One was great, one not so great but I'm hoping for improvement. Went to the pretty new Salute in Roslindale on Mon. Never was there in its old man bar incarnation but it's a pleasant place with a bar taking up the first room and seating for about 32 in a back area, including some big comfortable booths. Service was nice and the side of scalloped potatos was great, but not sure about the rest of the meal. Split mussels w/ frites which were just okay, a boring tomato based sauce and mussels that seemed kind of mushy. Fries were fine but served on top of the mussels w/ an aioli type ting drizzled on top, so they got all this excess liquid on them. Friend had mushroom tortellini which I liked better than he did, huge cheese tort. in a flavorful mushroom broth w/ some interesting mushrooms and greens. He expected the tort. to be filled with mushrooms but I can't remember the exact description. My steak was done less than the medium requested, typical. But quite a bit less and the side of veggies while interesting, were undercooked. I was more forgiving of that than he was. Carrots might as well have been raw but the thin asparagus and fennel (?) were fine and I liked them overall, and as I said, the scalloped potatos were amazing. Our glasses for the wine were just out of the dishwasher so too warm, esp. for the prosecco I ordered. Which she brought in a bottle like you'd get on a plane and was served in a regular wine glass. Not a huge deal but combined with how warm it was, a bit of a bummer. Apps. ran $7-10, pastas around $14 and my steak dinner was $20. No dessert, friend got a cookie at Emack & Bolio's which looked great (and I'd gotten a choc. chip earlier from Espresso Royale which isn't nearly as good as Dunkin's). I'm surprised there aren't burgers and smaller items on the menu at Salute, that might be something to consider. Worth another shot but nothing to rave about at this point for sure.
On the other hand, we went to Ashmont Grill last nite and that was great. Have never been in that part of town and thought it would be more crowded, but fairly quiet at 7PM on a Wed. Good sized dining space and bar area with about 15 seats and an additional ~6 tables for 2. Many things looked good on the enu but we split a bunch of smaller things, after having some tasty cocktails. They had mango (yippee) so instead of the advertised margarita, I had a "martini" and friend had a pomengranate marg. We then started with cod cakes, frisee salad w/ lardon and hard boiled egg, and sides of fries and basic mac & cheese (only $3 and $3.50 for sides). 3 cod cakes were nicely fried with a great filling, salad was fine but I wish they'd had different greens, and the sides were wonderful. That mac & cheese, mmm mmm and the fries are great too (didn't get the trainwreck). Great sounding desserts but we went basic with a brownie sundae and that was good too. Fun bartender, good time overall. With another cocktail, it came to $55 w/ tax. Many other things to try on that menu.