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WASATCH FRONT RESTAURANTS RACK UP STARS

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

Log Haven, Millcreek Canyon, 272-8255. A historical restaurant that until this affectionate and attentive restoration had fallen on hard times. But an inventive and adventuresome menu is the catalyst for a culinary convergence of sophistication and sentiment. (And the place looks better than ever!) * * * *

The Chicago Deli, 7025 S. Highland Drive, 942-2500. Extensive menu of kosher and other deli favorites that include imported (at least from the East Coast) pastrami, corned beef, cheesecake and smoked fish. Homemade soups, rye bread, bagels and dessert items bring it all home in this lively and informal eatery. * * *

Johnny Rockets, Trolley Square, 363-7587. Billed as the home of the original hamburger, this glitzy version of the roadside diner also features a minimal menu of American favorites with music from the '50s and '60s, authentic malts and shakes and Mom's eugenically correct apple pie. International chain tha knows its market and product. * * *

Mariposa Restaurant, 4515 S. 900 East, 262-1880. Smothered chili verde burritos are the trademark of this cleanly appointed Mexican restaurant; but don't overlook the homemade tamales, soft shell tacos, and menudo. Heaping, hot portions reasonably priced. * * * 1/2

Rocky Mountain Grille, 2305 Highland Drive, 484-2771. Surprisingly complex and inventive Sante Fe-style dishes in a simple and unpretentious cafe setting. Reasonable prices for specialties like rum-marinated pork tenderloin with jalapeno and cilantro syrup. * * * *

The Seafood Grille, 1140 E. Brickyard Road, (near Ultimate Electronics), 466-4363. Korean-style barbecue that combines all-you-can-eat buffet with individualized cooking grills at each table; Oriental dishes cover the Pacific rim from egg rolls to kim chee. Seafood is the center of attraction on weekends. * * *

Baba Afghan Restaurant, 55 E. 400 South, 596-0786. Reflecting a cuisine influenced by Persian and Pakistani neighbors and characterized by appetizing uses of yogurt, cilantro, mint, lamb, pumpkin and eggplant. Afghan cooking served in this spacious restaurant is both engaging and exotic. * * * 1/2

East-West Connection, 1400 S. Foothill Blvd., 581-1128. Aromatic seasonings, fragrant spices and subtle sauces make this slightly upscale Vietnamese restaurant a pleasant addition to the growing number of Oriental restaurants around town. Special clay-pot dishes definitely worth a try. * * * *

Bombay House, 1615 S. Foothill Blvd., Lamplighter Square, 581-0222. Diners tempted by the allure of the exotic spices that launched explorers in their search for the new trade routes need only to visit this charming and appetizing restaurant around the corner in either Salt Lake City or Provo. Curries and other Indian specialties highlight the extensive menu. * * * *

The Roundhouse at Solitude Ski Resort, Big Cottonwood Canyon. 536-5710 or 536-5760. Casual elegance, a time honored dining tradition in Brighton, is carried on with a masterful menu of both creative and familiar fare. Game, beef, seafood entrees anchor four-course meals that match the beautiful setting. Dinner served on weekends during summer and fall season only. * * * * *

Cafe Anh Hong, 1465 S. State, 486-1912. Cantonese specialties prepared by chefs from New York's Chinatown, with a lengthy list of dim sum delights as one of the main attractions. Small, informal and leisurely paced. * * * *

Grappa Italian Restaurant and Cafe, 151 Main, , Park City, 654-0636. An upscale restaurant with attention to detail in decor, service and presentation. An innovative, adventurous Northern Italian bill of fare is also engaging, a la carte and pricy. * * * 1/2

ABC Mandarin Chinese Cuisine, 5290 S. 1900 West, Roy. 776-6361. Heaping portions, a lengthy menu and musical entertainment by the owner blend to make a festive experience. Specialties include tangerine beef, hot and sour soup and Szechuan dishes. * * * 1/2

St. Petersburg Cafe, Triad Center, 55 N. 300 West, Suite 75. 596-7746. Salt Lake City's only Russian eatery. Specialties including blinis, borscht, pilmeny, stuffed cabbage and pirozhki, along with other American dishes, are featured in this open and pleasantly cosmopolitan cafe. * * * *

