Xetava Bar & Kitchen Offers The Best Food and Drink Experience There Is In St. George
Xetava Bar & Kitchen is an extension of the Southern Utah community in the form of food and drink.
Located in the Kayenta Art Village, this little gem is in the process of making itself a must-visit location for locals and tourists alike. If you’re familiar with Xetava Gardens Café, the Xetava Bar & Kitchen is just a short walk away (same building). This place offers a completely new and innovative spin bringing people from all walks of life to its doors.
Greg and Rachel Federman are the owners and have been an essential part of not just the Kayenta community but the one in St. George as well. Since 2006, the Federmans have put their heart and soul into building the Xetava name from the ground up. Its location nestled so close to the red rocks offers customers an “escape” from bustling day-to-day monotony while sipping on hand-crafted drinks and eating excellent foods.
“Ideally what we want is to offer two different experiences within the same building,” Greg said. “So that if you're in the mood for a bigger meal, you go to the café, if you want something smaller, you come here. We're keeping it under the umbrella of Xetava because I like the notion of it being such a weird word to begin with, that if we just keep our weirdness all under the one name it just connects people.”
This combination of options has drawn in an already loyal crowd to both locations, including St. George City Council Woman Danielle Larkin and volunteers of Switchpoint.
Greg said that often people will grab dinner at the café and head over to the Bar & Kitchen for dessert and drinks afterward. It's truly the best of both worlds and the quality and experience is a guarantee.
What Makes Xetava Bar & Kitchen So Special?
Not only is the location one of if not the most beautiful locations in St. George, but the quality and service are unmatched. The style of Xetava Bar & Kitchen is somewhere between casual and upscale but welcomes all.
Don’t be deterred by “bar” as all ages are welcome, the kids just can’t sit on the bar stools. It's extremely family-friendly and, for those who don’t care for alcohol, the mocktails are like nothing you’ve ever tasted.
There is no place in southern Utah where you will experience anything similar since the staff has a very diverse background spanning the East Coast, southern ties, and even ties to California which is seen in what they offer.
The Federmans wanted input from the head chef, head bartender, and manager who created the drink and food menu at the Xetava Bar & Kitchen. The trust and brilliance between the employees and Federmans truly give meaning to a “work family”.
Ben Dinsmore is the Head Chef at both Xetava locations, and his food is truly incredible.
“Food is my thing obviously, always has been. This is what I've done for pretty much my whole life. So, this is kind of the culmination of all of that. We have the two different restaurants here. We have so much carte blanche—to try everything, see what sticks, and bring our experiences from all the different places we've lived and worked.”
For Dinsmore, some of those places are San Francisco, New York City, and Charleston, SC. The seafood options you’ll see are Dinsmore’s homage to those places. He really loves his seafood. Some of the coolest creations on the menu are the Thai Shrimp Nachos (So, so good), Pan Seared Crabcakes, and the Tuna Tataki.
I had the opportunity to try the Thai Shrimp Nachos which is deliciously cooked shrimps with peppers and leeks over fried wonton chips. The Thai curry sauce is a blend of sweet and colorful flavors that bring the whole dish together and elevate the shrimp's taste.
If seafood is not your thing, there are many other options to choose from. Some of the most popular items include the Braised Short Rib which is an extremely tender slow-cooked beef with Asian inspiration, The Little Bacon Jam Burger, and the Street Corn Quesadilla.
That’s just a few of the menu items. Each one has extremely well-thought-out nods to the areas of inspiration and mixes flavors you wouldn’t usually think to blend. It’s a truly fun experience for your taste buds.
The drinks are just as complex in the best ways, with some locally sourced materials (the greens come from Switchpoint) that add to the flavor. Gin and the Giant Peach was the best drink I’ve ever had. With a combination of gin, sherry, peach simple syrup, lemon juice and basil, this drink offers a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
I also had the opportunity to try the Paper Plane, which is bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon. The Paper Plane has a bite to it, but the combined flavors really pull through and nothing is overpowering.
Another unique service the bar offers is the Research and Development where you can ask the bartender to make you whatever drink they are working on. These drinks were created in-house and it's all thanks to head bartender Drew Barnett who works daily to create these delicious beverages.
“The restaurant or the kitchen isn't a dive bar,” Barnett said. “It's not hipster, it's not uptight. It's just kind of its own thing. It's ever-changing. We've already taken off a couple of cocktails. We've added a couple, and yeah, it's just ever-changing.”
So, between the thought, time, new ideas, and love of creating a wonderful experience, Xetava Bar & Kitchen has created an irreplicable experience for those who live in southern Utah.
The drive is more than worth it, and the views are stunning. Head over for a chill evening and you’ll never want to leave.