"Salt" Perfectly Seasoned
I had been hearing about "Salt" since they opened about a year ago. Been meaning to try the place and finally got around to checking out the restaurant on the the westside of Lakewood at 17625 Detroit. Owner Jessica Parkinson turned a dive bar into one of the best restaurants in Cleveland. In 2018 head chef Jill Vedaa was a semi-finalist in the prestigous James Beard awards, as well as winning "Guy's Grocery Games" on the Food Network.
The restaurant is painted completely black. Accented with soft lighting and the warm glow of Himilayan Salt lamps, it works. We arrived around 7 p.m. on Friday night, busy and on a wait. Since we didn't have a reservation, we opted for the only table for two out on the patio. Not as bustling as inside with the bar, it was quiet and nicely decorated with succulents boxed on the tall black wood fencing blocking out the parking lot.
Although they offer an exotic list of custom cocktails, we opted for our usual...Scotch for my husband, and red wine for me. The wine list offered was limited to a few white, red, rose, and sparkling selections by the glass and bottle. A larger list is available upon request. They were out of Glenlivit, but had Oban behind the bar, so Frank was happy. I tried a glass of Zagan's Fire, a blend from CA. Medium bodied and easy to drink. Excited to try the food. Our server Alexandra explained that all selections were "small plates" meant to be shared. Order a few, and take it from there. We started with Polenta Fries $9, which were huge planks of creamy crunchy savory goodness with a nice aioli dipping sauce. Next up, Prawns over soft polenta with poblanos mixed in $14. The two prawns were grilled simply. Needing some veggies, we rounded out with Charred broccolli $8, delicious with a sake aioli and buttery panko crumbs.
Okay, still hungry. Time to get serious and try something from the meat selection, we decided on the Lamb Ragu with Gnocci $13. Simply said, we're going back for this dish. Homemade ricotta gnocci smothered in a rich ground lamb sauce with feta cheese and olives. Yum. Although we were satisfied at this point, Frank kept seeing the Pork tenderloin and Halibut being served around us. Both looked awesome. Opted for the Halibut over celery root slaw tossed in a fresh dill creme fraiche, it was perfectly cooked and the slaw was great. Too stuffed for dessert, we retired to the bar.
Already planning on what to have next time. The smoked trout with focaccia and pickled beets looked like a great way to start. The Summer menu runs for about 10 more weeks. Alexandra explained that the Calamari with a coriander coconut glaze is always on the menu, no matter the season. Food was beautifully prepared and presented. Using quality stemware and flatware really adds to the whole experience. Service was top notch. Overall, a great evening.