Rise Above It All At the ridge market & cafe 2

Italian Pizzas and Burgers Make It Worth the Trip

Hungry hikers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, neighborhood residents, and valley dwellers seeking relief from the weather will find much to satisfy their taste buds at The Ridge Market & Cafe.

“We have a diverse clientele,” says Chef Cal Wadsworth, who along with his wife Gaye, owns and operates the popular cafe atop Suncrest in Draper. “We welcome everyone.”

The restaurant takes in all the mountains have to offer, with large garage-style doors that open onto a wraparound patio with spectacular views. Whether in boot, on bike, or on foot, there is something here for everyone all day long. For a morning pick-me-up there are specialty coffee drinks made from Starbucks coffee or the local gourmet coffee roaster, DOMA; a dozen flavors of ice cream greet kids ready for an afternoon treat; homemade dinners are an order away for work-weary parents; and a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres cater to diners enjoying the sunset.

The centerpiece of the open kitchen is a stunning, copper-tiled Stefano Ferrara pizza oven, one of only eight such ovens in the United States, says Gaye.

“Cal and I traveled to Italy and fell in love with authentic Italian pizza,” recalls Gaye. Not only is the oven the real Italian deal, but so is the pizza-making method. Each pizza is made with Caputo 00 flour and hand stretched. “It makes a difference in the taste,” says Gaye.

Another top seller is The Ridge Burger—1/3 lb. of char-grilled Dakota beef on a homemade brioche bun topped with smoked Gouda and cheddar cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, and a homemade Louis sauce. The menu has recently been revised and, along with such favorites as the pizza and burger, will offer more daily specials, including a grilled salmon filet served alongside mashed potatoes and asparagus, roasted chicken with a choice of sides, and English popovers. “People love them,” adds Cal.

Cal worked in the construction business for 28 years, but had a love for cooking. “He always had a kitchen in his office and cooked for his employees,” says Gaye. Wanting to expand on his passion for cooking and sharing good food, he attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, honed his kitchen skills at Tuscany, and when the opportunity to buy the Suncrest restaurant came up, he and his brother, Tod, redesigned it and opened the cafe.

Both Cal and Gaye say owning a restaurant is a lot like having a dinner party every night for friends and family. It is a lot of work because the food and ambiance need to be just right, but the rewards are worth it. “We want everyone to have a wonderful experience here,” says Gaye.

The Ridge Market & Cafe is open Tuesday-Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 14886 Traverse Ridge Rd.  801.571.8000. RidgeCafe.com