Restaurant Review: Salt

A couple of weeks ago, Coastal Virginia magazine offered a daily deal ($50 coupon for $25) to Salt, a restaurant I had heard good things about. They were only offering four of the deals, so I quickly snagged one, and made a reservation for Graham and I to have dinner there. We went Saturday night, and had an excellent experience. First off, the place was DEAD, granted, we got there at a fairly early hour (I made the reservation for 6:00), but when we left around 7:30, there weren’t that many more tables there. While I hate it was dead, we received excellent service. Our server was friendly, knowledgable, and attentive without being overbearing. He made recommendations, joked around with us, and checked in with us often. Considering the mediocre service we’ve received lately, it was a very pleasant change.

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We started with a sangria for me, a German beer for him, and the bulgogi wraps and an order of the Asian chicken noodle soup as our appetizer. Both were delicious. The soup (rice noodles, carrots, oyster mushrooms, cilantro, scallions, Napa cabbage, scented with lemongrass, ginger and garlic) was perfect. My allergies have been bothering me a lot lately, and I haven’t felt great, and this was exactly what I needed. The stuff in the soup was good, but the broth was amazing. The wraps (sliced Hereford tenderloin, pickled carrot, sliced garlic, chili paste, and crispy duck chicharrone with leaf lettuce) were delicious as well. There was a ton of meat though, and very little carrot or garlic. There was enough meat & lettuce leaves for us to make two large wraps each, but only three pieces of carrot, and three slices of garlic.

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For our entrees, we both ordered seafood. I had one of their specials, the scallops, and he had the whole fish (that day it was mackarel). I honestly think he only ordered the fish to mess with me. I had scrunched up my face when the server started talking about the fish (I’m sorry, I don’t want anything that still has a head & a tail on my plate), so of course he had to order it, so I would try it. The fish was served with jasmine rice, vegetables and a coconut curry sauce. I have to admit, the fish was delicious, and the sauce was amazing. I would have loved to have had a little of that to go with my scallops.

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My scallops… oh goodness. I’ve been wary of ordering scallops since the massive scallop rip-off of 2012 at Savoy 1620 back in Little Rock. But these sounded amazing, so I went with them. They were a special, so I don’t remember exactly what was on them. I do remember he said they were dusted with a wasabi powder. There wasn’t an overwhelming wasabi flavor, just a hint of heat. But the scallops themselves… oh goodness. They were huge, and perfectly cooked. They were served with equally delicious mashed potatoes, and overcooked aspargus (the asparagus was limp, and I like it to maintain a little bit of a bite).

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We were way too full for dessert after all of that food, but maybe next time. This place is a little pricey (my scallops were $30, and G’s fish was $28), but the food was worth it. The fact that the restaurant was so empty makes me sad. People, I beg you, try local restaurants when you dine out. There is so much out there that is so much better than Chili’s or Outback…

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