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“inventive food with down-to-earth atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Salt of the Earth - CLOSED

Salt of the Earth
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Waitstaff
San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“inventive food with down-to-earth atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2011

First, the ambiance: I don't normally like long-table communal dining but for some reason, it worked in this restaurant. Maybe it was because everyone seemed to be having a really good time. I loved the fact that one entire wall was a chalkboard with the daily menu. Second, the food: Reading the inventive ingredients listed under each dish, I actually started getting excited about being served my meal. It was a strange but wonderful feeling. Aha, this is what New American food is all about. I get it now! Anyway, I ordered all vegetarian dishes and the food was fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant, I think it's spot on.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Momo_on_vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

105 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    63
    28
    6
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Octopus Tentacles, Snails, & Sweetbreads...and that's Just the Apps We Ate!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2011

To celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary, my husband & I made a longforsaken reservation at Salt. I had eaten there a few months ago with my Girl's Night crew, and after I was challenged with fried cockscombs (google it) over collard greens & some grits (if I recall correctly), drizzled with maple-flavored something, I could not wait to take my main man there.

Chef Sousa did not disappoint.

This time, we each began with one of the freshly made (& concocted) cocktails. I chose the tequila-based one, & Chris chose the bourbon one. Each drink reminded us of an aromatic, alcoholic gazpacho-ish soup of flavors. (I know that sounds terrible, but I don't know how else to communicate the taste.) His even had a lemon verbena leaf floating around in it. These drinks set the scene for our starters. Chris chose the snails & lamb sweetbreads (again, google it), which accompanied a basil pasta. Although I was quite apprehensive, I tried a sweetbread & lived to write about it. I, the hater of all things seafood, yes, I know, ordered the octopus risoto. The server told me not to worry because the suckers were already scraped off. Well, that was a relief. I ate every bite of this delicious plate.

For dinner, Chris went with the scallops, which he raved about, while I chose the chicken (again). However, unlike the first time I ate here, the chicken was prepared quite differently. This time, the breast was cut into 4 pieces, which sat among cubes of fresh watermelon, slices of green olives, and 2 sauces. I know that one of them was made from microwave popcorn, but I can't seem to recall what the other sauce was. They both were very tasty & unique.

For desert, we shared a pot of french press coffee and split the chef's take on s'mores. It invovled chocolate, marshmellow fluff with some oil drizzled over it, and crushed up Golden Grahams. It was very creative, & for once, not scary like the apps.

This restaurant does not disappoint. The servers encourage you to select a dish, but they caution you that substitutions are not permissible (or, at least, looked upon with favor). You must trust the chef, they say, and look for the hidden flavors and ingredients in each dish. It is almost like a scavenger hunt.

If this review is not convincing enough, just remember that I have now eaten cockscombs, sweetbreads, snails, & octopus in just two sittings there. And, though I was scared to do it, I was so happily surprised. And, I will do it again.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Diceburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“excellent, imaginitive, funky”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2011

Turn up to get a place at the bar at the open kitchen or at the long refrectory tables (fun); book to get a table up in the mezzanine (more private); and turn up late too - the kitchen is open late, so it's somewhere to go when everything else is closing, or if you like to eat at 9.00, or after the theatre. The menu changes according to what is in season and available in the markets, and is written up on a wall-sized chalk board (the whole design is great, modern, funky, elegant). It's not a meat-and-potatoes kind of place, but informed by avant garde cooking of the last decade. That said, their pork loin, when ever I've had it, is the best ever. Waitstaff wear black; chefs wear black and ink. Lots of ink. Follow chef Kevin Sousa on twitter @saltpgh

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ardmara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
51 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A new unique restaurant in Pittsburgh”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2011

My wife and I recently went on a Friday night to Salt of the Earth for dinner. The place is very popular in Pittsburgh and was packed.

Service: our service was pleasant. The time between meals was a little long as I think the kitchen got slammed with orders all at once. However, no real complaints about service.

Food: the dishes are very much a love/hate type of cuisine. The combinations are unique, sometimes weird, but always an adventure. If successful, the dish will wow you with intense flavor that you do not expect. However, sometimes the experimentation can go a bit far for the palate. My wife loved her perfectly cooked scallops combined with chorizo. My trout was perfectly cooked and the avocado was a nice compliment, but the buckwheat and tamarind did not work as well for me. I recommend the beef tartare and sashimi appetizers to anyone. All the desserts are pretty good here.

Atmosphere: The restaurant has the feel of an NYC restaurant, very trendy and modern. I prefer the upper floor where you can talk a bit more and not get interrupted as much as the communal table below. Be sure to make reservations if you want this upper floor.

Value: The prices are on the more expensive side for a Pittsburgh restaurant, but the portions are generous.

Overall, in terms of molecular gastronomy, a very successful restaurant. We look forward to going back, but be prepared to pay a bit more than usual.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wvujng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Interesting and Tasty Dishes”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2011

The food here is very interesting and not for people who are afraid to try new things. The food is prepared in creative and nontraditional ways. If you give it a try though, you will be pleasantly surprised because it is delicious. The chicken liver appetizer was fantastic. I never had chicken livers before and I'm not a big fan of liver in general, but I tried this dish and the mix of flavors was intense and wonderful. The snail appetizer and the scallops with bananas were also great. My husband ordered the flat iron and it was not your traditional steak. What a treat. I tried the skate main course and although I learned that I simply don't like the flavor of skate (it had nothing to do with how the skate was prepared because the preparation made the skate as good as it could be), I loved everything else served with the dish. The dessert was some type of white chocolate and it was one of the best desserts that I've had in Pittsburgh. I found the downstairs dining room to be a bit crowded and the seating uncomfortable, but the food made up for those drawbacks. I will definitely come back.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sass2379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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