I took my husband to Salts for his birthday this weekend. We haven't been to Salts in over a year and thought it would be fun to go since we had some wonderful meals there in the past. Maybe we hit them on an off night, but it was a disappointing experience. The service and atmosphere were wonderful, but the food and wine left much to be desired. It was a special occasion, so we decided to splurge on a '97 bottle of burgundy from Montelie ($58). The wine had a pleasant mushroom and earthy smell, but the taste was acidic and tannic and did not reveal much complexity. We certainly hoped for more at that price since we had some commendable wines from that region for less than $40 in other restaurants. Of course the restaurant did not make the wine, but it would be nice if someone could steer us in the right direction. We asked our waiter whether he thought it would be a good choice and he assured us that this wine was excellent.
We started with lobster pierogies ($14) that were tasty as always -- full of sweet lobster and accompanied by delicious red pepper oil. The other appetizer was a St. Andre tart with strawberries and cress ($11). I can't say it was bad, but I would never get it again. The crust was buttery and tasty, but St. Andre got really greasy when it was heated. The cress and strawberries provided a fresh note in the dish, and there was a very mild strawberry flavored creamy sauce. But somehow the whole dish just didn't work for me because the flavors were very mild and the textures not balanced.
For main course, I decided to go with the safe duck ($26). It was excellent on our previous visits. Jason got the braised short rib ($30). The short rib was very yummy -- fork tender and smoky. It came with deliciously garlicky potato tart and different veggies. The duck was the worst dish of the night. The breast meat was tough and chewy (maybe because they cut it along the grain?) There was not even a trace of juiciness. A good sauce helped some, but did not really solve the problem.
We miss old Salts and hope that the food improves. We probably will not risk going back until we hear some good news. It's just too expensive for such inconsistency.