Salt - a gastropub - Byram NJ
We decided to arrive early since the restaurant has a no reservations policy for parties of less than 6. Good move on our part, as we pulled in at 6:30, the lot was already close to full. We entered through the lobby and were seated at a two top. On the 32" flat screen to my right above the mantle piece was the 1956 classic "Trapeze" with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. To it's left was a coat hanger with a chef's jacket and apron. To it's right was a window to the lobby through which the hostess kept a watchful eye on the tables. We sought out beer from their well crafted list, and she had a Stella Artois on tap, and I had an Ale from Eel River Brewery. A quick scan of the dining room showed that beer was the prevailing drink of choice, although a nice wine list is also presented at the tables. For the first course the wife had the goat cheese croquettes, which were cooked to perfection, and whose tangy creaminess was a great offset to the sweetness of the accompanying poached pear. I had the "baked" Caesar salad which had a beer battered anchovy and crunchy croutons complemented by a light lemony Caesar dressing. For entrees, the wife chose a "hanger" steak. While the steak was very flavorful and the oriental slaw and mustard smashed potatoes were seasoned perfectly, each of the pieces of steak had a thick line of gristle running through it, that required a fair bit of carving at the table. My Balbriggan salmon was a perfectly executed dish. the salmon was crusted with pecan, cooked exactly as it should be. It was set atop spinach and smashed sweet potatoes, in a sweet malt vinegar sauce that balanced just the right amount of sweet and savory. For dessert we shared a "Guiness" pudding, which I can best describe as a Guinness flavored creme brulee, glazed perfectly on top. Our server was friendly, polite, and non intrusive. The noise level can get rather high, but what good "pub" doesn't have that. We will definitely be back.
Drove past this place on our way to the CrawfishFest at Sussex County Fairgrounds in June...have been dying to try it! Was reminded yesterday by the NJ My Way newsletter...off we go for drinks and dinner tonight! Very excited to sample the goodies...
I was trying to figure out where to go for dinner Saturday night and came across this thread. Sounded interesting, and their website made it look good too, so we tried it. It was fine. Great beer selections. Good food. Not a huge menu, but not small either. Had the goat cheese croquettes -- very good, although kind of expected a little more of the salad -- really, less than half of the plate was filled. My friend had the macaroni & cheese -- good, but could have been hotter. Oh -- a little odd: they don't serve bread at all, just a small dish of pickle slices. I had the Balbriggan salmon. Salmon was prepared very well, crisp pecan crust, cooked nicely, but the mashed sweet potatoes didn't realy go with it, to my tastebuds. My friend had a special of chicken with pepper jack cheese in a rosemary jus, with grilled sweet corn and tomatoes, over regular mashed potatoes. Very tasty. We shared the flourless chocolate cake -- dense and chocolatey, a little sweeter than I would have preferred -- two decent sized wedges to the portion (good thing we shared as we still left a bite or two on the plate). We liked the place, but don't live right near there, about 20 minutes drive -- didn't think it was necessarily worth driving for, but would have no problems going back if going with another couple who lived in the area.
We went there today after a visit to the Sterling Zinc Mine Museum (great place!!). Wow - loved it! They have a great beer selection (both American craft beers and imports) and the food was excellent. We had the candied bacon - sounds gross but it's really yummy - and the roasted asparagus - terrific - to start. We all ended up with burgers which have interesting condiments, the Guiness onions were the best. Too bad we live an hour away, or we would be regulars!