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Salt in Baltimore - a quick review


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Salt in Baltimore - a quick review

kukubura | Dec 12, 2010 03:07 PM

Went to Salt the other night for the first time. Had a hit-and-miss experience, but more hit than miss for me.

There were four of us. We started with the duck fat fries, which lived up to the hype. They were absolutely fantastic, especially with the truffle mayo. Some might say it's almost cheating to pair duck fat and truffle but hey, if it's good it's good and these suckers were seriously good.

We also shared the oyster stew app, which was creamy, comforting and fabulous. The oysters were a lovely size and the portion was generous without being gluttonous. Our dining partners had the ravioli app and maybe something else that I'm not remembering. They enjoyed them.

For mains I had the wild boar pasta, which included house-made wide noodles and an excellent assortment of mushrooms and veggies in a delicious sauce. This is easily one of those dishes that I can see ordering over and over, even if it meant missing out on other items on the menu. While Salt isn't cheap (maybe a bit overpriced) this is one of the cheapest mains and has got to be one of the best.

My wife, however, got the braised veal cheeks and unfortunately found them to be woefully underseasoned. She was right; It almost had no flavor at all. I don't know how you can braise veal cheeks (they were cooked beautifully texture-wise) and end up with no flavor. It was like eating air. The other diners agreed. She asked for salt (ironically) and while it woke up the flavor slightly it really just sort of made it saltier. The damage was done. Even the grain it was served with (faro?) was bland. I don't get it. The kitchen can clearly cook but this dish was wrong.

Our dining companions had the scallops and the elk, neither of which I really tried, so I can't comment. The scallops looked lovely and the elk looked nicely cooked although a bit indelicately cut.

Service was helpful and attentive without being intrusive. The wines were great and the space is attractive and sleek without being unfriendly. Overall I would definitely go back, although I might need to do some convincing with my wife, since she was bummed about the veal cheeks. But that pasta dish is something special, I think. I feel like I could eat it all the time.

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