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Let's discuss Salut in Edina..

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People - I'm torn. Salut claims it is "French", and yeah, they have a un croque monsieur, they have french onion soup, blah blah. I know it's super americanized, and that is especially substantiated by the understanding that it is ran by the corporate company Parasole Holdings - who identify with the likes of Chino, Good Earth, Figlio's, etc. - and I know it's not La Belle Vie, Vincent-A Restaurant, or any other place...but I've been there twice -once for lunch when Edina Grille had too long of a wait -- it was good, not great...and I recently went there for dinner to blow a $100 gift card - the fondue app was good, but other than that...nothing to write home about.

Both times I was there, it was outrageously busy....so tell me, is it because it is just "newer" or is because I haven't been ordering the right entree for my wow buzzer to go of... thoughts on this mid-to-low priced restaurant? (Though we managed to blow that $100 gift card on nothing memorable...)

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  1. We've been there 3 times, twice we had great experiences, once the service was so terrible I was embarrassed to have recommended it to friends. The cornmeal crusted halibut is wonderful.

    Most of the Parasole restaurants are packed even though they're medicre. They do a great marketing job, have accessible menus and moderate prices, and have a fun atmosphere. I've also heard Salut has a great brunch, and it's not nearly as crowded.

    I do wish the cities had some kind of authentic french brasserie. When we first went to Salut I was so excited because I thought this would be it, but it tries too hard to please too many people to fit the bill.

    4 Replies
    1. re: katebauer

      Does Margaux in St. Paul not fit the definition of french brasserie (I haven't been yet, sorry, or I'd know...)

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I didn't know about Margaux! Their description says brasserie but their webpage isn't up yet.
        Has anyone been? That would be so exciting.

        1. re: katebauer

          Margaux is nice. It's kind of a faux-French brasserie meaning while the menu is pretty French, it has been somewhat Americanized. It is very good though. I've also mentioned this on the board, for a great French experince head over to Signal Hills and Cafe Kallyste. This is neither bistro or brasseries, but is really similar to a lot of French lunch places I've been in. It's at 5 Signal Hills Center in a strip mall. Bruno the owner/chef/everything is great fun to talk with and the food is wonderful.

          As for a true french bistro, I don't think we have anything at the moment.

          1. re: misterpatrick

            Since this thread has been bumped, a piece of information for new people reading it-- Margaux closed some time ago.

    2. I saw an interview recently where one of the Parasole partners commented that Salut was as French as PF Chang is Chinese. They're planning on opening a second Salut on Grand in St. Paul.

      Look at Salut as the French equivalent of P.F. Chang/Big Bowl/Macaroni Grill, etc and perhaps your expectations will be more properly aligned.

      Here's a couple of good reads on Salut, and where they're really looking to go with the place: http://www.chainleader.com/archives/2...
      http://www.vita.mn/story.php?id=942967

      1. Katebauer is right - Parasole is a master at marketing!
        I DID hear that they were planning to expand on Grand Avenue - my expectations were not too high because I know that is was not real French - but c'mon, the name is SALUT, I was sort of hoping that there would be more on the menu than a sandwich y jambon y fromage, I mean, there isn't even any orangina!!!!! :( I was just hoping to get feedback for my friends that don't want to spend an arm and a leg for French food. We might have to try Margeux -
        I miss the Hotel Sofitel back in the day...

        1 Reply
        1. re: snoboardbabe77

          I actually do think that Salut has all the elements of a real brasserie - salad nicoise, steak frites, a nice roast chicken, cheap wine, etc. It's just that the execution seems cartoonish, same as Chino and Stella's.

        2. I love the steak frites at Salut, and the French onion soup there is the best I've had in town. That being said, it's not a true to form brasserie, but it's as close as most Americans would want.

          We aren't exactly the kind to go for sweetbreads, cassoulet or foie gras served five ways. If you haven't eaten at Les Halles in NY (Bourdain's place), Salut is a nice "starter" brasserie. I quite enjoyed it, and my wife (who isn't as daring as I am) loved her nicoise and frites.

          If we had a true bistro or brasserie, I would jump at the chance, but much of the french peasant food found in many brasseries in NY or Paris wouldn't be eaten by the majority here. People fear the nasty bits.

          1. I was there once and was seriously underwhelmed. The food didn't impress me, and I really disliked the noisy chain atmosphere.

