For my Dad’s birthday, I offered to take him out for a delicious dinner at S.A.L.T. My parents live in the country, about thirty miles away from civilization (which is a great thing, sometimes) and don’t go out to eat very often, so a dinner out on the town is a treat for them.
We made a reservation for 7:30pm, but we got there at about 6:30pm to have a few cocktails in the bar first. While walking in, I noticed that they now have outdoor seating. Had I known that, I would have requested an outdoor table. It was a beautiful night: clear, sunny, and 70 degrees with just a hint of a breeze. I’ll have to remember for next time.
I love the atmosphere of the bar area. They have clear garage doors facing the street that are thrown open on nice days, and the interior is very chic. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “chic” before, but this calls for it, don’t you think?
Davy was incredibly tired from a very long week, but he rose to the occasion splendidly.
Kind of. 🙂
In the spirit of trying new things, I ordered a Surely Templeton, which was made with rye whiskey, vermouth, and cherry bark vanilla bitters. This drink was strong. I sipped on it for about an hour, but I’m not sure I’d order it again. I think my brother Tyler would have loved it, but the rye whiskey was a bit too much for me.
After that, I stuck with my standby: a dirty Tanqueray martini.
Perfection. At about 8:00pm, I got worried that they forgot about us, and I checked in with the hostess again. There had been some kind of mistake, but after I spoke with her, we were seated within ten minutes. I ordered another beer to drink with dinner (can’t remember the name).
My parents (especially my Mom) absolutely loved this beer, but I didn’t care for it. It was heavy on the hops and had an overwhelming grapefruit taste; since I’m not a fan of grapefruit, it was a no go. I sipped on it a little bit, then gave the rest to my parents to share.
My parents put ordering completely in our hands, so Dave and I ordered a bunch of small plates to share. It’s fun ordering for others!
First up was the S.A.L.T. sampler, which came with cheese, crackers, pita, shaved beets, pickled peppers, and a whipped salmon spread. I adored the salmon spread, it was so light, fluffy, and flavorful. This sampler was a step up from the traditional Middle Eastern sampler we ordered last time.
Goat cheese is the only cheese I do not like, but my parents do, so we ordered an olive & goat cheese “smear” which was served with crostini. It tasted a lot like a tapenade but fluffier, similar to the consistency of the salmon spread. Despite the goat cheese, I actually thought it was quite good.
Fresh oysters served with a Tabasco lemon juice sauce. Always good. And so much fun when you don’t have to pry them open yourself.
(This is when I switched to flash on my camera). We ordered my favorite steamed mussels from last time in ham and hennipan (a type of ale) and, though they were delicious, the sauce was not quite as good as last time. It didn’t taste as fresh or flavorful for some reason.
Another old favorite: seared rainbow trout. This was just as amazing, and my mom couldn’t get over how good the lemon caper aioli was. It really was a perfect accompaniment to the fish.
This is not something I would normally ever order, but I’m glad I did: “Los Pollos Hermanos:” spicy fried chicken breast with a cilantro-lime dipping sauce. This was the absolute best fried chicken I have ever eaten. It was so light and crunchy, closer to tempura then regular, greasy fried chicken. Had I made the sauce myself, I would have balanced the acidity a little more, but it was a good accompaniment to the chicken.
Shrimp & Grits. Just as delicious. And I think we decided that the “sticks” on the top were uncooked spaghetti, flavored with sauce.
Grilled asparagus. My mom asked what the purpose of a poached egg on top was, but didn’t question again after Dave broke the yolk and let the sauce cover each crisp-tender asparagus. Divine.
And for something completely American….(although I think the origins are actually European)
Gravy fries. The gravy on these fries was savory perfection, and the cheese curds made it even more so.
I really, really wanted to save room for dessert, but I was full again. Blast. Next time!
It was a wonderful dinner altogether, and I think Dave and I are finally ready to move onto ‘Medium Plates.’ 😀
After we parted with my parents, we stopped to visit our friends Shelby and Cory and their new kitten Kaylee.
I’m in love. We got both of our cats when they were a year old, so we never got to experience the kitten stage. She was a little fur ball of cuteness and fun.