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Feb 3, 2009 09:32 AM

Surprizingly good dinner at Salut [MSP]

We went to Salut when it first opened and had lunch. It was not good. My burger was overcooked and bland; my wife's openfaced sandwich way to greasy. We tried some appetizers again about a year ago and were again disappointed.

But last Saturday we thought we should give it one more try. And I'm so glad we did. We did not eat a ton, but what we had was mostly excellent.

One-side seared tuna tartar:
a cylindrical mound of tuna, seared on one side, topped with white and black sesame seeds, with a layer of avacado in the middle. On the plate was some wasabi, wasabi mayonnaise, and pickled ginger. It was a nice presentation. I certainly did not expect anything remotely Japanese would be good here, but my wife wanted it. The textute and flavor of the tuna was excellect, the avacado adding a not-quite-redundant creaminess. The portion was large. We agreed the taste was very good, me with a lot of wasabi, she with little.

Frisee salad with goat cheese and warm bacon dressing:
nice big pieces of thick cut bacon. The frisee still had a bit of a crunch to it (I hate it when "wilted frisee" is overcooked). The goat cheese was too young and not strong enough to be decifered from the bacon flavor, but the overall bitter/sweet/savory thing did happen nicely.

Steak sandwich:
the bottom bread was soggy, though that was expected. The steak was perfectly cooked and surprizingly tender; the cheese and sauteed onions were great. I was happy that it was not dry and did not require the provided mayonnaise. Actually, maybe the best steak sandwich I've had since the last time I was at Ely's.

No dessert; a couple glasses of a cheap, but yummy malbec; adequate service, if a bit too harried for 6 o'clock.

I just really enjoyed the whole meal and wanted to share as I think I have had some hard words for Salut in the past.

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  1. Salut sounds interesting. What part of MSP are they located?

    1 Reply
    1. re: zataar

      Salut is owned by Parasole and currently has two locations - one on France near 50th Street in Edina and one on Grand near Victoria in St. Paul.

      Salut Bar Americain
      5034 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55410

      Salut Bar Americain
      917 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105

    2. Which one did you go to? We have had consistently good food at the one in Edina, however we ate at the St Paul location recently and it was not good at all.

      6 Replies
        1. re: Foureyes137

          I ate at the St. Paul Salut a few months back and had a pretty solid meal.

          Started with the same tuna appetizer you did. I also enjoyed it quite a bit.

          I'd heard good things about their burgers and fries, so I went that route. The burger was good, not great. The fries were the most memorable part of the meal,

          1. re: Foureyes137

            A friend and I were at the St. Paul location a few Saturdays ago and were pretty unimpressed. Thought the French Onion soup was bland. My friend had the gnocchi with squash and lardons and only took two bites. The gnocchi were heavy lumps (nothing like 112's), the lardons were quite large and undercooked and the dish just had this chemically after-taste to it. We regretted not heading over to University Ave and have SE Asian.

            But the place was almost full in the afternoon so I'm sure they're doing well.

            1. re: NordeastB

              Ive had that gnocci dish when it was passable, it sounds like your version was particularly bad. I think that generally the food at the st paul salut isnt bad, but its best when its on their 3 dollar happy hour menu, and cause we live nearbye.

              As for doing well, im not sure how well they are doing, or how good an indicator of their well-ness this is, but i noticed a sign indicating a new late night happy hour, which is good news for those of us who like to drink on the cheap (as a side note ive been utterly unimpressed by many of the menu cocktails, and try to keep to the well drinks or specials that the bartenders are making up - their well vodka pour is svedka, a pretty good value at 3 bucks during happy hour).

              They were also advertising their chefs tasting menu recently, anyone have any experiences to report back? Its kind of refreshing that the giant restocorp of parasole is willing to let its cogs have a bit of freedom and fun now and again, but it didnt work with our schedule.

              Regarding the rest of the menu, ive had friends who have greatly enjoyed their steaks, i think a lot of the appetizers are pretty strong as mentioned upthread (the pizza is good, and comes with their addictive chili oil) and the specials board has been suprisingly successful, in my experience.

              1. re: tex.s.toast

                It's fun to look around Parasole restaurants and see food they share. Buca's chili-oil and the brownie-sundae from Manny's both make appearances @ Salut.

              2. re: NordeastB

                Similar experience at the St Paul location 2 weeks ago. There were four of us. My oysters were great as were the escargot and our friend's burger.

                Our other friend ordered the chicken and dumplings, which were served in a cast-iron pot straight from the oven/sally/something hot (can anyone see where this is going?). Of course cast iron is used because of its ability to retain heat. So Marie ended up blowing on her food while we all ate, still having 80% of her still-to-hot-to-eat soup left after we had all finished.

                My wife's croque-monsieur was 3 times bigger than it needed to be and the cheese had separated making an oily mess. Ugly presentation. The fries were good though.

                My hanger steak was overcooked (mid-well ordered mid-rare) but I wasn't interested in making people wait for me so I ate it. However, anything over medium on a hanger steak turns it into shoe-leather so my jaw hurt like hell. Fries were good.

                The wine was good and under 100% markup which isn't bad. The space is absolutely gigantic...I'm not sure if one of the rooms is usually used for private dining but was open this evening for overflow? Seriously, I bet you can fit 200 in the dining room and another 100 on the patio and 75 in the bar.

                Service was very good, better than the Edina location I would say.

            2. One of my favorite evenings this past summer was eating outdoors at the St. Paul Salut--wine, mussels & fries, and cheeseburgers. We actually loved it all (the food was great), but the atmosphere made the night. Their patio is really beautiful (and huge) for a nice summer night on Grand Ave. Remember it for when the weather improves... And for dessert, Grand Ole Creamery is right down the street.