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Painted Pony Restaurant

Featured Article

Legends of the Painted Pony

Dynamic duo artfully cultivate creative culinary designs and captivating ambience

The Painted Pony restaurant, owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Randall Richards and Nicki Pace, is nestled in the Tower at Ancestor Square in St. George’s historic district, The restaurant offers distinctive dining choices and unparalleled ambience.

An Evolution

In 2001, Randall left his job at the Bit and Spur in Springdale to work at the Painted Pony. By 2004, he and Nicki purchased the restaurant from Nicki’s family, with Randall serving as executive chef. Together, they have forged a path that attests to their ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness.

The Painted Pony’s menu changes seasonally, yet always appears to draw from a color-wheel garden. Indeed, the couple is committed to organic sourcing, with no compromise in quality—from meats, to poultry, to vegetables, to fruits—all natural foods, some even sourced from Randall’s own acreage. Some say Randall and Nicki serve edible art at its finest.

Entrees like rosemary-spiked ribeye, rack of New Zealand lamb, seared ahi tuna tantalize the tastebuds. Desserts like the white chocolate cheesecake tower, lemon soufflé and vanilla bean crème brulee tempt the senses.

The restaurant’s intimate seating patterns, invite guests to truly relax and mingle. Fresh flowers adorn the tables while art embellishes the walls—including a signature piece designed by the late Sherrie Thompson. In the evening, the subdued lighting and patio dining establish a romantic atmosphere.

Awards, Awards and More Awards

With a destination restaurant like the Painted Pony, it is no surprise that Trip Advisor ranks it in the top five of approximately 170 area restaurants and gives nearly five stars each for quality of food, service, value and atmosphere. The online ratings are backed by the numerous awards on permanent display: Best Restaurant in Southern Utah, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America, Wine Spectator’s Magazine Award of Excellence and more.

What is in a Name?

When Spanish explorers arrived in North America in the early 1500s, they brought “painted ponies” along. Thoroughbred horses were bred with these painted ponies, creating a horse with stamina and a good disposition. The native Americans quickly favored them because of their two-tone color variation, their ability to keep up with buffalo herds and their gentle, intelligent natures. They were ascribed magical characteristics.

The Painted Pony’s original owner is said to have owned some of these American Paint horses and named the restaurant after them.  Although his ownership was short lived, the name remained.

The reputation of the Painted Pony created by Randall and Nicky is legendary. Like the painted ponies of the plains the restaurant’s magical and memorable merits endure.

  • Nicki Pace and Randall Richards
  • Nicki Pace and Randall Richards
  • Randall Richards
  • Painted Pony Logo
  • Painted Pony Restaurant
  • Enchanting ambience in the Painted Pony
  • Blue Cheese Walnut Stuffed Pear