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HERE ARE SOME RECENT `DINING OUT' REVIEWS

Following are capsulized versions of recommended restaurants reviewed by Al Church, Deseret News Dining Out columnist:

++The Mint Restaurant, One North Main Street (7800 S. 600 West), Midvale. 255-5533. Once a bank, this comfortable restaurant features traditional American cuisine, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, with attention to the basics. Crumpets, quiche, "banker's burger," and full service dinners are some of the specialties. Try dining in the vault for a prosperous experience. ***

Bua Thai Restaurant, 925 North Highway U.S. 89, North Salt Lake. 292-5359. Expertly prepared and presented Thai cuisine with all the basics in place - curries, lemon grass, sweet basil, ginger, coconut milk, chili peppers, combined with crispy vegetables, shrimp, calamari, pork, chicken. Over 60 colorful and inventive items are served. ***

Nacho Mama's, 1821 Sidewinder Drive, Prospector Square, Park City. 645-8226. Inventive and colorful Southwest cuisine is the main attraction at this informal eatery. Blue corn, red, roasted chiles, and black beans add special touches to enchiladas, tacos, burritos and rellenos. ***

Washington Square Cafe, 451 S. State, first floor, City-County Building, 533-9400. Breakfast and luncheon favorites, including burgers, omelettes, sandwiches, homemade soups, pasta specials and salads, are the specialties in this renovated cafe that reflects the colorfully restored past of Washington Square and one of the state's landmark buildings. ***

The Judge Cafe, 8 E. Broadway, 531-0917. One of downtown's consistent eateries has recently expanded both its space - it now has an entrance on Broadway - as well as its menu with weekend brunches. The sandwiches are still very good; for brunch try the Alley and a hot sweet roll as big as a Jazz player's shoe. ***1/2

Ming's Chinese Restaurant, 1330 Foothill Drive, Foothill Village, 582-1616. Local tastes are in step with the times as this modest but lively Chinese restaurant replaces an ice cream parlor with colorful and healthful Oriental specialties. Shrimp dishes and spicy Szechwan items are especially good. ***1/2

Archibald's Restaurant, 7800 S. 1095 West, West Jordan, 566-6940. Located in a renovated grain mill, this ambitious restaurant offers diners a taste of down-home cookin' along with trendy dishes of the Southwest. The restaurant is the cornerstone of Gardner Historic Village, shops and homes from pioneer times. ***1/2

Sun Bun Cafe, 878 S. 900 East, 328-1313. This cafe derives its name from a specially baked homemade bun bathed in the golden glow of grated cheese on top. Quality sandwiches, soups and other baked goods are offered in this small yet soothing eatery. ****

Panda Chinese Restaurant, 1701 S. State (485-3226) and 1645 W. 7800 South, West Jordan (255-0707). Mongolian barbecue is the specialty of the house. Customers select their own meat, fresh vegetable ingredients and seasonings which are then stir-fried over a large grill. An appetizing twist to Chinese cuisine. ***

Zaccheo's Italian Restaurant, 280 E. 800 South, 322-0815. After 15 years serving favorite Italian specialties, including deep-dish pizza and a lengthy list of pasta dishes, Zaccheo's popularity remains as secure as ever. ***

Sagano Restaurant, 541 W. 500 South, Bountiful. 298-0808. A twin sister to the Kyoto, a Japanese restaurant that changed the way most of us eat Japanese cuisine. Wonderful teriyaki, tempura and sukiyaki, served with quality yet without kimonos and teppan yaki grills. ****

Brazilian Brothers Restaurant, A small luncheon eatery that specializes in the cuisine of one of the world's largest countries. Don't let the size deceive you - the Brazilian specials are wonderfully festive and may foretell future trends for the next decade. American-style submarine sandwiches also served. ****

Moguls, 380 S. State, 359-6600. Spa cuisine for the apres-ski set, i.e. pastas, salads, French bread pizzas and sandwiches, served for avid skiers or observers of Utah's snow scene, are this lively restaurant's specialty. Homemade soups are especially good. ***

Kitty Pappas Steak House, 2300 S. Highway 91, Bountiful. Simple steak house pleasures with little fanfare but lots of attention to the basics. Sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken fried steak, as well as homemade desserts round out the moderately priced bill of fare. ***

Talk of the Town Restaurant, 723 E. 7200 South, Union Point Plaza, Midvale. 565-0111. Nicely prepared and presented fare with Continental touches, such as pesto, Hollandaise and bordelaise sauce, fresh pasta specialties, are the engaging qualities of this suburban restaurant. Prices are moderate. ***1/2

