PAGO 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY TASTING MENU AND WINE DINNER
with Executive Chef/Partner PHELIX GARDNER
with Winemaker EVAN LEWANDOWSKI of RUTH LEWANDOWSKI WINES
with Owner/Bartender SCOTT GARDNER of WATER WITCH
and PAGO RESTAURANT GROUP FOUNDER SCOTT EVANS
SUNDAY, MAY 19TH AT 6 PM
75 FOOD, 55 WINE PAIRINGS + TAX/SERVICE
Anyone who’s spent years dreaming of a new idea, grueling late nights working to bring the idea to life, staying the course over many years of the inevitable ups and downs - knows what a labor of love is like. For me, that labor of love is Pago. Seeing Pago hit its 10-year anniversary is like watching a child grow up – the days and weeks seem so long, and then suddenly 10 years have passed and you wonder where all the time has gone. Leonard Cohen’s ballad sums up this landmark best, “Hallelujah!” We made it ten years and counting!
I vividly remember my last day working for “someone else” and the overwhelming emotions that swept over me on my drive home. I will never forget the hand painted sign my two- and four-year-old girls had hanging in the front room when I got home - “Welcome to your dreams Daddy!” I was an emotional mess. My internal tug of war had me balled up – on one hand with the excitement of launching something new and unique to the dining community in SLC, and on the other hand the fear of failing, of losing my investors’ money, of risking my newly purchased home and all the stability I had created over the previous 10 years. Come what may, I was ready to make my mark and be accountable for my decisions.
Pago opened its doors to the public on May 27th, 2009. After traveling around the world, I had fallen in love with neighborhood restaurants that featured outstanding food in a personal and intimate settings. And as a young food-obsessed person, I preferred restaurants that exemplary food, beverage and service without the formality of linens and pretense. I wanted Pago to be an expression of my love of local dining, seasonal ingredients, and artisan food. I also wanted to push the boundaries of the standard 2009 wine and beverage lists into unfamiliar territory for diners and for our team – offering unique varietals or unknown regions and brands, often featuring small producers and sustainable and natural winemakers. It brings me great joy to know that Pago has brought in 100’s of wines to Utah that have never entered state lines before.
As I look back at the last 10 years, I am so grateful for the many people that have helped make Pago what it is today – our team of service professionals, sommeliers, bartenders, and the amazing chefs we have had over the years. We have had so many talented people come through these doors who far exceeded what I could have done on my own. I have learned so much from you and am honored to have worked with you. I am also indebted to the food and hospitality mentors I worked for during my career and who supported me as I launched my first restaurant, the media advocates who recognized Pago and our team over the years, and our loyal customers who continue to come back year after year (even through the rough patches!). Finally, to my wife Shannon and daughters Milla and Moey who have been there to support me from the very beginning - I love you so much.
I am also very excited to look forward to Pago’s future. We have a great team led by our talented Executive Chef/Partner Phelix Gardner. Phelix is continuing to source impeccable products and innovate new dishes to bring Pago into our next chapter. In addition to ongoing updates to the dinner menu, Phelix is launching two new features -- a new section of smaller plates that feature the best seasonal products each week and a new daily multi-course tasting menu to showcase the chef’s favorite choices each evening. On the beverage side, we keep finding new and rare wines that we bring to Utah for the first time, as well as sustainable wines and benchmark wines. We are also very excited to be a part of the 2020 SLC airport expansion.
To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we are hosting a small, intimate dinner at Pago on Sunday, May 19th. We will have a custom multi-course tasting menu prepared by Chef Phelix along with hand-selected wine pairings for each course.
This evening is a love letter to all of the people who have made Pago what it is today, so Chef Phelix and I have included some of the most popular dishes at Pago over the years to celebrate the many talented chefs who have worked here, and included some of our favorite wines from past winemaker dinners and wine events we have hosted at Pago. We are fortunate to have Pago’s former sommelier and our dear friend, winemaker Evan Lewandowki of Ruth Lewandowski Wines, come back to town to collaborate on wine pairings – including featuring two of his wines during the dinner – and to host the evening and talk wine with us. Lastly, we are thrilled to have Scott Gardner of Water Witch fame (and former bar manager for Pago Restaurant Group) mix two cocktails for the group during the evening.
We want to showcase farm-to-table, casual fine dining at its very best and you won’t want to miss this special event. We have room for just a small group and tickets go quickly, so reserve your spot now. You will be in good hands. Join us.
- Scott Evans, Founder/Owner of Pago Restaurant Group