Today's fine dining establishments don't have to be pretentious, especially for the younger generation of professionals. One of the things I love about Salt House is the casual atmosphere. Indeed, the website proudly boasts, "From the jackasses that brought you Town Hall Restaurant," so you know that even the chef partners aren't trying to take themselves too seriously. While the interior of Salt House may not be as chic as Town Hall, it definitely still has its own character. The restaurant is located in what used to be a printing press warehouse built in the 1930s, so the space has brick walls, hardwood floors, and high ceilings and windows for plenty of light and air. Wooden and metal decorations, as well as some fine art, add fun touches to the walls. It's a great spot for a lunch meeting, happy hour, a romantic dinner, or just a night out with friends.
But Salt House does take its food seriously, serving up contemporary American fare with the same attention to flavor and presentation that made Town Hall so famous.
Redhawk cheese with side salad, nuts, and raisins ($6)
Redhawk cheese is from California's Cowgirl Creamery, and its pungent flavors paired well with our bottle of 2001 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon.
A little dish of marinated olives ($5)
Poutine fries with short rib gravy and cheddar ($10)
The olives and fries make great snacks or appetizers. The menu also has a good selection of raw oysters for the shellfish enthusiasts. And now for one of my favorite guilty pleasures:
Foie gras with sauteed nectarine sauce and hazelnuts ($18)
Say what you will about duck liver, but I'm a huge fan. The foie gras here was only lightly seared, keeping the inside moist and buttery, which paired wonderfully with the sweetness of the fruit sauce. If I ever feel like pampering myself, I'd most likely order the foie gras with a glass of red wine for dinner. Or maybe even for lunch!
Seared yellowfin tuna with ambrosia melon, fennel, and avocado ($14)