I have a regular Monday meeting with my young friend and mentee Thaddeus Prosper, and today I took a ride with him as he ran a few errands for his SheauxFresh organic food business ( www.sheauxfresh.com ). This is the guy from whom I get my “yard eggs” and fresh organic veggies. Well, Thaddeus is also a well respected veteran in the food and wine business which means that in addition to having to compete with the better restaurants to get his organic produce, I get to meet some of the really interesting and talented young people who make restaurants here some of the finest in the world.
Today I was fed at Salú on Magazine Street by one such rising star, Greg Thomas, who is the assistant manager at Salú restaurant on Magazine Street. Salú describes itself as a “small plates and wine bar”, where dining is about tasting a variety of small dishes rather than settling into single large entree, I'm sure a development based on the appetizer and cocktails/wine dining style of the current crop of young professionals who are often as concerned about their waistlines as the quality of the food and experience. I for one am often disappointed by my doggie bags that somehow never taste the same warmed over (nuked).
Before I met Greg, I had ordered the BBQ Glazed North Atlantic Salmon which came with a “loaded potato salad” and fire roasted corn salsa. I love seared salmon or tuna, but I also eat sushi. It was delicious, the salmon obviously fresh and with the glaze and some potato and some of that corn on the fork a bit sweet, but savory and the roasted corn added a smokiness that was new to my palate and delicious. I also had some of a Crabmeat and Four Cheese Flatbread, like pizza, but no red sauce, cheesy in a fine cheese sort of way, but not overly so and the crab meat taste was subtle but made it delicious. I tasted a few other very good items, but to me the signature event was the Crispy Oyster Nacho. I have never had anything like this, tenderly fried oysters on a bed of fresh homemade guacamole on a crispy but delicate wonton chip topped with fresh chunky salsa and dribbled with this light barbeque sauce. I was upset because by then I was too full to eat more of them. And then, when I thought I was done, Greg presented us with Spanish Fritters, really light, fried dough, something like funnel cake but extremely light and covered with cinnamon and finely granulated sugar and offered with a chocolate dipping sauce, so light I actually downed a few pieces before I waddled out. Upon returning I will surely start with those Crispy Oyster Nachos. Salú is a place for people who have high food expectations but who want to talk and eat informally with friends and who may be tired of our famous, delicious but predictable local cuisine.