Salt is a tasting room specializing in artisinal cheese, small-batch cured meats, and a dynamic array of wines, beers and sherries.
Our menu is simple. Guests assemble a Tasting Plate from our chalkboard’s selection of 10 cheeses, 10 meats, and 10 condiments. The selections change constantly, making it almost impossible to have the same Salt experience twice.
Our menu changes constantly.
Back in Vancouver for a 2nd time and told by a local wine guy I met last trip to give Salt a try. Nice room with perfect balance of old and new. Small positions of interesting cheeses and less interesting meats. Wine was interesting and broad but expensive by Seattle standards. The ally is nasty and we were harassed by local drug addicts on the way in and out. Overall nice place but not of the NY quality and service level. We started here then finished with a great dinner with our wine guy friend at Boneta just on the corner.
Yes, the room is terrible for acoustics. You can't hear a thing and i'm young. But, besides that I actually like the feel of it. It has a urban/warehouse feel to it, almost like a Chelsea Artgallery. I like.
As for the food, well, it's meat's and cheeses. This isn't a restaurant, it's a 'tasting room'... so when people complain about the small amounts... it doesn't really make sense. As for the quality of the M&C, very good. They could do a little bit better with the bread though.
As for the wine list, it's great. The taster's are only slightly over priced (3 for 15), but the selection is pretty good. Their sherry list is a big plus.
Overall, I like the place for a night with friend, but I understand why people have a hard time going there.
This is not dinner... as long as you come in with this expectation, you will leave happy and better for the experience. When we had just returned from Italy, and heard of a place serving cheese and cured meat... we couldn't say no.
The concept is quite strong... and the staff is unpretencious and willing to help pair the meats and cheeses and wines.
We rreally loved the writing beside each meal and wine to ensure we didn't forget. Too often when you're having flights of wine/beer/food... you just forget what is what. It was really fun to try the different sides with the the courses to see what really worked well together.
The location, we love it. Sure it's down a dark alley in Gastown... but it isn't that bad. We never felt unsafe for our entire walk down, it just added to the experience.
The name is Salt Tasting Room. Not dining room or lunch room or lounge room. It's a tasting room so it's the perfect place if you want to try something different with your partner or friends. The ambience is very intimate and not pretentious at all. The staff are welcoming and helpful, like they should be. The concept it's truly something unique, just a Gastown fit! And their changing menus & wine list more than satisfying. Salt is absolutely recommendable to anyone with an adventurous appetite!
The concept, love it. When out for wine with friends, I for one don't always want to sit down and fill myself with a three course meal, especially when the next step is dancing or even just carrying on conversation over a glass of wine or three. So nibbling on delectable meats and cheeses fits the bill; however, the price of an entrée at a nice restaurant shouldn't be the going rate at this venue. The cheese and meat seemed to be of the local grocery store variety and there was nothing special about the pickles. Next time I plan a "tasting" night with my friends, I’ll pick up the items at the corner store, where I know the service is welcoming and they treat customers with respect.
Aside from the overpriced finger foods, our waitress seemed annoyed from the moment we walked in the door. The long wood table that seats many was empty and remained that way all evening, while we (a mature party of 13 that made reservations) were cramped into the front window, most standing. When we asked our server to move us to the larger space, she replied she'd check with her manager, which led nowhere.
It was an all round bad experience. A pity really... my previous experience at Salt had generated recommendations to plenty. The staff had been genuinely kind, helpful and knowledgeable. I revoke any previous recommendations, the venue it's worth the walk down Blood Alley.
I went to this resaurant this past week before seeing a show at the Firehall Center. With our friends, and one other table of 4 we were the only ones in the place and yet we were almost late for our show ,the service was so slow in serving wine and deli items of cheese and sliced meat that we were wondering if they had to run out to buy it first. If you are hungry do not go to this place. It is not a place for dinner but rather just to have a glass of wine and some nuts like any other bar. The bill was outragious for what we got. Between the 4 of us I think the bill was $170.00. I had 1 glass of wine, my husband had two tastings of wine as did my friend and her husband had a bottle of beer. The bits of food was an absolute joke. So little , so late , won't go again, you can be sure . And that does not say anything about the location with the drug addicts fighting in the dark lane.
