City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Painted Pony Restaurant

An art-filled eatery serving eclectic cuisine in an inviting atmosphere—under new ownership

Aristotle once posed that “pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” When you experience a meal by Chef Lissie Vorberg and team at the Painted Pony, pleasure and perfection are artfully—and indisputably—intertwined.

“I am very passionate about food, and I love very much to see each dish being plated and presented to our guests,” Chef Lissie readily shares.

Trained at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, the restaurant’s new top chef began her culinary career with Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Energized by the pace and intensity of the line, coupled with the quality of the menu, Chef Lissie was motivated to learn every step of the business, from line cook to executive chef and general manager, working under several proprietors. Only one threshold remained—that of becoming a proprietor herself.

Last February, Chef Lissie and husband, Nick, crossed that threshold together with the purchase of Painted Pony from the highly regarded Randall Richards and Nicki Pace. Randall and Nicki had owned the restaurant since 2004, upon acquiring it from Nicki’s family.

The transition of this iconic, destination eatery in historic St. George inevitably begs the question—will things change?   

“Nicki and Randall have built something truly beautiful with the Painted Pony, and we want to see it continue,” the new owners explain. The menu will be refreshed seasonally and continue to deliver a fusion of flavors sourced from local ingredients whenever possible.

The fall menu will be unveiled between the end of September and the beginning of October.

“We are very excited to present this menu,” Chef Lissie reports. “Fall brings bold, comforting flavors and a sense of nostalgia. We want to give our guests that sense of comfort and also intrigue them with something unique.”

Exquisite food, served in a prime location, with an inviting ambiance are not the only elements of an unforgettable dining experience. At the Painted Pony, as many diners have noted, there is something exceptional about the quality of table service that is the perfect complement to what is plated.

“The Painted Pony would not be anything without its spectacular staff. From the kitchen to the front of the house, we are truly blessed with exceptional people,” says Chef Lissie, who adds, “They care about every person who walks into our doors and they represent the Pony in the very best way.”

With every new menu unveiling, the staff is behind the scenes learning the flavor profiles, nuances and details encapsulated in each dish. They taste the components and discuss the textures, techniques and ingredients.

“We have a very extensive wine menu—it is a lot to learn, and our team members are continually working together to study our wines and expand their knowledge.”

The new owners are quick to credit and thank Nicki and Randall for the incredible staff they hired and developed, and for how gracious and helpful they have been during the transition.   

“My husband and I are truly grateful to be a part of the St. George community and work at the Painted Pony. We are thankful to Nicki and Randall for what they have built and for giving us the opportunity to carry it on!”

The Painted Pony is located at 2 West St. George Blvd. Ste. 22. Visit them online at or call 435.634.1700.

"Fall brings bold comforting flavors and a sense of nostalgia. We want to give our guests that sense of comfort and also intrigue them with something unique and new." ‒ Chef Lissie Vorberg