            Salut seemed quite expensive for what it was. For virtually the same amount, you could go to the bar at Vincent for a croque monsieur. (Vincent's steak frites is cheaper!)

            http://www.vincentarestaurant.com/men...

            Anne

            1. As mentioned, Salut knows it isn't French (per the interview in the Strib). It seems to have just been a menu in need of a schtick/market and since they had oysters, grilled ham & cheese sandwhiches, onions and potatoes in spades, French it was. Somehow I think dishes with offal and snails wouldn't go over too hot on 50th and France. (I have omitted a sweet soccer-mom comment.)

              That said, the three times we have been to Salut, we have had good food, good cheap wine, and good service. Nothing has been knock my sock's off except some Bear Point oysters they had one evening last month that were outstanding (leading me to think perhaps they came off the Oceanaire plane seeing as it was once a Parasole property). We've eaten the steak frites, the crawfish gnochi, oysters, bouillabaise, and some pork dish and all were executed well.

              To sum-up, IMO the food is good not great, the service consistant, the prices a bit high (but it is Edina), but all-in-all better than Zinc, the only other "concept" brasserie we've had here since I have lived in MPLS-STPL.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Foureyes137

                I think Salut's brunch is one of the best-kept secrets in town. They have a really extensive menu, including lots of fresh seafood (and the steak frites).

              2. I ate at Salut about a week ago, and was completely unimpressed. First, the hostess was borderline on rude - I mentioned it to our waiter, who really went out of his way to impress us the rest of the evening, so I give him kudos for that. The french onion soup was very mediocre - broth was basically tasteless. The crab cakes - advertised as the "best in town" - definitely were not. My steak was overdone, and had to be sent back (it was a hangar steak, which if overdone, is a hockey puck). The second one was good, but my dining companion was done with his meal by the time I got mine. My dining companion enjoyed his meal, but agreed that it was nothing spectacular, certainly nothing to warrant what we spent (even after they took off a round of drinks for the inconvenience). I won't go back, nor would I recommend it. I have a friend who lives near there who said she's tried it a couple times, and felt the same way. Frankly, I don't understand the hoopla!

                1. We went in October...I ordered a Lyonnaise Salad on which the bacon had been cooked beyond the point of no return...little bacon pucks. Also ordered a Scallop & Gnocci Special...It came out slathered in a cheese & cream sauce in a gravy boat, and was essentially a vat of chunky yellowing Elmers Glue with a slightly more off-putting taste. We were on someone else's dime, so I wasn't going to complain, but I'll be damned if I'll go back to that place with so many other good dining options in this town...life is too short.

                  1. Yep, I will add my weigh in... pretty much the same as all of the above. It was ok but not great. I thought the frites were pretty good. I had the duck a l'orange which was pretty decent. Overall I would have loved to have seen a bit more French influence than just a few french names here and there... And I find find no end of amusement in every "french" restaurant that I have been in around these part that a grilled ham and cheese sandwich can be marked up to $10+ just by calling it a croque monsiuer.
                    And isn't the moniker "best crab cakes in town" pretty much exactly the same as every Irish pub in town claiming to have "the best fish and chips in the world"?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: djohnson22

                      No, Doug, they always call them"world famous fish & chips," which can only be truthful for most places insofar as people worldwide have heard of fish & chips. Not the particular establishment's fish & chips, just fish & chips in general!

                      1. re: Neitz

                        the steak frites there are as good as any steak frites I've ever had (including in France). everything else is probably slightly above average.

                        1. re: DukeFan

                          The amuse bouche (cucumber with indistinguishable dairy product) at Salut was the most miserable excuse I've ever experienced in a restaurant with padded seats. The service/sales element here is strong, as is the pizazz factor. Too bad the food follows the pride they take in their neon signs.

                          Muffaletta, during the Fratzke transition phase, grossly underwhelmed me. The chard on the pork plate was actually rotting. Everything clunky. No pride.

                    2. Went to the Salut on Grand last night. Busy, busy, busy. Not impressed.

                      The fries, billed as the best, might have been, had they not been cold. My steak salad had the most dreadful cut of meat. I was not familiar with a Hanger Steak, but assumed it was a medallion-type of cut, as it was on a salad. It was full of fat and tissue and inedible. I could not swallow it and had to wait until my dinner partners were looking away to discretely spit it out. Gave the steak to my husband [who eats anything] and he could not eat it either.

                      We will not return.