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(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Kate Button

On Oct. 18, the Downtown Dine O’Round returned to Salt Lake City for its 17th year, bringing with it several opportunities for residents to check out new restaurants and return to old favorites around the valley.

Settebello's insalata

(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By providing simplified menus, discounted prices and partnerships with different restaurants every year, the Dine O’Round program offers accessible ways to explore the diverse dining options available around Salt Lake City. The Downtown Salt Lake City Alliance hosts the Dine O’Round to support local Salt Lake businesses as they partner with the top restaurants in the city. “Our mission as the Downtown Alliance is to create a dynamic and diverse community that is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment,” said Ryan Mack, the director of communication and marketing for the Downtown Alliance. “Food is a big part of that, so highlighting our dining scene through Dine O’Round helps us check all of those boxes.”

The Salt Lake Dine O’Round will last until Nov. 3, and there are several options available to satisfy all cravings, dietary restrictions and budgets. The Dine O’Round offers $10, $20 and $30 lunches, along with $20, $30 and $40 dinners. While the options for each restaurant are limited, they are designed to showcase each place’s specialty. The lunches always include two options, and each dinner has three courses, so you’re sure to leave with a full belly. Mack said, “While it’s hard to miss when it comes to eating in downtown SLC, I’m personally excited for some of our new additions this year, including Ginger Street, Campos Coffee Roastery & Kitchen and Kaze Sushi.” Among all of the partnering restaurants, you are sure to find something to fit your culinary interests.

Dining downtown in Salt Lake (Courtesy of Downtown Alliance)

On Friday, I went to Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana to test out their $20 dinner option. For the Dine O’Round, you don’t need to have a coupon or sign up for anything in order to take advantage of the deal. I was a little confused about how it all worked at first, but once I was seated at a table, I was able to ask the waitress about the Dine O’Round menu and get to eating. The program’s website also lists sample menus so visitors can have a sense of each restaurant’s offerings before checking out the food.

At Settebello, they offered an insalata, a Margherita pizza and gelato for Dine O’Round customers. For the insalata, they had a spring mix salad with a light vinaigrette dressing, topped with Parmesan cheese. I thought the salad was a little lackluster, and I felt it was only a slight step up from something I could easily make at home with a lettuce mix from Costco. The Margherita pizza that followed, however, was soft, delicate and slightly smoky-flavored from the large wood-burning oven in the center of the restaurant — a delicious example of Settebello’s focus on the Napoletana style. Finally, rounding out the three-course meal, the gelato I had for dessert was tiramisu flavored and elegantly blended the notes of chocolate and espresso. For only $20, the amount of food and its quality seemed well worth every dollar.

Strawberry and Tiramisu gelalto at Settebello

(Photo by Kate Button | Daily Utah Chronicle)

This was just a single experience at one of the Dine O’Round restaurants, and the options available range from fine dining to more fast-casual options. From Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants to bakeries and pubs, the Dine O’Round program has something for every palate. In order to encourage more Salt Lake residents to participate in this program and check out more restaurants, the Downtown Alliance is offering a contest where you just have to post on Instagram about your experience and you’ll be entered to win a downtown dining package.

“Salt Lake really punches above its weight class when it comes to food and culture. We want residents and visitors alike to get out and make a night of it,” Mack said. With the Downtown Dine O’Round, Salt Lake residents are encouraged to get out of the house, check out new options around the city and enjoy all of the great food that is available in Salt Lake.

 

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@kateannebutton