Food & Wine – Salt Tasting Room

Salt Tasting RoomUnbelievably I hadn’t yet been to Salt Tasting Room here in Vancouver. One thing the government in BC hasn’t yet grasped is that people need a wine bar in which they can grab a glass (or 3) of wine and some simple, yet well-matched side dishes.

Salt accomplishes this. One thing to keep in mind is that Salt doesn’t have a fully-functioning kitchen, but do offer cured meats, salads, cheeses and “condiments”. You can’t grab a cooked meal here, but you can happily grab great wine food. Rachel and I enjoyed fantastic corned beef from Mike Vittow and a couple of cheeses, accompanied by grainy Guinness mustard, a balsamic reduction, quince jam and a side of tasty, crusty bread. It was all incredibly wine-friendly and bloody tasty – the corned beef was about the best I’ve ever had.

Vancouver is full of “hip”, well-designed restaurants that take themselves too seriously. The food is pretty and unsatisfying… the servers just plain annoying and pretentious. Salt was just fun. The servers were cool, casual, passionate about the food and well-informed when it came to the wine list.

One thing I am is a sucker for good, minimalist design… and Salt hits the mark. The room occupies a gorgeous and simple brick-walled space in the back of the new Inform Interiors building down in my hood (Gastown). You have to take a walk down the threateningly-named “Blood Alley” to get there, but it’s definitely worth the the trip. It’s a great-looking room.
Go. You’ll be happy you did… and you’ll definitely feel a bit hipper and happier for making your way there. Just don’t go there expecting a home-cooked meal.

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