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SALT: Expectations; Monday night dining

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SALT: Expectations; Monday night dining

BAshful3 | Feb 3, 2003 08:08 PM

AFter all the buildup, I was afraid I would be disappointed. On one hand I was, but on the other hand I was delighted. Disappointment first: this is no place for my husband, or for the non-adventurous diner. Half the entrees were fish/shellfish; half the appetizers had fish. So, my real disapointment is that I can't go back with my husband. And, as we are being given a gift certificate to "our favorite restaraunt"; I have to call them back quick and yank Salt's name.

On the other hand: service just lovely. Attentive; friendly, not overbearing, not formal; no false notes. Minimalist decor: easy to walk right by it. No sign outside. LOvely amuse bouche, that also included a fresh anchovy on toast with nice saucing--yum for me. I noticed that other tables had different amuse's.

Surprise additional course that we did not order: wonderful scallop, salsify, with Meyer lemon and miso dressing. This was on the menu for $11, but it just came, gratis. the appetizer we shared sounds yuck, but was quite splendid. Seared Spanich mackeral rabbit escabeche, eggplant marmalde and a saffron aioli. ($14) I could have made a meal of that rabbit: tender on the bone, absolutely luscious. And, the whole conglomeration really went together.

My friend's skate, pickled spahetti squash and blood orange sauce was a total winner. ($17) I had minor gripes with my sweetbreads, scented with cloves, confit carrots, black peper jus. ($19) Portion size too small for Miss Piggy here; an acid green sauce that tasted good but was an appalling visual presentation. Not too tender either--I've had better sweetbreads.

Dessert was lovely, but again, my puny- eating friend insisted on sharing. We chose warm chocolate cake, hazelnut praline and chocolate sorbet, but the other desserts all called my name.

Overall rating: I would go back gladly, prices were very fair given the quality. If you ever want a lovely place to eat on a MOnday night, SALT would be perfect. House was full by the time we left. Maybe 35 tables, counting bar, but tables not too close together.

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