Saturday night, we had dinner at Salt Tavern in the Butcher's Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Salt is a special place for Kevin and I because almost 3 years ago, it is where we had our first date. There are so many memories from that night:
- having a "calm my nerves" drink before he came to pick me up.
- him ordering the whole fish for his entree...by mistake.
- my first taste of port.
- really, really easy conversation
- learning about our shared love for all things food and athletic
- duck fat fries as an appetizer and a trio of ice cream cones for dessert.
It still makes me smile and my stomach get that excited feeling just thinking about it. We hadn't been back since that first date, so it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate our engagement with my family.
I decided to have a pre-dinner drink at the house for old times sake. Cranberry vodka, mango nectar, sparking water, fresh blueberries (that sunk to the bottom), and a lime.
This drink was sweet and tasted like there was no alcohol at all. Dangerous.
We had to start with the Duck Fat Fries and they were just as I remember. Although, I think I ate 10 times more than I did on our first date.
The fries were served with a trio of aioli: black truffle, chipotle, and malt vinegar. I kept going back to the Black Truffle one, but they were all great.
I helped polish off a bottle of Panther Creek Pinot Grigio. This wine was smooth and light, so I am hoping to find it in a store nearby.
Kevin ordered the Roasted Beet Salad to start and I had a few bites. Baby spinach, goat cheese, kumquats, lemon vinaigrette. I don't think I had ever tried a kumquat, but I enjoyed it. The tartness went nicely with the creamy goat cheese.
I went with the Porchini Dusted Day Boat Sea Scallops as my main meal. Served over a baby vegetable ratatouille and lobster butter. Oh. my. goodness. This was the best I have ever had. I loved absolutely everything about this dish. Just seeing this picture again is making my mouth water. It was seared scallop, ratatouille perfection.
Kevin ordered the Coriander and Pepper Crusted Tuna served over seaweed salad with spicy tuna pot stickers and ginger soy glaze. The tuna steak was humongous and had delicious flavor, but was slightly undercooked for his taste. He changed his order to medium-rare at the last minute, but should have stuck with medium.
I am disappointed that I didn't snag a photo of my sister's dish because as much as I loved my dish, hers was just as good. Hoisin Glazed Roasted Alaskan Black Cod served in a spicy miso broth with steamed wontons, and sriracha stir fried vegetables. I tried a bite and the fish literally melted in my mouth. I will definitely order that next time we go.
You know we had to order the trio of ice cream in chocolate lined waffle cones. The nightly homemade ice cream flavors were butter pecan, chocolate cherry, and one other that I cant remember!
We also had to try the bread pudding which was made with brioche, chocolate, a hint of orange served with orange marmalade and vanilla ice cream. This was very dense with a rich flavor. Kevin declared that it was the best he's ever had.
Last, but certainly not least, were the Goat Cheese Donuts topped with a lavender honey, sea salt and served with a side of coffee ice cream. I loved these, although, I was secretly hoping there would be a pocket of melted goat cheese in the middle.
(From Left to Right: Brother-in-law, sister, mom, Kevin, Me & Dad)
Every single one of us enjoyed this experience and I have nothing but high praise for Salt Tavern. We had impeccable service and I would highly recommend asking for Terese as your waitress if you decide to dine here. She knows exactly how to describe all of the food to make it sound like it is going to be the best thing you ever ate. And you what? It was.