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.
I have been meaning to try this place out for quite some time now, so took a wander down there with a friend the other night.
Meals of wine and cheese are definitely up there for things that make me tick. The wine selection was great as was the selection of food fare which was mainly local, and that is always good.
I enjoyed the ambiance of share picnic tables, and there was still a feeling of privacy.
Mostly I enjoyed the knowledge of the staff. I always find that I appreciate what I am eating/drinking more if I know what it is in it's entirety.
I don't think this will become a frequent haunt, but definitely a once in awhile treat
on the plus side - service was knowledgeable, quite confident in their abilities but a little remiss to explain the decisions they made regarding pairing wines to sides.
the room is great - however, being set amidst such squalor (rats, shopping carts, needles, etc) one would assume that low rent would denote lower mark up.
It seems they charge MORE for the 'cache' of being...what?...edgy?
The ambiance is casual, informal, fantastic for food and wine. It reminds me of someplace...where was it again?...oh yeah, my living room without paying 500% markup!
My advice? Les Amis, Marquis wine cellar, and your favorite friends at home.
We asked the server to pick a flight each (two guests = 6 oz. total each) and suitable food pairings. They did a great job to the point where the drinker runner explained every nuance of the wines, not even our server! The pairings were suitable and no major complaints. The food was fun and interesting. But....
One glass of wine, a couple of slices of cheese and some jam (ok, not really that simple, but that's a cynic's perspective) and the bill hit $75. We were clear we wanted a pre-dinner snack and our server assured us that was what we received and since we left hungry, he was right. But $75? That's just silly. And my issue with atmosphere was the 'school-room' feeling all the way down to the pensive & confused looks and the chalkboard. If the 'hint of clove' didn't complement 'smokiness of the cheese' did you get your monies worth?
I liked the food and the wine was fun, as my guest said, she could eat like that every day. But I couldn't eat FOR that every day...
There is no doubt that "Salt" offers some wonderful food pairings, however, the portions are minute for the price.
Almost all of their offerings can befound at The GI Market for a quarter of the price.
I also find the ambience to be a little on the cold side and can't help but feel a wee bit strange dining with the abject poverty that waits in Blood Alley just outside the entrance.
To each there own, however, not this reviewers particular cup of tea.
Located in one of the seedest alleys of Gastown, lies one of the most unique restaurants (if you can really call it that) in Vancouver. To reach it, you'll have to walk through a dark alleyway, littered with garabage dumps, rats (I kid you not), and panhandlers. Just as you think you`re going to be mugged, there greets you a beautifully modern and minimalist entrance lit by a single incandescent lamp. To put it frankly, it`s like finding platinum jewelry in a garbage can.
Let`s also clarify that this is not really a restaurant. If I`ve had a long day in the coal mine or the lumber yard, I would not think `Gee, I could sure go for some cured meats and cheeses at the Salt Tasting Room.` Don`t expect to have a full dinner here. It`s not what it`s for.
Do expect that this is a beautiful place to bring friends, to be decadent, and to enjoy one of the finer moments in life. It is not pompous as some would believe, but I believe it is entirely genuine and cool. Come on, if it were pretentious and snobby it would be on Hamilton or Mainland instead of Blood Alley.
`The big board` frequently updates itself, and the staff is more than helpful when it comes to first timers. Much of the meats and cheeses are local, from local meat shops and cheese shops that might otherwise slip under the radar. I`m not particularly a wine connoiseur but if I were one, I think the healthy list of wines from around the world will keep me quite entertained.
So if you are looking for a small meal between friends, somewhere to enjoy wine that is off the beaten path, or a place to impress a lady friend after dinner, Salt Tasting Room more than fits the bill.
I went to Salt a couple of weeks a go with my husband and another couple. After reading a different mix of ratings I wasn't sure what to expect... Well, I really liked the wine selection, although make sure you are prepared to spend big $ on it, because there is nothing under $50.00. The service was great but I must admit the cold cuts and cheeses didn't get a good mark. For a place that just do that, none of the cheeses were out of this world, and neither were the meats. After Salt we were sooo hungry that ended up going to Chill to really have dinner...
Went there for a girlfriend's birthday a year ago. It had just opened but there were barely any kinks at all! Great little casual simple atmosphere. Our party was sat at a long chef's table near the back of the room. The chalkboard with all the menu options is a really cute touch. Service was very friendly, professional and informative.
So if you like snacking on meats and cheese, you will LOVE this place. Presentation really allows you to appreciate delicious refined flavours classically combined. Amazing condiments are the icing on the cake. Wine pairings all worked very well.
Also, I feel sorry for anyone that doesn't come down there because of the neighbourhood. Gastown is an eclectic place, a blend of old and new, rich and poor. It's important to acknowledge the existence of this community, for the good and the bad, and what it means to the people that live and work there. What better way than to find this little hidden treasure? (Also, Blood Alley, despite the name, is nothing to be too scared of as it's an extremely high traffic area with many other restaurants and bars nearby and that's also regularly monitored by police.)
Here's the deal;Salt is an eclectic tasting experience.
If you're looking for an inexpensive full meal deal, go to McDonald's:)
Salt is more of a tapas experience,but with incredible service.
On Saturday evening, the setting wasn't crowded and was not noisy at all.
Our attentive waiter, guided the four of us through our tasting, recommending wines and food choices. Then we left it up to him to choose for us. We had a delightful mix, on a hand-written menu made just for us. The blue cheese with honey was incredible, I will never serve it any other way.
He also told us where to purchase the meats, cheeses, and condiments in Vancouver.
We'll be bringing our friends back to Salt.
We went on a weeknight and received great service. Our waiter vividly described the taste of each of our selections when we were deciding what to order. The brilliant explanation of the subtle flavors in the meats and cheeses, and an equally elaborate description of the wines prepared us for a delicious “tasting” experience.
I like Salt. It was a unique experience in an interesting room, in a scary back alley (but that adds to the charm). We had the staff pick our cheeses, condiments and wine. The cheese was fabulous, as were the condiments, and the two matched very well- loved the grainy Guiness mustard. The wine was good, but didn't match the food as far as I could tell. Service a bit slow, room a bit loud, and too pricey considering you should probably eat a small meal before going, but as an experience, I really enjoyed it.
I have been wanting to go to Salt for a while. Maybe I expected too much. Last year, in New York I went to the Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro, and I suppose I hoped that Salt would be that great.
At Salt, the let down was in the spareness. Small isolated servings with specific condiments. It may have been better if there were a few thing offered with each cheese. The flights of wine were disappointing as well, they did not seem to go with what we were given. (We had the server give us a selection of 3 meats and of 3 cheeses with 2 flights of wine). A couple were good, but others were not.