Salt58 Macdougal St.

We made a late (10:30pm) reservation and, getting out of the NYC Ballet (Sleeping was excellent) around 10:35, I immediately called to let them know we were running late.

Because of traffic and Murphy's Law, we arrive at the restaurant at about 11:05. An inconvenience for both us and the restaurant.

The hostess/manager/waitress let us know right away that there might be a problem because the kitchen was getting ready to close down for the night (despite their OpenTable page stating that they are serving until 12). I can understand, nobody wants to work later than they are supposed to, but the attitude continued with "You better order quick" and forcefully putting glasses, water and later, plates of food, on our table.

Looking past the attitude, we ordered the following, knowing full well that we were on our way to Room 4 Dessert afterwards...

Jude, Danna's cousin visiting from Brown, ordered a vegetarian appetizer as her main course, it was an eggplant dish of some kind which was colorful and by her account, tasty. ($12)

I ordered the venison which was served with beets, pencil-thin carrots and a parsnip puree ($28.50) - all of which was, quite frankly, delicious. A solid dish through and through though overpriced by about $2.

Danna's dish, on the other hand - a whole wheat papparadelle with shredded duck confit ($18) with pecans and I think maybe chestnuts, was completely unseasoned. For a restaurant with the name Salt, you'd think they'd know to include it in some of their dishes (though to their credit, my venison was perfectly seasoned).

Bland couldn't begin to describe the taste of this dish. Blech. And why no salt on the table. What exactly is the concept for this place. No multiple salt offerings. No packaged salt, from what I could tell, to purchase for home use. No salt. And certainly none in the water used to make this pasta or in the dish itself.

Danna and I each had an overpriced glass of Ridge Zinfandel ($15/glass) from a wine list that leaves much to be desired.

In the end, we ended up getting out of the restaurant sooner than any of the other patrons who were there when we arrived.

Despite mediocre service, one awful dish and a lousy wine by the glass list, I think Salt can, if the planets are aligned right, offer a decent dining experience, though I highly doubt I'll try my luck with a third visit.


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