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BlackSalt Chow Lunch Report

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BlackSalt Chow Lunch Report

James G | Dec 23, 2004 08:38 PM

On Tuesday afternoon, a group of eight of us met at BlackSalt for lunch. This was only the restaurant's second or third day serving lunch, so the following should be read with the understanding that many of the kinks will likely work their way out of the system before too long.

We arrived to find the restaurant virtually empty, other than a few tables of diners scattered about the room. Our table was within view of the glassed-in kitchen, so we had something of a view of the goings-on inside.

Our exuberant waitress, on being told that we would like to see the wine list, brought us only the list of wines by the glass, which are extensive, without thinking that perhaps we'd like to get a bottle... As it turns out, even after she brought the bottle list, only two or three of us ended up ordering a glass, in my case a very nice Riesling. It is worth noting that they have both 4oz and 7oz pours of wines by the glass, so you can mix and match to different courses very easily without overdoing it.

We placed our orders--four orders of the special cod, two crab cakes, an oyster po'boy and something else that I have forgotten. Some people also ordered starters of a butternut squash soup, and we also had two orders of fried calamari for the table, and a plate of steamed mussels at the waitress's suggestion. Then began the waiting...

After a rather lengthy wait the bread arrived--nice plates of baguette slices, raisin-walnut type bread, and marble rye slices. Then some time later our shared starters arrived. The calamari were nicely done, not too oilly, and served with a ponzu sauce that I thought did not suit them very well, though they were done well enough not to require any dipping sauce. The mussels were also very good.

The butternut squash soups were excellent--nice sized servings with a little basil oil (or maybe a different herb) dribbled on the surface. The flavor was extremely intense, very squash-y and delicious.

Fortunately the starters were large enough that we were suffiiciently sated to wait out the arrival of the main dishes, an undertaking that took them 45 minutes to accomplish. Meanwhile the restaurant was filling up and tables that had arrived and ordered after us were being served. Finally we had to speak up, only to be assured that the cooks were about to send our dishes out. Twice. When they finally did come, they certainly looked nice. The cods were very well presented, though after seeing the size of the first three plates of it to be delivered the recipient of the fourth must have felt rather deprived, as it was approximately half the size of the others. Guess they ran out of cod in the middle of the lunch hour. The po'boy, which I ordered, was very good indeed, with very light, crispily fried oysters on a baguette with a spicy and interesting remoulade along with the various vegetables, lettuce etc. Unfortunately I had to pretend to be in a speed-eating contest to enjoy it, as I had an appointment that I risked missing.

I did not stay to see whether anyone ordered coffee or dessert, but I presume they did not, since one of our party was able to join me this evening for dinner at China Star; he would almost certainly still be at BlackSalt now if they had ordered anything else after lunch...

Bottom line: the food was very good, and the dinner menu appeared to be a bit more varied than the lunch menu; if you choose to go, which you probably should, go in the evening...and tell the sitter you'll be back late.

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