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“This might currently be the best restaurant in Pittsburgh” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth
5523 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206-3512 (Downtown)
412-441-7258
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Ranked #80 of 1,874 restaurants in Pittsburgh
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Downtown
Pittsburgh
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“This might currently be the best restaurant in Pittsburgh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Unique dishes, great fresh ingredients, very reasonably priced wine list. The scene is lively downstairs, kind of loud, but worth the experience. Upstairs, where you can have a reservation, is amazingly quiet - either way you will love this restaurant!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    53
    21
    6
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Avignon, France
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Unusual and Well Worth a Visit!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

Went there early for dinner and sat upstairs at table with chairs overlooking the main floor with cooking area, bar and communal seating (wooden stools with no backs). It was very comfortable and quite pleasant. The food is very creative, expertly and artly presented and tastes incredible. If you have a large appetite, and are a traditional meat and potatoe person, this is definitely not for you. Enjoyed very much the Beet entrée with beets cooked in a variety of ways. The main course was the vegeterian Seitan and dessert a real treat with squash, pear sorbet and miso caramel sauce. A glass of Merlot and the total came to just under 50 dollars. Staff is young and very enthusiastic as well as knowledgeable about the dishes. Highly recommend for a culinary experience.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great food and wonderful service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

We had a very nice dinner for two at Salt. The staff was extremely attentive and helpful, offering explanations of any menu items that we wanted more details about. We had one cocktail each. Both were inventive and tasted wonderful. For starters, we shared the chicken liver. It was probably my favorite dish of the entire meal....all of the flavors from each ingredient stood out and worked wonderfully together to create a lovely, balanced dish. For mains, we had the duck and the scallops. Again, the flavors were pleasant and harmonius. Portion sizes are reasonable, but clearly intended as part of a two/three course meal. If you are hungry, do not expect to be full after eating just a main dish. For dessert, we had the chocolate and the apple dishes. They were both very interesting and unique. Though, I would only recommend the celery sorbet for those who really love celery!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greene County, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fine contemporary American dining in Pittsburgh”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

I am a country dweller and do not often dine out in the city. On the rare occasions that I do, I like for the experience to be exceptional and memorable. Salt of the Earth (NaCl) is first rate on both counts. The cuisine is novel, honest, expertly prepared and beautifully presented. Having dined there only twice, my favorite dishes thus far are an exquisite lamb tartar (starter), subtle, slightly piquant and delicately laced with pink peppercorns, and a perfectly cooked duck breast (entree). Flavor pairings (seasonings, vegetable purees and sauces) are creatively conceived and straightforward.

I would characterize the ambience at Salt as young, vibrant and energetic. Service is casually efficient, and the wait staff is well versed regarding the day's offerings. The main dining area is laid out with long refectory-like tables, shared with other diners. Guests are seated on heavy wood backless benches. The overall look and feel of the space expresses a "minimal" aesthetic. I must admit that the shared tables and benches are not to my taste (thus the not quite perfect rating). Alternate seating is available, apparently, on the second floor, but only by reservation. For my next visit, I intend to exercise that option. Tasting menus are also available at separate seating adjacent to the kitchen.

I highly recommend Salt, especially to anyone who is seeking an imaginative alternative to traditional fine dining. A realistic cost estimate per person, including starter, entree, drinks and gratuity, should be in the range of $50 to $75.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Gastronomic Feast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

First visit and I fell in love. The experience was first class all the way. We showed up without a reservation and the hostess was empathetic but told us we may have an hour wait. Since we really wanted to try this place, we were willing to wait; and were well rewarded. We had originally wanted to sit at the tables but one of the hostesses recommended we try the kitchen seating since a spot opened up within a short time. I highly recommend this option.

Sitting next to the kitchen gave us an opportunity to see the staff working up close and the food they were preparing. We were amazed at how fluid and efficient the staff was in the tight quarters; nary a spilled item nor a bumped elbow - Poetry in motion.

Based on the visuals and smell, we chose our entrees and were not disappointed. Food was prepared perfectly and presented elegantly. The taste met all expectations and we were sated at the end of the night.

I can go on, but suffice to say go try it at your earliest convenience.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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