Went this past Saturday to Salts with 3 other friends. (One of them was supposed to have arranged something in the South End, but never made reservations.) Around 8pm, we called Salts and they very kindly said "we will have a table for 4 opening in about 20 minutes and we'd love to have you!" Minor wait when we got there, but negligible compared to what we were hearing for Franklin, Stella, etc.
Three of four of us had never been there; beautiful room, a bit on the small side, but not crowded, and definitely not noisy.
Our waiter was busy with another table, so Analia (hostess/owner) helped us with wine recommendations, and she did a great job! Based on our entrees, she recommended a 2003 (I think) Tandem Peloton - very nice blend of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel, with some white wine (chardonnay?) mixed in. Light enough (several of us are not fond of Cab-heavy wines) but with enough body to stand up to the meal. We ended up getting two bottles.
A chef's tasting of a small bowl of soup - I mistakenly thought it was light Spring Pea soup, but I believe the waiter may have said Salsify? Not sure as I couldn't understand him :-( nor have I ever had salsify before. It was topped with olive oil foam and a couple of leaves of bitter green; it was a nice start.
Two in the party had the carrot soup, poured over a couple of small shrimp in the bottom of the bowl. It was blended with something else, which I cannot remember, but it was very good - sweet but not overly so. Another friend had the pear and mache salad with a locally made chevre cheese and hazelnut vinaigrette. I didn't taste it, but she said it was very good! I chose baby white asparagus with chopped hazelnuts, a good-sized dollop of basil mayonnaise and another small drizzle of a sweetish garnish - IIRC, I think it was a mint drizzle. The combination of flavors was incredible.
For entrees, I lucked out - one of my friends loves duck as much as I do, and we got the last signature "Whole Roasted Duck for Two." Our other friends both chose the organic Waygu beef. I don't recall what it was served with, and the bite I had was good, but not spectacular.
The duck on the other hand - oh lordy was that good! One of my friends said she liked the beef, but agreed that the duck was better. Presentation was gorgeous - carved at the table, served with thin spring carrots and roasted spring onions and brussel sprouts, stuffed wth a combination of small-dice sourdough bread and apples, and napped with a thin sauce which I can't recall, our server carved off the legs first for plating. The duck was wonderfully cooked, not fatty at all, and the skin was so ultra-crispy and crackly - arguably the best duck I've ever had! When we were ready for more, they took our plates and gave us the breast meat. Absolute heaven!
Didn't think we'd have room for dessert, but we did - we got two and shared - Warm Chocolate Cake with a raspberry sorbet and a chocolate frappe (which I didn't try but it looked good). I chose a Lemon Souffle Tart with frozen Meyer Lemon Curd Mousse with a drizzle of mint essence, and it was excellent!
I didn't see the tab (several of us were being treated by the other two), but based on what I remember from the menu prices, the tab plus wine (but minus the tip) probably came to just over $300.
Service was impeccable - attentive but not overly so. They really try to please you there, and while I hadn't been to Salts under the old management, I can definitely recommend it under the new!