is a worthy alternative to infamous S, D & R-n-R.
At least that’s what I thought on Friday, stopping for dinner at Salud Bklyn on 3rd ave.
Was I right? See for yourself.
- restaurant is relatively new to Bay Ridge, but always full when I pass by. French windows at the front hospitably open and Happy Hr drinks advertised
- interior is not too outrageous; neither cartoonishly “Latin”, nor ostentatiously “high-end”. however, it projects mixed signals: birds cage lighting sculpture, rustic brick and double mirror’ walls, dark wood wine storage divider and modern corrida scene painting all point in different directions. Table linen, dishes and utensils tell yet another story: they are vaguely 50’s, vintage “airline dinnerware” fiance stoneware. Looks to me the design was not conceived by professional architect/designer, rather by a contractor or the owners themselves.
- prices are on high side for this neighborhood, especially considering the rough-ish interior
- the food is good. while waiting for my appetizer I was given a pile of plantain chips with a nicely spiced bean dip: the chips were exactly right crispness, not greasy, not salty and very light. my starter was Langostacos: 3 tiny soft tacos, holding mix of lobster meat, green wheatgrass sprouts, mildly hot cheese and fresh guacamole. Again: impeccable, from presentation to taste. Main course arrived a bit too soon – so when I get to it the sauce started coagulate and vegetables turned lukewarm. Still, it was very good: pan-seared monkfish accompanied by zucchini and green beans on a bed of squid-ink polenta, dribbled with saffron sauce. The name was intriguing –RAPE – it must mean something exquisite and delicious in Spanish…For desert I chose flan; it was passable but not on the same gourmet scale as preceding courses.
- Drinks. I came in when Happy Hr was still in effect, so asking for one mojito I received two. I’ve had better (the mint, especially, was disappointing: prepped in advance, not fresh and too little of it in the glass), but overall – passable.
- Music. The blackboard on the sidewalk said: Live Cuban Jazz, that was my main attraction. Let’s say, it turned out to be Cuban jazz interpretation of Latin pop. Not bad, and at times really inspired, especially horn and guitar. They would do better without their singer though…something in his high-pitched timbre that was really annoying. The audience (dominated by middle-aged señoras) loved him.
- Service. When just came in I told the Maitre D “this is my first dinner in your place”; usually it makes them to be a bit more attentive. He, however, forwarded me to a hostess, who – seeing I’m a dinner of one – attempted to sit me at the bar, then next to kitchen exit. I firmly said no and asked for a deuce table in the middle (there were several available). My waiter was OK, although made me feel a bit rushed. The bill was a real surprise. First, even though 2 happy-hour mojitos should be priced as one, I was charged twice, with total coming to $79. My waiter apologized and went back to the manager, to delete extra $11. He returned with another bill, this time totaling…$120! It took 10 minuted to receive another apology and a new bill, this time for correct $68. Well, he got his $10 tip – which could be higher if not this unpleasant and persistent mishap.