Sonoma Grill + Wine Bar

On paper, Sonoma Grill + Wine Bar looks exquisite, from the elegant space inside the Peery Hotel to the photos of beautifully plated food on its website.

In reality, the menu at the downtown Salt Lake City restaurant feels unfocused, the kitchen execution is inconsistent and the service team struggles at times.

The menu, described as a “wood-fired and farm-inspired dining experience” with a focus on California cuisine, includes a variety of items that includes pork belly tacos, an Asian chicken salad, a country chicken-fried sandwich and burrata ravioli. It’s an identity crisis that crops up when a restaurant decides to use the catchall term “New American” cuisine.

This became more apparent as I sampled various dishes.

The small plates, sandwiches (called hand-helds) and entrees were a disappointment, primarily due to poor execution, while the appetizers, pizza and desserts were more successful.

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