There's been a lot of buzz about Salt House lately, and everyone I know who's been has raved. I was a bit skeptical, since it's run by the Town Hall folks. (Though Town Hall is also quite popular, it's just not one of my faves.) Speaking of popularity, when you show up at Salt House, you really feel as if you've "arrived." It's quite the scene (especially at the bar, which is right across from many of the dining tables) and you know you're in "the place to be." Salt House is billed as a "contemporary tavern," and that's reflected in the exposed brick and hardwood floors, but there's also a light and airy feeling thanks to the 12-foot windows.
Once we got to our table, though, we were off to a slow start -- it took forever for our waitress to arrive at our table to greet us, and the rest of the night wasn't much of an improvement. Luckily, the food compensated.
crispy potatoes / shortrib gravy / cheddar cheese
Their web site and an article I'd read said they do the dish with fontina, so I was a bit disappointed by the cheddar substitution. Nonetheless, I understand why this is one of their signature dishes. You can actually feel your arteries clogging as you eat.
ROASTED FULTON VALLEY CHICKEN
chorizo roasted fingerling potatoes / asparagus / preserved lemon and garlic
Unfortunately, I filled up on Poutine, so I couldn't fully savor this dish as much as I otherwise would. I can still report that the chicken was incredibly moist and flavorful, and everything else on the plate complemented it, and each other, beautifully.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE BAR
caramelized peanuts / fleur de sel
You'd think after being so full that I could barely eat my entree that I wouldn't have dessert. You would be wrong. I was going to resist, but I was convinced to share the chocolate fudge bar. Twist my rubber arm, for God's sake! I'm glad I didn't miss it, because it was one of the best desserts I've ever had.
545 Mission Street (between 1st and 2nd)