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Salts in Cambridge

Pat Hammond Oct 16, 2008 07:55 PM

Last weekend I was in Boston for my birthday and my family took me to Salts in Cambridge. The six of us enjoyed a perfectly wonderful evening there. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and we had plenty questions. I wish I could recall the wines! We had a pinot noir and a white from Alsace with our meals, and a lovely sparkling wine for a toast, while we perused the menu. Anyway, the guy knew his wine.

The amuse was pumpkin soup garnished with a browned butter/maple foam. The tiniest sprouts of amaranth on top of that. So delicate but full of flavor. Foam may be old hat for many, but it was my first experience.

My starter was the Salts Farm heirloom tomato salad. It was a very large portion of various colors, with more "micro herbs". A fabulous touch was a tiny scoop of tomato sorbet. My son requested an appetizer-sized sweet corn risotto, a big hit. Another hit was the rabbit stew with mushrooms.

My entree was the sirloin. It arrived perfectly rare and sliced, with a velvety oniony sauce, wild mushrooms and potatoes from Salts Farm. I heard references to the farm throughout the meal but never found out more about it. All of the vegetables were lovely, wherever they came from.

A show-stopper of a dish was a special that night, boned whole duck for two.(We saw it being served to a nearby table.) So my sister and daughter-in-law shared that. It had a gorgeous glaze and I wish now that I'd had a taste!

The desserts were the perfect endings for each of us. Mine was the lemon souffle tart with frozen lemon curd and huckleberry compote. Tart but sweet. A Happy Birthday cookie was added to the plate.

I think it was the chocolate truffle that had coffee foam that was so incredibly light you couldn't feel it in your mouth, except for an intense blast of flavor that my daughter-in-law described as a "breath" of coffee.

Anyway, what a meal! I haven't even touched on all the entrees, (Pacific sturgeon for my son and daughter, and ballotine of chicken for my son-in-law.) The meal was beautifully paced. We were told to relax and enjoy, and enjoy we did.

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  1. h
    heypielady RE: Pat Hammond Oct 17, 2008 05:37 AM

    Pat, your experience is consistent with the two times I've been there. I remember our waiter saying some of the vegetables (the tomatoes in particular) were from Gabriel Bremer's father's farm. I'm not sure where that is though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: heypielady
      Pat Hammond RE: heypielady Oct 17, 2008 10:45 AM

      I did a little googling and the farm is his but run by his dad. It's in New Hampshire. The vegetables got short shrift in my post, but they really were divine. I believe the nice young woman who circulates in the dining room is his wife. I didn't mention the space, but we found it intimate and very pleasant. There's no bar, but lots of very nice wine.

    2. v
      Varennes RE: Pat Hammond Oct 17, 2008 08:14 AM

      Thanks for submitting this! I haven't been there in years, but remember it as being very good. It is great to have it on my list again.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Varennes
        Pat Hammond RE: Varennes Oct 17, 2008 10:47 AM

        It's a special evening kind of place. Bremer took it over in 2004 (I think). He's barely 30! You folks in Boston are lucky!

        1. re: Pat Hammond
          capeanne RE: Pat Hammond Oct 17, 2008 04:19 PM

          It is our go to special occasion place...the woman you refer to Annalee is Gabriel"s wife and she is delightful, sincere and I am so glad that they continue to be successful ...need to get back there very soon..thanks for the reminder. I will have to conjure a special occasion ( like WOW it's Wednesday!! )

          1. re: Pat Hammond
            tmab RE: Pat Hammond Oct 25, 2008 11:36 AM

            Salts is definitely a great special evening kind of place. But it's also great for just a night out. Although the entrees are around $30, I often end up spending more for dinner in the North End, at a steakhouse, or for sushi.

            The last two times I had a weekday dinner there, there has been more than one open table all night. So if you're thinking about where to go for dinner, give Annalee a call to see if they have any openings and what Gabriel's planning for the evening!

            1. re: tmab
              DoubleMan RE: tmab Oct 25, 2008 11:54 AM

              I've noticed the open tables, too. It's surprising given it's reputation and small size. I guess it flies under the radar because of its location.

              Once Craigie on Main opens, though, that stretch of Main St. will have a little cluster of WIN.

              1. re: DoubleMan
                heypielady RE: DoubleMan Oct 28, 2008 05:58 AM

                I also wonder if it flies under the radar because its not on OpenTable. I can see why their not on it though. Annalee is so personable on the phone even booking your reservation adds to your experience there.

          2. re: Varennes
            miiki RE: Varennes Oct 29, 2008 12:19 AM

            ditto! nice folks too! lovely service, exquisite food.

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