Okay I dunno what to say about this place. First, it was extrememly hard to find cuz it's in a dark back alley! The place IS like a ROOM but not bad with its theme (huge chalk board to be their menu, cute). I knew we were going to eat meat & cheese. YES MEAT & CHEESE! But mine had too many olives and pickles (my bad choice). It was very interesting place but won't go back since we're not fans of meat&cheese type of thing. The server wasn't friendly and not attentive either, she seemed busy, no smile and rushed around. Anyhow, I would say it was only an one-time dining experience :)
I know I can buy wine, cheese and meats up the street and save a bundle. It's the excellent service, food and wine pairings that keep me coming back.
Sometimes you don't need a whole bottle of Oloroso Sherry and just want a splash...that's where their incredibly quirky wine list comes into play.
We've had the same server on many occasions. The way he romanticizes the food and wine is outstanding.
Keep up the good work, folks!
I like coming in here for drinks.
I go to Granville island quite often. So I don't really crave their overly marked up food. However, I love the concept food and wine pairing. But I think I would rather try some winebites at Cassis.
Service was great. The girl even went out of her way to give us a tour of the basement.
The spot is amazing for 1on1 drinks on weekday nights.
I have to disagree with the last two postings. Salt is great and different everytime I visit. For certain, the food menu may lack breadth, but if you like artisan cheese and locally sourced meats (like I do), there are so many delicious options to choose from and the list appears to change constantly (an indication of small-batch production). The wine list too has been completely different my last three visits. I have not sat in the new cellar downstairs, but I have had a peek and it is one of the city's best kept secrets. Kudos to Salt, the supremely knowledgeable and handsome servers, and to the seedy Blood Alley for filtering out those diners who would rather a more traditional experience. Fair enough.
The Salt Tasting Room is a bit of an enigma, for me. You see, I am one of the few people who like everything about it and understand the idea behind the resturant. I'd have to open with saying the food they serve is not, by any stretch of the imagination, meant to be considered a "meal". (If you are looking to gourd yourself on cheeses and meats, then head on down to Anton's. You won't be dissapointed.) The concept behind the food is that it's more about taking in the flavours of these, assuredly, exquisite items than it is about feeding a hungry stomach. This can throw a few people off, at first so don't expect heaping plates of cheese and salami.
Also, the location is brilliant and nothing short of it. It serves as an amazing form of juxtaposition between the semi-upscale tasting bar and the dark alley leading up to it. If any of you visit their website, you can see that it is a very, very photogenic area if you are in any way artistically inclined. Witch, really is the clientel that would really appreciate this place for what it truly is. Suburbanites and the Blue-Collar crowd will almost certainly find this place odd and overpriced, as well as frightened by the location.
But if you are familiar with the downtown core of Vancouver, are at least a little understanding of artistic integrity, are capable of wearing a nice evening outfit and have a little bit of.. wait.. scratch that, a lot of money to spend on a nice night out, you really can't go wrong with the Salt Tasting Room.
I went to salt a couple of days ago. I have to say that it really isn't much fun to get to. You will find all kinds of strange individuals lurking in the alley leading up to it. That said we did have a pleasant enough experience once we walked in the door. The service was friendly and attentive and the food was satisfying. I’d go back.
I read about this place when it first opened and I thought it would be great to try. My husband and I really like doing tasting plates for dinner once in a while and so we thought it would be fun to do it on a "gourmet" scale. I made a reservation to surprise him and told him to just drive to Gastown and then follow me.
He got pretty nervous when I began walking down Blood Alley and we both had second thoughts when we saw just how sketchy the area was but then we saw the signs and knew that we were in the right place.
Remember how I said that I had a reservation? Well our table was a tiny end table with the end of a long bench on one side and a chair on the other. The people at the next table had been joined by a surprise guest and so our table for two had become a table for one and we were told to "just squish in". Ummmm no. We reserved a table for two not a table for one with strangers in my lap. Once we saw their prices that settled it. We opted for something else. Call me old fashioned but I like going to places where I get a proper table.
It was very hard to find this Salt last night as it was pouring rain and the "Salt shaker" is hard to see in a dark alley. Did not love the first impression of dumpsters, druggies and darkness.
However once you step inside, it's another story. We did not have a reservation and ended up sitting at the bar, where we entertained ourselves counting piggies and trying to talk over the loud music.
