The signature restaurant at the Loews Hotel in Midtown
has changed throughout the years. They all were good, distinctive and trendy, but somehow they never quite clicked. Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar is the latest incarnation, and early accounts indicate that this is a keeper.
Saltwood is a quirky, delightful restaurant that specializes in local, farm-to-table small dishes that are perfect for connecting, conversing and sharing. Executive chef Olivier Gaupin and sous chef Chris Español have assembled a menu that has something for everyone and a dish or two that will surprise and delight. And, if you are really hungry, there are belly-filling dishes such as a grass-fed rib eye or red snapper.
Here are five reasons why we highly recommend Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar:
- Innovative, seasonal drinks
We admit it. We love bourbon, but it does get a little, shall we say, heavy and wintery during the summer? Don’t fear! How about a pink old-fashioned? Yes! Using Stillhouse original peach moonshine, orange, lemon, sugar and Peychaud’s Bitters, you can get a light, pretty cocktail that still packs a wallop. Other great drinks to try include Blue Ridge Mountain Tea (old smoking blackberry moonshine, tea, red fruit muddle, black mission fig bitters); the Classic G&T (which isn’t so classic) contains Hendricks, Fever-Tree tonic, cucumber ribbon, juniper berries, rose petals and ‘round midnight (Woodford Reserve, calvados and green chartreuse). In a town where crafts cocktails are flourishing, Saltwood is worth the stop.
- The charcuterie
Hand-carved on the spot, treats from the Saltwater Charcuterie include a variety of pates, salamis, sausages and terrines that will entice, please and excite. We ordered the country paté & foie gras paté and quickly saw it disappear at the hands (and mouth) of our companion who had never previously found a paté he liked. We also ordered the Spotted Trotter’s Hunter salami, which was rich, dense, properly spiced meat. Part of the fun of Saltwood is watching trays of charcuterie orders pass by and wanting to order more and more. Truly the prosciutto that passed us by was thinly sliced, piled high and just begging to be eaten.
- Local cheese
Saltwood offers a variety of local cheeses, all served with blueberry jam, honey and house-made tomato jam, along with H&F walnut raisin batard and grilled sourdough bread. The cheeses, from Calyroad Creamery in Sandy Springs, Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee and Sweet Grass Dairy Farm in Thomasville, Ga., demonstrate the genius of Saltwood’s concept. With seven cheeses available and a knowledgeable server, we learned about taste and also to appreciate the art of cheese making. We selected Big Bloomy, an aged cheese with a soft rind, and Thomasville Tomme, a milk cheese. Both were unique, special and were taken to a whole new level of awesomeness when dipped in honey.
- The rest of the menu
Absolutely try the mussel & crab soup, a delightful saffron broth with mussels sinking to the bottom just waiting to be the final bite. It truly is a wonder. Other menu highlights include the Alabama grass-fed rib eye and Finisterre octopus. Whatever you do, order the French fries. They are crisp yet mushy in the middle and topped with hearty sea salt.
Although we enjoyed dinner, we’ve heard that the luncheon salad bar is quickly gaining a reputation as being among the best in town.
Mary Welch is a veteran journalist who writes about travel, lifestyle and business. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Fulton County Daily Report and Family Vacation Critic.