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Boston Area

Salts - before they closed - long review

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Salts - before they closed - long review

nomadfromcincy | Feb 12, 2004 07:26 AM

So being new to Boston and one who truly enjoys a good meal, I of course developed a restaurant "list". Although Salts wasn't on the very top of the list, I heard it was closing in mid-February, so I wanted to give it a try before then. So off I went.

To start off, the owners are selling the place to another couple. As of Saturday, they will close it down for a couple weeks and then re-open it with a similar staff and a menu which was described as a little more French-influenced. Seems like reasonable idea, considering the restaurant reminds me of a well-lit French bistro. The current owners (the Rosens) are moving to Connecticut, but don't have any plans yet to open a new restaurant.

Anyway, onto the important stuff...I went with three friends as pseudo-Valentine's double date. I hate going out on V-Day, so this seemed like a much better idea. We arrived on-time and were seated immediately. In general, the service was very friendly and accomodating. They did drop the ball on dessert (the restaurant was mostly cleared out so the waiter was talking to another table for about 10 minutes), but we weren't in a rush, so it wasn't a big deal. In hindsight, we should have stopped while we were ahead, but no regrets, eh?

In my opinion, the appetizers were the best part of the meal. We ordered four different apps, and I think everyone cleaned his or her plate...and while there was some sharing, I wouldn't say anyone was eager to give away food. I had the veal and black truffle sausage, which was excellent. The texture of the sausage wasn't too rubbery, and the flavor of truffles is always decadent. The best app was the smoked salmon/pierogi/creme fraiche. I had a similar combination at the French Laundry in Napa; it is a really fantastic combination of flavors. Our other friends ordered the beet salad and warm goat cheese tart, which they both enjoyed.

For entrees, the two ladies in the group ordered hens? And my friend and I ordered the char and duck, respectively. The flavors/textures in the duck were interesting - it was a blood orange glaze served with some type of green (spinach) and a brown lima bean. I don't usually like lima beans, but I ate most of them. The duck was cooked perfectly, although the dish cooled down...but that was probably the result of the door opening and closing (most people were leaving as we ate our entrees. Either way, I enjoyed my entree. I tried the hen; it didn't bowl me over, but it was good. The arctic char was an interesting combo of flavors - the char, which is like a lighter version of salmon, was paired with an apple cider redux and sweet potatoes. All were good, but I'm not sure I would ever have thought to serve sweet potatoes with fish.

For dessert, we had the chocolate soup and gingerbread mousse. I didn't care for the chocolate soup, it tasted a little watered down to me. If I am going to eat some good bittersweet dark chocolate, I really want to go all out. The mousse had a very strong gingersnap-like flavor. It was fine, but I wouldn't order it again.

So, overall, I will be disappointed the chef is leaving. I got the impression that it was the type of place you can go for a consistently nice meal. I would compare the food to Gargoyles in Davis Sq. However, the atmosphere is a little more intimate and bistro-like.

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