialized. We will wait and watch.

Render for the Salt Republic (Hyatt)
Render for the Salt Republic (Hyatt)
Render for the Contribution Cocktail Lounge (Hyatt)
Render for the Contribution Cocktail Lounge (Hyatt)

Also joins Mar | at Muntanya is The Salt Republic, the second of the two main restaurants at the Hyatt; Apparently this will serve as the hotel’s “regular” restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef Ryan Olivas is the name on the menu as well as the hotel’s overall food and beverage operations.

Olivas explained an open kitchen concept that will focus on cooking in the rotisserie oven. The breakfast buffet sounded like my cup of tea, Wagyu Pastrami Benedict, and a bison short rib hash, anyone? Also, expect an emphasis on organic meats — chicken to prime rib cooked on this rotisserie — as well as dishes like rainbow trout, fish and chips, and a rotating flatbread menu.

Last but not least, Olivas touched on a couple of other points of interest for food and drink — a craft cocktail lounge and a snack spot. The former Contribution seems like a fun place to people-watch and is on the ground floor at the corner of West Temple and 2nd South. The latter, now known as The Market, will be a 24-hour place for guests to grab snacks and supplies.

The hotel plans to open the doors on October 17 along with the dining options listed above. You know I’ll be with my face pressed against the glass on opening day. Stay tuned.

Additional points about the new Hyatt Regency in SLC that emerged from the presentation:

  • Expect 700 rooms and 33 suites in the main tower
  • The hotel is internally directly connected to the Salt Palace Convention Center. Those who travel a lot to trade shows will no doubt appreciate the AC bubble rather than road towing
  • There’s a big focus on expanded meeting space. The Hyatt is adding a massive 60,000 square feet of new meeting space that can be configured into rooms for 10 to 2,000 guests.
  • There are *thirty-one* meeting rooms on five floors, ranging from 300 to 23,000 square feet. Salt Lake Ballroom 15,000 sq. ft. Regency Indoor Ballroom 23,000, second locations outside of convention, floor-to-ceiling glass windows
  • A chic “Broadcast Lounge” is tech-packed down to the last detail and can do everything from providing a podcasting base to broadcasting live streaming video
  • The hotel has been under construction for almost twenty years, with construction starting in early 2020. The entire construction will cost $377 million
  • Rooms are expected to start around the $275 per night mark, with specific rates variable based on demand

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