Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jezebel Reviews Red Salt

Jezebel Magazine recently did a nice review of Red Salt this month. I've had lunch there once and loved it, but would like to try it again before I review it here. (This is how I get my husband to take me to the really good places twice) In liue of my own review, I'll repost theirs here.

Uptown Pub Grub
JEZ is among the very first to experience Red Salt in Roswell

Wikipedia defines gastro pub (a British term) as a “public house specializing in high-quality food a step above the more basic pub grub.” Red Salt in historic downtown Roswell certainly fits that description. Established by Roswell restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac–the creative tandem behind tapas hotspot Little Alley–Red Salt serves delicious fare made from local and organic ingredients, as well as a first-rate selection of refreshment. So, high quality? Check. A step above? And then some.

“The name Red Salt refers to Himalayan red salt, one of the most prized salts in the world,” Azhari says. This exclusivity is reflected in the food. The restaurant’s broad menu of “modern pub comfort cuisine” features an impressive selection of charcuterie, soups, salads and appetizers–the latter a world of flavors that range from smoked salmon tostadas with white corn relish and poblano crema to grouper ceviche spiced just right with habanero and guava. Chef Richard Wilt gives a heavy nod toward pub grub’s hearty English roots, so expect such tasty finds as double chicken pot pie and London broil with cheddar mashed potatoes and crispy onions, as well as a mix of multi-ethnic cuisines with Southern ingredients. Exhibit A: Gastro pub pizza sports wild boar sausage with Vidalia onions and tender pork loin paired with fresh succotash seasoned with cumin and coriander.

Classically trained in French cuisine, Wilt previously worked with chef Guenter Seeger of Atlanta and as a chef for Manhattan’s Pastis–the cool bistro that served as the setting for many memorable scenes of Sex and the City. Carrie and company would be comfortable at Red Salt, too, dining on blood orange glazed salmon or nibbling an organic baby spinach salad topped with miso vinaigrette.

This little spot of culinary paradise, on Canton Street in Roswell, hums with sidewalk dining chatter, so it’s no wonder it has become the new talk of the town. Inside, Red Salt’s relaxed interior features a long bar and two rows of tables, making the atmosphere welcoming and warm with touches of modern d├ęcor that include whimsical art and rolls of butcher paper hung high on the wall near the kitchen.

But don’t take it (solely) from us. As one casually chic couple shared, “We feel like we’re in Europe! We walk from place to place, and the food and wine choices here at Red Salt are terrific.”

By Carolyn O’Neil

On our visit, I had the chicken pot pie mentioned here. It's beautifully presented in a neat wire basket with a sprig of sage poking out the top of the crust. The sauce was rich and creamy, and the shredded roast chicken inside was accompanied by green beans, potatoes, onions and far too many mushrooms for my taste. But I consider mushrooms to be the devil's work, so most people probably wouldn't mind. I'm considering this as my birthday restaurant this year. After all, unless your my mother in law, you only turn 29 once.

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