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Salt--Baltimore

I dined at Salt for the first time this week, and on the heels of all the hype and rave reviews, I am so reluctant to say this...but I was disappointed. It was good, but not great. The lobster spring roll seemed flat, and fairly greasy. The beet salad was uninspired (especially after so recently having one at Petit Louis that was KILLER). The short ribs I had were wonderful, but the accompanying potatoes were so sweet I was looking around for...salt. The lamb stroganoff my companion had was also sorely lacking in, well, salt. And while I have an appreciation for al dente, the beautiful wide noodles in it were slightly undercooked.
I am definitely going to return, to give it another shot (maybe i just didn't try the right items), but I was curious about anyone else's experiences?

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  1. been to salt appx. 1 week ago. had duck fat f.f. tasted great. for main, had the short ribs. found it over cooked & bland

    1. According to a friend of a friend who works there, they've been experiencing some ordering problems. Friend suggested that a plain old shortage might have been why my dining partner had a paltry 4 or 5 pieces of pasta in his 'artistic' stroganoff.

      1. I was SO excited about eating at Salt but had a HORRIBLE experience. It was a Tuesday night so they weren't overly crowded. The two of us ordered 6 appetizers as our meal. it took 45 minutes before our first two dishes came. The next came out about another 30 minutes later (after we inquired about where the rest of our food was). I took one bite of my deep fried risotto cake and it was FROZEN in the center!!complained to the manager who is the chef's mother. Instead of listening and acting on my complaint she argued with us for 10 minutes! I asked to speak to the chef/owner Jason and he was not there that evening. I understand that restaurants have off nights but when still frozen food is served to you, you expect the manager to be more apologetic and accomodating. A call to the chef/owner the next day to inform him of my experience and displeasure was greeted with indignation and arrogance. he did not want to listen to me and accused me of wasting his time!
        I would think that being a new restaurant and all Salt would want to go out of it's way to listen to valid complaints from customers and act to fix the situation. but they were not at all interested in making me satisfied. That's how to create a repeat customer. Maybe because of all its' "buzz" and popularity, Salt has become "too big for its' britches".
        anyone else had an unpleasant experience at Salt?

        1. Wow- we almost went there last weekend. I do think we'll eventually try it- have to form your own opinions and all that. But this doesn't sound good. I'm glad we went to Peter's instead.

          1. I have been to salt and I love it. The atmosphere is great...a little noisy but great decor. I had scallops w/risotto that were phenomenal my friend had the tuna which was also excellent. Theresa was our waitress and she was extremely knowledgeable. We definitely would go back. To think I almost did not go because of one of the posts.

            1. My husband and I went for the first time last night and sat at the bar. I had a quite good bellini and he had a good but overpriced Malbec (all Malbecs seem overpriced to me, though, after traveling in Argentina). We LOVED the fries. The miso-marinated bass was decent and the mango shrimp fried rice it was served on even better. The kobe beef slider was good though whatever condiment was spread on the bun could have been more flavorful. The tomato spread for the bread was great. We sat at the bar and the bartender was attentive and friendly. Aside from a 1-year-old in the corner watching a movie on a personal DVD (what is up with people?) the atmosphere was great and we will go back.

              1. My wife and I went to Salt a month or two ago and were totally unimpressed. The Duck-oil fries were good but........the rest of our meal was marginal at best and we had to send an item (forementioned spring rolls) back. Terrible! Portions were small and like others, I find their preparations lacking flavor. We will not return.

                1. I think Salt's main problem is that it was WAY over-hyped. I have been several times and have always enjoyed the experience. However, I have never thought of Salt as more than a neighborhood joint with a little extra pizzaz in the decor. The prices aren't bad, the cocktails are good, the food is creative and flavorful, and the service friendly...I'd definately recommend you try it for a weeknight dinner. If you keep you expectations reasonable, you won't be let down.

                  1. I live in the area and eat at salt every few weeks, as do friends. I've not had a bad foodie experience here, so am somewhat surprised by these posts, but then, I've also worked in hopstiality a long time so know that everyone has a bad night, chef thru waitress and new restaurants have teething problems - granted, its almost May 07 so perhaps they should have shrugged these by now.

                    I've had the slider burger the veal cheeks and the tuna several times and always loved it. My only complaint has been that they only take reso's for 6 or more!

                    1. I agree with ick that it is a great neighborhood spot and has perhaps been over-hyped as something else. I've been three times, had 2 wonderful experiences and one not-so-great experience. The Good: The times I sat in the bar area were the best. Excellent, knowledgable service, great recommendations, perfect timing, etc. The risotto cake is excellent, as is their grilled shrimp appetizer. I find the portions to be a nice size and the entrees not too fussy but definitely interesting. The bellinis are very tasty and the wine list is decent. I've had the salmon, tuna, and short ribs. The 1st two were great, the latter not so much. The Bad: when I sat in the dining room with 2 others, our dervice was slow and the waitress had a smug, I-don't-care attitude. Also, this was a full year after my last visit and the menu had not changed at all. I was really looking forward to seeing something new. Oh well. Everyone enjoyed their food (salmon, tuna, duck) but nobody was ooohing and aahhhing. It was "good". But to me, "good" is "bad" when you pay more than average, your food is just average, and the service seems to have gone downhill.

                      1. Went last night. New menu was launched on Thursday.

                        Loved the new morel mushroom app. Also the lamb porterhouse. Both fantastic.

                        Other items tried last night were the squash blossom app and the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. Both were pretty good, just not as good as the above-mentioned items.

                        (An aside - The pork tenderloin showed the kitchen had a sense of humor -- it's really a riff on breakfast. There was a definite taste of maple syrup on the bacon, the Yukon gold potatoes were done home-fry style, and there was a quail egg black eyed susan. Interesting, but I'd recommend the two items I mentioned first over it.)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: misssphinx

                          Sounds like this place is not there for the long haul.
                          Based on the mother of a chef and the chef himself being rude to a customer -- I don't even care if the customer happened not to be very pleasant about it -- sends up a huge SOS in my book.
                          And a waitress with a smug attitude???
                          No thanks.
                          It's only a matter of time.
                          NO place is THAT good!

                          1. re: idia

                            hmm... we have been wanting to go here for awhile....
                            Once I called to get a reservation - "we only take reservations for 6" - I immediately say "yes, I'd like a reservation for 6", then without missing a beat or even pretending to look at a book/schedule "oh, we don't have anything available" - do they actually take reservations? Is it worth it???

                            1. re: chowmac

                              been there once. i thought the food and atmosphere was good for what it is, a neighborhood joint. if you have higher expectations, then disappointments may abound. french fries were good. then again, how can you go wrong on duck fat.

                        2. Read both really good & bad internet reviews about this place but Baltimore Mag 11 ranking convinced me to give it a try.
                          My wife and I both thought it was one of the best restaurants we have eaten at in a long time.
                          If you like innovative cuisine done well this is a place to try.
                          I thought the wine list should have had a couple of less expensive options
                          It appears the bad reviews might be from a group with an agenda
                          The staff could not have been friendlier nor more efficient

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Mariner888

                            Thank you! I'm a big fan of this place. The staff has always been approachable, friendly, etc. The chef came out at the end of the last evening I was there; and while he could have kept to himself (as I like to do after a long day at work), he was very gracious and friendly as well. The food is creative and very well made, consistently. I wish I could go more often, but it is such a special treat when I do get to go. It is not Charleston, it is a bar/tavern/restaurant that everyone should be so lucky to have on their corner.

                          2. We love this place. Try to get there 2 or 3 times a month. Love the food, the service the bartender Paco. They have never let us down.