sammySam Harris has lived in Park City since he was four. He attended Miss Billie's pre-school through Park City High School. He skied competitively and started in the restaurant business as a teenager.

One thing he's always wanted here was really good food he could afford on his waiter and line cook salaries. In January of 2011 he filled that niche by opening Sammy's Bistro at 1890 Bonanza Drive. The menu is inspired by his experiences working with some of the greatest chefs in Utah. That includes Jean Louis, Cucina Toscana-founder Water Nassi and Tarahumara-founder Gregg Vincent Grass. The bistro began as a booth at the Park Silly Sunday Market.

One of his favorite restaurants to work in was Mileti's. After it closed, he wanted to give Park City a way to continue enjoying its Texas BBQ Shrimp - jumbo prawns wrapped in Applewood-smoked bacon and grilled with jalapenos. With permission from the family, he opened a booth at the Sunday market and had great success for four years. When he grew tired of setting up and tearing down a kitchen every week all summer, he decided to look for a permanent place of his own. With his kitchen experience and head waiter training from the Valaika brothers at Shabu, he is confident he has what it takes to run a successful restaurant on his own. In addition to offering the Texas BBQ shrimp with coleslaw and corn bread, Sammy's Bistro also has items like grilled romaine wedge salad inspired by his time with Nassi. It is hearts of romaine grilled and sprinkled with kosher salt and cracked peppercorns drizzled with four-cheese dressing and topped with bacon bits and cherry tomatoes. "It's a warm salad. It brings out the smokiness and sweetness in the lettuce. It's a very unique, exotic dish that's been extremely popular," Food carts in Thailand inspired his grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich. The fish is marinated in honey and lime, grilled, and topped with fresh mango salsa, cabbage, cilantro, tomatillo aioli and served on a bun. The fish marinated in cumin and lime is also available as tacos with the same toppings. The menu is short and simple, but filled with items Harris can execute perfectly.

Sammy's Bistros interior is designed to be warm with earth tones and filled with natural woods. Locally-brewed beer is served on tap. The bistro is a great place for lunch with quick counter service, or for a casual but high-quality dinner experience.

Sammy's Bistro... learned from the best

Article written by Andrew Kirk - Park Record, February 4, 2011