Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Pho

Report on Salts and Pho So 1 - Long

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Restaurants & Bars

Report on Salts and Pho So 1 - Long

JudyHP | May 15, 2006 10:50 AM

Thanks to all for your comments on my questions about Salts and drinks beforehand. Because it was convenient and close, we went to Tommy Doyles at Kendall for a few cocktails before our dinner reservation. TD’s is a fun bar with a pleasantly crowded scene for the 5:00 Friday crowd. Arrived at Salts at our reservation time, 6:15, and were greeted by the most pleasant hostess – the evening was starting out great, and continued to be. Salts was wonderful. We had a great waiter, and we told him it was a birthday celebration and we wanted to pair wines with the courses. Bread– freshly baked baby rolls were brought over and served after we had settled in – warm from the oven, with a great crust. Awesome butter. For appetizers we had the hamachi, which is one of their signature starters, and it was wonderful. We also had an appetizer of croquettes du lapin, - 3 rabbit croquettes on a small drizzle of a delicious sauce, with spring greens and I think fresh fava beans. Really nice – very rich tasting. Pinot Blanc was served with the hamachi, and a rose was served with the rabbit. An amuse bouche of the pureed cauliflour soup with vanilla bean oil was divine. We got the duck for 2, along with a bottle of French pinot noir recommended by our waiter (sorry I can’t remember the exact label, but the wine paired with the meal perfectly). I have to say, I am in the camp that “loves the duck”. It was a great presentation, and the duck was perfect – juicy, very meaty, not greasy at all, and excellent crispy skin. The stuffing and the side veggies (ours were baby turnip, carrot, and cippoline onion). We enjoyed the presentation of having the duck carved table-side and plated by the waiter. For dessert we had the lemon soufflé tart, which was unbelievable – the tart is served hot, and it’s fluffy and lemony and so delicious. The sorbet complements it perfectly, and it came with pieces of citrus (I think blood orange, and grapefruit). We had the recommended dessert wines with the desserts. Coffee after was excellent – strong, rich, and not acidic. I think what really made it such a great evening was the combination of everything. Of course the food was wonderful, and the staff were all fantastic – the owner stopped by every table. Beautiful floral arrangement, really cute and well-spaced out dining room. Nice glassware/linens/flatware. They really made us feel special, yet comfortable, like we were welcomed into their home. Pacing between courses was great - we were not rushed at all, ever. That is really nice!! Prices are what you expect for such fine food and service – appetizers were in the mid-teens, the duck is $60, dessert is ~ $10. They have a great wine list, with prices in all ranges. The wines by the glass are great -you get a really good pour in beautiful crystal stemware.

Sunday afternoon we went to Pho So 1 in Randolph for a nice rainy-day early dinner. This place is a gem! The Pho was wonderful – far superior to Pho Pateur - super flavorful broth, noodles were perfectly textured, and the meats were tender (I got beef round and brisket in mine). We also had the Fresh rolls – they had the perfect balance of noodle/shrimp/mint/and pork in them. Really excellent peanut dipping sauce with them. Service was friendly and fast. Mostly Vietnamese customers. Beer and wine. Parking is a dream, since the restaurant is in a huge strip mall. It’s nice to have this place as an option!

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