Salt and Pepper shakes up the BYOB scene (and your taste buds) with great food and service. For appetizers, the mixed greens salad was the perfect blend of favors, as was the wild mushroom tart.
The black bean chili had just the right amount of spices. All three went great with the cabernet
Most of the clientele were middle-aged neighborhood residents. A decent-sized crowd filled the restaurant and every table was occupied. All diners had brought their own wine. Not everyone stuck to wine, though. As I left a group of men arrived with a case of beer in tow. Our waitress opened our wine and poured it, leaving the bottle off to the side to chill in ice.
If you bring a bottle, they will refrigerate it for you. The menu is seasonal, and the winter menu offers five entrees. Their motto, “Simple, Fresher, Better” reflects the food perfectly. Chef Sean Ford’s recommendations: the braised pork shoulder with shiitake polenta and broccoli rabe. Another recommendation, the pan roasted chicken with root vegetables, is cleaned and prepared so that the skin isn’t crispy and shriveled to lock in the juices.
The pork was tender and the chicken
fresh and juicy. Both meats went well with cabernet wine, as did the crispy-skin salmon. I ordered a tender grilled skirt steak, and the chimiichurri sauce was sweet like the cabernet, however I think that a darker wine would have been best for the dish.
In fact, Ford said that “Usually the rule of thumb is the lighter the food, the lighter the wine.”
The atmosphere is cozy. As you walk in, you immediately see the restaurant’s entire layout. Its small space has its advantages. Everyone has a view of the chef and can survey his talents from the table. Ford believes the BYOB is a smart concept for restaurants and customers. He explained that the BYOB concept works well because diners enjoy paying for the food, but not the ridiculous wine prices.
Prices are moderately expensive, but the portion sizes are fair. In regards to small restaurants, “If the food isn’t good, people don’t normally come back,” said Ivan Rose, a diner. Without a liquor license, restaurants such as Salt and Pepper rely on the quality of their food to keep diners coming back. Salt and Pepper may be a small place, but their food certainly is up to par.
Salt & Pepper
746 S. 6th St.