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“Pago falls short”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Pago

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Ranked #79 of 1,385 Restaurants in Salt Lake City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Orem, Utah
Level Contributor
283 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Pago falls short”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

I'm afraid I have to agree with some of the other reviewers who find Pago to fall short of the reputation of a foodie haven in SLC owing largely to indifferent service and an uneven menu. During a recent dinner there we had multiple courses, ranging from bland to very good. Really there was only one notable dish - a selection of pork prepared four ways. And prices are quite high for a restaurant that is not in downtown.

As with some other "localvore" restaurants in the area, there's also an attitude of "this is how we do it" at Pago that puts the food ahead of the diner. Particularly odd was the insistence on plating appetizers together, with awkwardly small plates for diners to use. Like Communal in Provo, Pago seems to have decided that diners want the hassle of transferring their food onto dishes, even when the food itself does not call for that approach (or lend itself to easy transfer).

Overall there's a clubby feel to Pago. As others have remarked, if the restauranteur and servers know you, you'll get extra attention. If not, well, take it or leave it. The food offerings are simply not good enough to put up with a noisy dining room, indifferent service, and high prices.

Pretty sure we won't be back.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank New2Cal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pago_SLC, Owner at Pago, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Hello - I responded to your husbands response and tried to discuss the points you each brought up separately in your posts, in my response to his post (see below). I hope you or your husband forgive the errors we made and give us another chance to share our passion for great food, service and wine. Please respond to my email listed at the bottom so we can make it right.

Marc, I am very sorry to hear about you and your wife's experience at the Bastille Dinner at Pago.

After a long dinner it is really frustrating to wait around for an extended period of time while the server tries to process your card. I apologize for that and did not realize how long you had waited or how many times she tried to run the card and gift card. If I had know, I would certainly have come by the table to apologize personally and try and make it right.

The format of our wine dinners are quite different than regular dinner service. We chose to offer family style platting to mirror the type of celebration you would have in France on Bastille Day. During regular dinner service we plate all dishes individually for each guest. We should have discussed that at the beginning of the meal or on the printed menu. I will ensure that I correct that error for our next event.

Both Evan and I attempted to speak with every table individually about the menu and the wines, I apologize for not spending more time talking with your table. It is true that the majority of the guests dining at the event had been to several other wine dinners that we have put on over the past 4 years and are all considered regulars.

We spent several months planning the meal and the pairings to celebrate the wines of Domaine Binner and the response from others was overwhelmingly positive. I sincerely apologize for not providing a positive experience for you.

Finally, I would really appreciate the opportunity to replace your poor experience with an excellent experience. May I contact you directly to discuss this further? My email is scott@pagoslc.com.

Scott Evans
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Pago should be better than this”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2013

I am not sure why people are rating this restaurant so highly. I have been there twice, the second time was last night, and I was less than impressed. Both times. Perhaps I should keep trying? Yes, the plating is gorgeous, the ingredients are local, the wine list is endless and the wait staff or the sommelier, very knowledgeable, describing wines, etc - but the food is just not that great. I think they are suffering from their own superiority complex. I ordered the gnocci as a main course, it was served atop fresh vegetables, peas, pea pods, asparagus. So the vegies were good, OK, but the gnocchi was completely tasteless - just little dough balls. No flavor. No sauce. I sent it back, said I wanted something else. So OK I got the salmon which my friend had ordered, which I tasted, and found to be pretty tasty. The waitress did not even ask what was the problem with my dish - did not even want any feedback. It wasn't that I didn't like it - it was NOT GOOD! It was $19. The salmon dish was $26. How do you think they handled it on the bill? They charged me for the salmon. Wouldn't most restaurants remove the item from the bill? Comp the customer for it? Or at least have charged me for the lesser item? I had to wait a good 15 minutes for the salmon to arrive and meanwhile my companions were completely finished with their entrees. Maybe their burgers are good....

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank rapotap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Small restaurant that's big on taste”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013 via mobile

This place was recommended to us during a brief stay in SLC. The restaurant is small with some outdoor seating. The menu is somewhat limited but given the quality of the ingredients, that's the way it should remain. We had a selection of starters, the ribeye steak and gnocchi. They pride themselves on using local, high quality ingredients and they deliver. The plating of each dish looked like something you would see on "Top Chef". The taste of each dish was fantastic and don't skip dessert. This restaurant is definitely a place I want to return to on my next trip. The service was excellent as well with a very knowledgeable and attentive staff.

Visited July 2013
Thank karen47906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
116 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Excellent food, aggravating service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2013

I've dined at Pago three times now and each time have absolutely loved the food, which is all fresh, locavore, and excellently prepared, and been frustrated by the service. The waiters (they all have been men) have a tendency to be pretentious and to engage in long conversations at some tables while neglecting others--sadly, I've usually been at the tables evidently judged to be "uncool"! Our most recent visit was the most aggravating. Our Open Table reservation was not honored and we had to stand in the entry way for almost 1/2 hr. When we were finally seated, it took forever for the waiter to bring our drink orders--he actually stood chatting with the table next to ours while holding our drinks in his hand--and then the wait for our actual food was extraordinarily long, while meals were brought to people who came in after us. The waiter apologized twice for that over the course of the hour or so we waited for our meals, and tried to make up for it by bringing us free desserts afterward, but the truth is that we didn't want dessert at that point. The food is so good I likely will give Pago another try but it will be a while before the emotional bad taste left in my mouth fades sufficiently!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Byelka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amarillo, Texas
Level Contributor
88 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Special dinner with family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

This is a tiny restaurant with some outdoor seating.We had a reservation. The menu is slim but everything we tried was outstanding. I had the lamb which was perfectly cooked, others at the table had several other dishes. Everyone loved the food. Service is outstanding.

Visited May 2013
Thank Carol A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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