We ordered the tasting menu along with a flight and found the portions to be a little on the measly side, but considering that it's a tasting room, I suppose it's allowable. The servers were very sincere in trying to find out if we liked what we ordered/received and welcomed any feedback we had for them. The specials that we ordered were excellent.
While I would not go there again as it was too pricy for what you received, while I was there I certainly enjoyed the decor, the mix of people, and the food and wine. Stepping back out into the real world of Blood Alley, not such a nice end to an evening.
I do not understand why this place keeps getting rave reviews. For one, there is no kitchen--they serve coldcuts, bread and cheese and you pay the premium for what you could easily put together at home. While it is nice that they use local ingredients and have a good selection of wines by the glass, it really is not a place to get a satisfying meal.
In fact, you might be very unsatisfied when you get your bill for 70.oo and realize you're starving becasue you've paid 15.00 for 3 ounces of cheese and some pickles.
Also, it feels pretty weird to be eating brie with Vancouver's hipster art and hairdressing scene when there are starving, homeless and mentally ill people panhandling just outside the door--makes you feel like Marie Antionette
Okay, once you get through the less-than-salubrious alley, you enter into a world of some of the best service we've had anywhere. Seriously. Our waiter was top-notch, knew the menu inside and out, and happily offered up wine suggestions that were bang on (even steering us gently from our chosen bottle to one that would compliment our food choices better). The cheeses were well chosen and paired to perfection with the condiment choices - high accolades from 2 people who get called when new products come in to Les Amis de Fromage...
Oh, and then there was dessert. Umm... Whatever you do, do not even THINK about leaving without getting the chocolate mousse. And, if you can take advice from complete strangers, don't share - even though the portions are large, you will not want to share this, not even with people you love. No, really.
The wine menu was comprehensive and fun. We had a great time, and have been merrily recommending Salt to anyone who will listen. If it's overcrowded when you go, please feel free to curse us. We're sorry.
Tried this place last night, and way too loud. Bad design for accoustics. We had to yell with our faces right up to each other to talk. The room feels cold, vacant, loud, and empty even with it full.
The food is bunch of meats and cheeses, nothing special here. Cant complain about it, or criticize the preparation, cause they dont really do anything with it.
Obviously this is a Wine Bar, the whole purpose here is to come and drink. Its not about a great time, or enjoying food.
If I were in my late teens or early twenties, I might like this place, but I just like a place now where I can relax and enjoy the company of the people I'm with-and you cant do that here.
I had been meaning to go for a while- glad I did because it was just great!
The server picked wines for us that really added to the meat or cheese we were having with it. I have to say it was really great and I loved every bite.
Went here just for an appetizer and then off to another place for dinner. Great start to the evening, loved it. It is pricey but if you want a nice night out once in a while why not pay a bit more. I would go back for sure and recommend to anyone. Loved it!!! Great experience!
Hard to rate the food. I guess the food pairing is ok. I usually make my own. love that picadilli mustard. But I've been hit with FLAT WINE more than once with the tasting flutes. Stick with the glasses/bottles if you know what you are doing.
Always the friendly, patient staff. Very knowledgeable at that.
being a granville island regular, I can't in good conscience give them a good score.
great place to entertain people. even though it's in the back alley, it's clear somebody spent a lot of money to make it look the ghetto chic.
Both times I've been to Salt have been at my boss's invitation, I doubt I would have gone to a place like this otherwise. Being a poor university student, my "cool-factor" doesn't usually qualify me as a purveyor of establishments such as Salt. In any case, it really is a hipster's dream - all chic and industrial. The room itself is beautiful, but not really designed for comfort. I also found the acoustics of the room really strange. Everything seems to echo yet I found it difficult to hear what the person across from me was saying.
The menu, in the same style, is all elegance but no substance. The meats and cheeses are all top quality, I'm sure, but does not constitute a hearty meal by any means. I can't really comment on the wine menu as I've only dined here and not wined - although I did enjoy the non-alcoholic fizz that I tried.
The ambiance is clearly geared towards a certain crowd, one who thinks that dining in an alleyway only adds a certain "je ne sais quoi" rather than being a detriment. For me, it was a tad bit offsetting to walk down a syringe littered alleyway only to step into such a contrasting setting.
In conclusion, I would say that if you have the money and the cool, Salt is a fine place to spend both. But for the more average, meats and cheeses can be gotten elsewhere - you'll have to bring your own chic though.