Porter's Place, 24 Main W. Main Street, Lehi. 768-8348. Western steak house fixin's, including antiques, buffalo meat, sarsaparilla and other non-alcoholic fountain drinks, are key attractions. Add a bit of history, with the highlight on the eatery's namesake, Porter Rockwell, and customers are bound to get a fill of Utah cuisine and folklore. ***

Thai House Restaurant, 1499 S. State. 486-8043. Colorful, exotic and wonderfully spiced Thai food is the specialty of this modest eatery. Seasonings such as red and green peppers, rich curries, basil, lemon grass, garlic and ginger, are combined skillfully to create delicious dishes. ****1/2

Baci Trattoria, 134 W. Pierpont Ave., 328-1500. More a shrine to art and architecture than Italian cuisine (Fresco is still the best), Baci's presents good, occasionally uneven, pasta and dinner specials with lively and colorful style. ****

Lupo's Italian Restaurant, 249 E. 3300 South; 466-0371. Familiar Italian cuisine served in a friendly atmosphere. Lupo's features homemade sausage, large portions and moderate prices. ***1/2

Seaman James Bartley, 1118 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale, 566-3983, presents seafood with a straightforward approach. The only curves found in the flotsam and jetsam are those hanging about in the nautical interior. Fresh special, a creamy clam chowder and homemade sourdough bread are worth a try. ***

The Depot, 660 S. Main Street, Park City. 649-2102. A breezy pub that overlooks Park City's historic and current goings-on. The menu is Alpine-Austrian in flavor, featuring inexpensive lunch specials such as wienerschitzel, sausages and Hungarian goulash. The weekend dinner menu more upscale and continental. Rating: ***1/2

Hi-Land Broiler, 3130 S. Highland Drive, 486-2233. Zesty and healthy grilled skinless chicken seasoned with Middle Eastern herbs and spices are this small eatery's specialty. Grilled fish, barbecue ribs and sauteed potatoes are also very good. ***

Brackman Brothers' Bagel Bakery, 859 E. Ninth South, 322-4350. Salt Lakers no longer have to smuggle real (i.e., boiled then baked) bagels in from the far-flung enclaves of New York or Brooklyn. A dozen or so varieties are served in a relaxed setting, with such specialties as lox, sable, whitefish salad, as well as homemade soup. ****

Tony Roma's, 985 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale. 566-RIBS. This is one chain that has the ingredients in place - service, lively atmosphere and standard fare prepared just right - to please most palates. The ribs are very, very good. Ignore the adage about half a loaf is better than none. Order a whole loaf of onion rings. ***1/2

The 47 Samuri, 299 Trolley Square, 363-7294. Teppan yaki grill specialties are the focal point of this entertaining Japanese restaurant. Traditional dishes such as tempura, sukiyaki, sushi and teriyaki ae also served; but watching the samuri chef's flashing swords and spatula is the most fun. ***

Barking Frog Cafe, 368 Main Street, Park City. 649-6222. Inventive Southwest cuisine that is bold as well as comfortable. Soups, grilled seafood, red meat and poultry specials, creative sauces, outdoor tapas grill, all served in an informal, artsy setting. ****1/2

Jerry's Original Vernal Mining Company, 855 W. Main, Vernal. 789-2020. Steaks, prime rib and seafood served with small town hospitality and informality. Generous portions and a big salad bar add to the experience. ***

Eastern Winds, 3740 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 627-2793. Mandarin and Cantonese specialties overflow from the menu, like the generous and piping hot portions on the plates. Lomein, or Cantonese panfried noodles, shrimp, and vegetables receive special attention from the attentive kitchen. ***1/2

Trolley Square Crepes, Trolley Square, 322-3839. A nostalgic little eatery that keeps alive a bit of history coupled with a trendy menu of crepes and croissant sandwiches. Homemade desserts and soups are also very good. ***1/2

Maxi's, 255 S. West Temple, Red Lion Inn, 328-2000. Continental cuisine with creative and inventive touches in luxurious, comfortable surroundings. Presentations are visual treats and the service is top-notch without any pretense. ****1/2

Bob's Deli, 10 North Highway 89, North Salt Lake, 298-1771. Jumbo sandwiches on thick bread, freshly prepared salads, hot soups, terrific jerky, great pastrami, thick malts and milkshakes, a jukebox loaded with nostalgia all add up to a place to stop and eat. ****