Kabul West Afghan Cuisine, 8623 S. Highland Drive, Sandy, 942-8844. Utah's first Afghan restaurant, serving wonderful lamb kababs and other specialties of this unique and complex part of the world. Appetizers, desserts and vegetarian side dishes are also distinctly flavorful, sure to please local palates as well as those of gastronomic globe trotters. * * * *

The Stuft Noodle, Ivy Place, 4700 S. 900 East, 268-4440. No fad or fuss American and Italian specialties with hearty servings and seasonings at a reasonable price. Pasta dishes and the minestrone soup are especially good; burgers and sandwiches also served. * * *

Cancun Cafe, 885 E. 3900 South, 269-1177. Modest Mexican eatery that attends to the more subtle aspects of a cuisine that is too often drowned in sauces, melted cheese and bloated franchise fanfare. * * *

Red Rock Brewing Company, 254 S. 200 West, 521-7446. Another local microbrewry sprouts its homebrewed ales and trendy pub fare. It features appetizing items from onion rings to pizza fired in wood ovens: sandwiches, salads and dinner entrees round out the engaging menu. * * *

The Red Apple, 30 E. 100 South, 532-1853. A downtown lunch regular for more than two decades. Standard sandwich, soup and salad fare that is consistent, freshly prepared and served with a folksiness and confidence that comes with maturity. * * *

Little World Chinese Restaurant, 1356 S. State, 467-5213. A microscopic morsel of San Francisco's Chinatown is served up in this small eatery in both cuisine and clientele. Steamed whole ducks and chicken, barbecued pork, black bean sauce and house specialties add to the cultural flavor. * * * *

Pho Anh Dao Vietnamese Noodle House, 825 S. State, 539-8155. Steaming bowls of noodles in a lightly flavored broth topped with fresh bean sprouts, spicy basil and slices of hot peppers, have been called "nature's perfect food" by fans of this recently opened addition to the growing number of Asian restaurants around the valley that specialize in Vietnamese cuisine. * * * 1/2

Wingers, 540 W. 500 South, West Bountiful. 295-4884. Slick, polished atmosphere and slightly prefabricated cuisine characterize this updated version of a roadside diner. Buffalo wings are the trademark with very good ribs and other comparable favorites. * * *

La Provence, 4882 S. Highland Drive, 277-0330. This small, informal French bakery and cafe features several of the specialties of Provence, including vegetable soup en pistou, sausage rolls and pasta dishes. Run by the family that first brought the heroic croissant to Salt Lake City a decade or two ago, no one should leave without an armful of breads and pastry specialties. * * * *

Seoul of Korea Restaurant, 1020 E. 2100 South. 486-0788. Hardly anything is left off the extensive menu, from cow tails to sea cucumbers. Newcomers will find the combination dinners of barbecued meats and small assorted appetizers and salads both interesting and flavorful. Other traditional Oriental items as well. * * * *

Olympian Restaurant, 2181 S. 700 East, 487-1407. Greek specialties share the bill with traditional American favorites, hearty breakfast platters; attentive service and cleanly appointed interior. * * *

Camaleon Mexican Restaurant, 826 S. Main, 595-1999. Clean, spacious interior seasoned with salsa music sets the stage for traditional Mexican favorites. Salsas, chili verde, barbecued meats and seafood specialties highlight the menu. * * * 1/2

Firenze Market and Cafe, 358 S. West Temple, 532-1055. Upscale deli with creative and colorful Italian specialty items for lunch, dinner and in-between. Full array of coffees, imported confections and other culinary treats. * * * * 1/2

Windows on the Square, Third Floor, Mervyn's Crossroads Plaza, 521-8718. A wonderful view of Temple Square with pleasant and predictable cuisine; dashes of Mediterranean highlight the menu along with traditional American favorites. * * *

Ocean City, 1919 E. 4800 South. 278-6898. The crew from Gino's Private Club established a loyal following among aficionados of Chinese cuisine. Now they have gone public with a pleasantly predictable menu of Cantonese and Szechuan specialties amid a colorful and professionally managed dining room. * * * 1/2

Cinegrill, 344 S. 300 East, 328-4900. Perhaps Salt Lake City's most memorable restaurant, famous for aromatic salads, rich minestrone soups, Italian sausage and corned beef sandwiches, has reopened again with a commitment to the quality, cuisine and quaintness of the original. * * * * 1/2