Salts vs. TW Food
I'm planning on bringing my boyfriend to one of these restaurants to celebrate his final day of class at HBS. These are two restaurants that we have yet to try, and am wondering if you'd recommend one over another.
Oh man, can't really go wrong with either. I just went to Salts for the first time this past weekend and it was truly spectacular, though honestly I'd say I enjoy the desserts at T.W. Food more, but that is just because they are more my style—a little more intense and heavier. I liked the salads better at T.W. Food but I think the main courses were a little more memorable at Salts. I'd say Salts is probably a bit more of a special occasion place, but I really have a soft spot for T.W. Food so I hate to say anything against it. Sorry if this was not at all helpful, but really, they are both great.
Both are great but I would give a slight preference to TW Food, but it's more what you enjoy.
Both are modern but rooted in classical French technique but TW Food is more contemporary. I found the food at Salts too rich (heavy heavy handed use of butter/cream/salt) whereas TW Food was slightly more contemporary in it's use of acid, a defter hand with butter etc. This is not to say I don't love butter like the rest of us, but there's a point where it's richness blunts the flavor of things. Salts is heavily influenced by Thomas Keller's cooking (he's even quoted on the menu), and while I've had great meals at his places, this style of food, a bridge between classical French and contemporary French is still classically heavy (which is why it's served in three bite portions at FL or PS). All that is to say, three courses of this style for us was just too much, but that's just my opinion.
The wine list at Salts is more comprehensive than TW Food, but I found it overpriced and I don't believe there was a single bottle under $50. TW Food has a tiny wine-list, BUT the selections are unique and very well thought out. I've found there tiny, well thought out, and often changing list, to be really fun and a good value.
Atmosphere is about the same in both and service was fine in both. TW Food strikes me as slightly warmer in terms of service, while Salts is slightly more formal in terms of service.
Either one is a great pick, enjoy!
Seems to me that TW Food is more conversational, if that makes any sense. When I went to Salts recently, the food was lovely, but the chef's presentations of his food were so formal and pompous-sounding that several people at the table had to struggle not to burst out laughing.
Thanks for the feedback -- now I am even more confused :) One thing I will say is that we tend to gravitate towards traditional French, so even though everyone seems to be recommending TW Food, I wonder if Salts might be better for our personal taste. One thing I will say is that neither of us really enjoyed Bondir -- mostly because we tend to gravitate towards rich foods (butter, cream, etc.) and Bondir does lack that.
All of this being said, we're headed to Menton later this month for a different occasion, so my goal for this dinner is to be a bit different feel (which is also why I've eliminated Troquet which is also on the to try list.)
Definitely TW Food and it's not even close for me in terms of interesting dishes and though TW Food isn't cheap it's also a much better value to me.