L'Hermitage, 1615 Foothill Drive, 583-5339. Traditional country French cuisine is this small but nicely appointed restaurant's focus. Pate, escargot, coquille St. Jacques, veal, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, duck l'orange, creme brulee, chocolate mousse, are some of the specialties. ***1/2

Fresco Italian Cafe, 1513 S. 15th East, Sugar House, 486-1300. For those accustomed to pasta and spaghetti and meat balls, the fare might seem pricey. But the inventiveness, quality craftsmanship, and overall professionalism of this little restaurant contribute to its high rating. *****

Pierre Country Bakery, 3239 E. 33rd South, 486-0990. Sensational french bread, very good pastries, and some rather ordinary and pricey specialties are served in this small eatery. But the bread, oh, the bread, is worth a visit. ***1/2

Cafe Anh Hong, 1465 S. State; 467-4228. Vietnamese and Chinese specialties are featured at this small, cleanly appointed restaurant. Huge bowls of noodles, with almost endless variations, are definitely worth a visit. ****

Ferrantelli Ristorante Italian, Trolley Square, 531-8228. This comfortably stylish eatery features moderately priced Italian cuisine that appeals to transplanted Easterners longing for the Italian restaurants left behind; should also please the hearty Western appetites as well. ****

San Francisco Sourdough Pizza, 159 S. Main Street, 364-9333. This little pizzaria serves up hearty pizza pies on thick chewy crusts covered with fresh toppings and a tasty sauce. Try the white pizza for a change of pace and the seafood specials. ***1/2

Restaurant Newport, 1440 Foothill Dr., 581-1006. The owners of the successful Cafe Pacific have opened a more subdued version without sushi bar and live music. But the creative and carefully run kitchen offers fresh seafood and other specialties just as deserving of attention. ****

California C and R, 554 E. Fourth South, 322-1666. Trendy nostalgia typifies this little eatery situated in a boldly painted railroad dining car. The menu is also on track featuring grilled chicken and ribs, Buffalo chicken wings, spicy potato wedges and hamburgers. ****

Robert's Deli and Market, 1071 E. Ninth South, 355-8141. A folksier and more informal eatery than some of the area's other Middle Eastern restaurants; but the food has a distinctive quality that is as enjoyable and appetizing. Several specials, such as beurek, kibbi, and fataer, are worth a visit. ***1/2

Cafe Pierpont, 122 W. Pierpont Ave., 364-1222. A yuppified approach to Mexican and South-of-the-Border cuisine that is surprisingly earthy and appetizing. Seafood specialties and a colorful, festive atmosphere add to the experience. ****

Crompton's Roadside Attraction, 5195 Emigration Canyon, 583-1869. Hamburgers, sandwiches, chili, salads, homemade cheese cake - all freshly prepared and served in a humble little eatery in Salt Lake's closest getaway canyon. ****1/2

Idle Isle, 24 S. Main Street, Brigham City. 734-9062. This landmark restaurant is an island in time. Old fashioned homestyle cooking, generous portions and inexpensive prizes, as well as a special nostalgic ambiance, characterize this charming eatery. ****

Mikado Sukiyaki House, 67 W. First South, 328-0929. The Mikado is an institution among Salt Lake restaurants, serving traditional Japanese cuisine in either regular dining areas or in private ones. A well-run suishi bar also adds to the fare. ***

Korea House, 1465 So. State, 486-8535. Colorful and flavorful cuisine of Korea is the specialty of the house, though some Japanese food is also featured. Several noodle dishes, bulgogi, an aromatic grilled beef dish, kalbi, Korean style spare ribs, charbroiled fish and bibimba, a Korean chop suey dish, as well as the fiery kimchi, are worth sampling. ****

Riverhorse Cafe, 540 S. Main St., Park City, 649-3536. Opened by Maurice Saint Yves, formerly Confetti's and Cafe Deluxe executive chef who has since left Utah, this lively eatery still bears his creative imprint. Unique pasta and seafood specials in an engaging informal atmosphere.*****

Eat-A-Burger, four locations around Salt Lake Calley. This new competitor in the escalating hamburger wars uses its uncluttered menu, which includes several tasty chicken sandwiches as well as the basic burger and freshly made french fries, most skillfully. It also helps that the jukebox and overall decor tap an audience that is baby boom adults. ***1/2