Salt - New in Boulder - Brief Report
We went to Salt, Bradford Heap's new restaurant in Boulder, for a light dinner last night. It's new, it's busy and it's good. Mid-price menu.
By choice, we sat at the 5-seat counter at the open kitchen in the back, watching the pizza guy crank out peach/Gorgonzola flatbread and Chef himself dispatching. A glass of Gruet bubbly for me, one of Barbera for my husband.
I had a nice, lightly dressed pear + greens salad and aforementioned flatbread. Pizza guy sliced a fresh peach for every order -- nothing pre-prepped to get get funky. Husband had a Tom's Tavern burger w/ skin-on French fries. Named in honor of the late Tom Eldridge, whose long-running Tom's Tavern was an institution at that location. Salt's burger was better interesting than Tom's ever were. The plump chickens in the rotisserie looked really good too, but neither of us wanted half a bird.
For dessert, we shared a trio of fresh sorbets that alternated on a plate with three small piles of finely chopped melon around a tall vodka glass of agave and fizzy water. During a brief break in the kitchen action, Chef Heap took a few steps over to us as we were spooning up dessert and asked how everything was. I said that everything was very good, except for the completely flavorless cantaloupe that I had just tasted. He immediately went to the dessert station to try it himelf, returned and told me, "You were right. I should have known that." I said, "You can't possibly taste every ingredient of every dish every day." He sent for more melons and personally began cutting them as we were leaving.
I enjoyed a meal at Salt on Monday evening. We started with their fall flatbread which is a caramelized onion, goat cheese and bacon version that was very good. I was sad to have missed the peach by a week or two but really enjoyed this. I chose the Autumn Vegetable Cassoulet with farro, white beans and autumn veggies which really hit the spot. Served piping hot from the wood fired oven it was perfect! I also had the brussels sprouts with bacon. This will definitely be come a standby for a good dinner out in Boulder.
We were at Salt last Sunday night (4th) fairly busy so we waited in the grotto like bar downstairs, nice place to hang while waiting. The food was great though and worth the wait. My wife got the special, pan seared scallops with balsamic reduction, green beans, and fingerling potatoes, I had the smoked pork chop with Colorado peach and fried polenta, our friends got the Tavern Burger with homemade fries.
The scallops were the best ever had in a restaurant - done to a turn with a nice crispy crust and slightely pink inside. My pork chop was done med rare as I had asked, jucy, perhaps a bit more smoky than some would like.
They have already cut back on some of the bar creations and seemed to be controlling labor/kitchen costs by shutting things down as needed, so they have a chance of making it.
BTW we also shared a chocolate caramel salt tart that was also great.
Good price n 18 year old Macallen ($18) for those of you who like single malt, served in a Riedel scotch snifter.
I was one of the salmon-salad people with LurkerDan for lunch a couple of weeks ago, and would concur that SALT was good-not-great that day for lunch. However, I went back last night for dinner and it firmly tipped into "great" category for me. The rotisserie chicken is spun over oak (for heat) and pecan (for flavor); it was perfectly cooked with crisp skin and tender meat, and was perfumed with a gentle woodsmoke flavor. My wife had the wood-fired vegetable plate, which had impeccably fresh, just-cooked-enough veggies and nice fried polenta. Had to have that peach/gorgonzola/prosciutto flatbread for an appetizer too. Overall, a great meal. Only downside was that the servers seemed a bit inexperienced (I HATE being asked "are you finished enjoying your meal?" - kinda presumptuous to assume I must be enjoying it - and I must've heard that asked three times). But that will likely sort itself out with time. Otherwise, definitely worth a visit.
Just got back. I had a steak sandwich that came with potatoes and a small salad. The steak was good, not great, the salsa verde that came with it was also good, but not great, not enough pizazz, it was kind of bland. The potatoes were kind of like breakfast potatoes, but they were damn good breakfast potatoes. Simple, had a little bit of well-cooked onion mixed in, and delicious. the salad was nice and lightly dressed. My friends both had the salmon salad and said it was good.
The steak sandwich was the most expensive thing on the lunch menu at $14, the other items were between 9 and 12.
While it was not an amazing meal, it was good to very good, the space is really nice (the remodel job looks great), and I will try it again.
Hey Everyone, Just got back from SALT and was quite impressed. Although I was hoping to venture beyond what those of you above already had, I was drawn in by the Peach Flat Bread and the Tri Tip Sandwhich. The peach flatbread was absolutely delicious - everything was perfect down to the right about of "salt" in the dough - the peaches were ripe but still firm enough after cooked, the prosciutto was the real deal, and the creamy gorgonzola was just strong enough to be recognizable as a gorgonzola, but not too much to overpower the rest of the flatbread. I kind of agree with LurkerDan that the Tri-Tip didn't knock my socks off. I thought the meat was well flavored, almost smoked, and perfectly cooked and the Salsa Verde had plenty kick on it's own, but kind of got lost once put together on the brioche type roll. A healthy sprinkle of the pink sea salt on the table really picked it back up . The potatoes Lyonnaise were a definite highlight - perfectly seasoned and cooked. My friend had the special - a Tuna Nicoise salad. Tuna was served just a touch past rare with lots of fresh ingredients. The french press coffee was deep, dark, and delicious. Overall I was most impressed that the quality and freshness of the ingredients that were allowed to stand by themselves without being overseasoned, oversauced, or overcomplicated. Everything was prepared with just enough room left to add your own dash of finishing salt. Service was great as well. I think the staff is still learning the menu and the ingredients, but that is certainly to expect in their first month open. Equally as impressive is that everything seemed to be running like clockwork with great quality control on a busy Friday lunch without Bradford at the helm. He obviously has a great chef de cuisine or someone very capable of running a kitchen in it's infancy. I'll be back soon for the Wild Mushroom Fettucine and a side some incredible looking fries!