I discovered Salt over a year ago, when I was doing some contracted translations for a big restaurant group in Paris and we had chef Daniel Morgan in to film some recipes. I was intrigued by how intensely he embraced the nature-to-table trend in the recipes he made for us, and I made a note that I’d have to check him out in his element.
But it wasn’t until this past spring that I finally made it there (sorry for the delay in filling you in). And it was worth the wait.
At lunchtime, Salt offers a 27 euro prix fixe with three appetizers, three mains, and three desserts. Seeing as I visited with my trusty restaurant partner, my Little Sister, with whom I share nearly all the same tastes and a similar desire to taste pretty much everything on every menu, we ordered two options from each to share.
Alongside our wines by the glass, we were served blinis topped with céleri remoulade with black sesame seeds – a nice little amuse bouche that gave us an indication of the combination of freshness, simplicity, and innovation that defines this menu.
The vichyssoise with smoked haddock was perfectly smooth and creamy, but it didn’t have an overwhelming taste of cream. I learned while working in food TV that this excessive use of cream often comes from not cooking the original ingredients perfectly or choosing subpar original ingredients. Obviously, neither of those things were the case here: the soup tasted more of potato and leek than cream (as it should), and the smoked haddock was a welcome addition that cut through the richness wonderfully.
This asparagus was a real work of art. It was served with fresh breakfast radishes and topped with grated organic goat’s cheese.
This salad might have been my favorite dish we tried, not only because each individual element was perfectly executed, but because I found the combination so delicious. It’s a meal salad with bitter and spring greens, topped with a soft-boiled egg, a salt-cod brandade tartine, marinated salmon, and bonito. The dressing on the salad was the ideal acidic foil for the richer fish preparations.
This bream was nothing to sniff at, though. If Little Sister changed one of my ordering habits when she was here, it was ordering fish. I’m kind of always bored by the idea of fish when I see it on a menu, thinking I can do it just as well at home. But I was pleasantly surprised with this dish, which was perfectly cooked (much better than I would have done). Terroir Noirmoutier potatoes in a yogurt sauce, fava beans, and spring greens rounded out the fish nicely.
I’m not crazy into sweets, so I’ll generally opt for the cheese plate. (Unless there’s a lemon-berry tart. Then all bets are off.) The cheese selection was a Saint-Nectaire and a Cantal – both delicious, though not my favorite cheeses, all things considered. The cake, depicted up top, was something else, though. It was what you’d call a “chef’s dessert” here in France: nothing fancy like the concoctions pastry chefs dream up, but the mix of flavors was perfect. The cake was infused with chamomile, and it was topped with banana frozen yogurt, orange flower water, and fresh cherries.
If you’re looking for a reasonable place to have a truly fantastic lunch, Salt is high on my recommendation list.
Salt – 6 Rue Rochebrune, 75011