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Monday, February 1, 2010

Q1 Dinner @ Salum

Last Friday, one of my quarterly eating groups decided to go check out Salum (pronounced sah-LOOM). It's located on Fitzhugh and Cole Ave. in Uptown.

4152 Cole Avenue # 103
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 252-9604

Price: $$$

It's a cozy little place...basically a square room with a bar on the side. Our reservation was for 8pm and it was packed when we arrived. It took them a couple minutes to get our table together. We had a party of 9 people and they squeezed us in 2 small square tables pushed together. Oh well...seeing how busy they were, I guess it's ok. haha.

The waitress came around for our drink orders and they gave us a couple of bread baskets. The bread was nice and warm. :)

So being the food addict that I am, I had already looked over the menu online multiple times. haha. :P I already knew what I wanted going into dinner.

I ordered the Butternut Squash Bisque (Chorizo Corn Fritter, Chili Creme Fraiche) $12~ for appetizer.
It's a little pricey for soup but it just sounded so tasty and the cold weather just makes me wanna have soup. It was delicious! The soup was creamy and sweet. The corn fritter had a nice crust on the outside and the sweet corn with the salty chorizo was awesome. The entire combination with the bisque, fritter, and creme fraiche was so yummy. It didn't feel heavy either. The only complaint was the portion size. The bowl/plate was sooo shallow...the soup portion size was more like a "sauce". And there was only one fritter. I think a reasonable price should be under $8 for the portion size.

Other appetizers ordered were the Texas Goat Cheese, Roasted Elephant Garlic (extra virgin olive oil) $10.50~ and Serrano Caprese (Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Serrano Ham, Balsamic and Olive Oil, Pesto) $8.50~ I got to try a little bit of both. The garlic and goat cheese were paired with some slices of bread. The garlic had lots of flavor and the goat cheese was creamy and not too pungent. I really liked the Serrano Caprese. Everything was really fresh and with lots of fresh flavors. The balsamic wasn't too strong and everything blended together very well. If you like tomatoes and mozzarella, I think this would be a good choice.

Next up are the entrees! I ordered the Seared Scallops (Pancetta White Balsamic Pan Sauce, Sundried Tomato Tapenade Risotto) $29~ This was disappointing... The portion was sooo small. Three small scallops over 3 piles of risotto. You would think for the price, they would give you larger scallops... The first one I dug into...was sandy. :( I could feel the sand crunching when I chew. BLeh! The texture was good but needed more of a sear. The risotto wasn't what I expected either. I didn't taste or SEE much of the sundried tomato. And it seemed really oily.. I expected risotto to be more creamy and cheesy. Overall the flavors were decent, but for $10 a scallop, I expect this dish to be amazing!

I also got to eat some of the Braised Beef Short Ribs a la Bourguignon (Roasted Fingerling Potatoes) $26~ which was my other choice of entree.
The short rib was pretty tender and paired well with the potatoes. The potatoes were a little overdone but I actually liked the harder crispy outside. The only missing from this dish was more sauce. There wasn't enough sauce so it made the beef and potatoes a little dry.

A friend of mine ordered the Australian Rack of Lamb (Dijon Truffle Crust, Mushroom Bread Pudding, Lamb Demiglace) $28~ This was the best entree in my opinion...and that's saying ALOT! Because I don't like lamb and it's gamey taste. But I was assured that there wasn't the gamey flavor so I tried a bite. It was really good! The lamb was cooked very well and the crust was amazing. The mushroom bread pudding was interesting...I've never had savory bread pudding like that and I really enjoyed it. It was full of flavor and I liked the chewy texture. Not only was this the best dish, I think it was also the best deal out of all the entrees. There was a good amount of meat, sides, veggies, and LOTS of sauce (which the short ribs lacked).

Another friend (who would like to be referred to as my 'Guest Correspondence'...hehe) ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Gruyere Mashed Potatoes, Green Peppercorn Cognac Demiglace) $32~ He said the beef was tender, juicy, and had good flavor. I totally agree! He also said the mashed potatoes were really flavorful. This is probably my #2 entree of the night.

Another friend ordered the Roasted Lobster Tail (Marcona Almond Couscous, Cara Cara Orange Salad) $34~ I didn't get to try this dish, but he said he enjoyed it...but the lobster was slightly overcooked.

So far everything's a little hit or miss. It's all up to dessert to be the deciding factor. My favorite part!! :D

I ordered the Bourbon Bread Pudding (Creme Anglaise, Toasted Almonds) $7~ After I saw this on the menu online, I was set on ordering it. None of the other options looked as good...I even bypassed the chocolate one! O.O haha. I'm sooo glad I chose this. It was delicious! The portion size was good, and presentation was nice. The bread pudding was just out of the oven...when I dug into it steam came out! YUM! The creme and berries paired very well with the soft texture of the bread pudding. I enjoyed it a lot. I would definitely recommend this.

Other people ordered the Chocolate Caramel Tart (Almond Crust, Espresso Gelato) $8~ and Apple and Berry Crisp (Creme Anglaise) $10~ The chocolate tart was bursting with coffee flavor. It had a nice texture as well. I liked it. The Apple Crisp was awesome! It was really big! The crisp on top was amazing. It was a perfect topping on the fruits.

So the desserts definitely gained some points for the night. hehe. But it was a great ending to the meal...
...until the check came... The waitress gave us one check for the whole table so we asked her to split it for us. She tells us that their system doesn't allow them to make changes once the check is printed, and proceeds to hand us a pen to mark on the check. WHAT?!?! I was stunned. First of all, we had 9 people with different people ordering wine, cocktails, some had dessert, some had coffee... I cannot BELIEVE she expected US to deal with it. Second, for such an expensive restaurant, you would think they would have a more updated system where you can make changes to customer checks. OMG! So we attempted to figure it ourselves but just took too long. We waved her back over and asked her again to split it. She told us again that the system doesn't do that and...this is where it makes me SUPER mad...she told us that usually if large parties wanted separate checks, they would say so beforehand. I was like...if YOU are a good waitress, YOU should've asked!!! OMG...what is this?!?! Especially if you have such a sucky system. So then she's obviously annoyed, comes back with a pen and paper and writes down all our orders again. Saying, AGAIN, that she has to do this manually because of their freaking system. OH boo-hoo... the customer is always right. It's not like we're paying <$10 a person...this is more like $50+ a person...we shouldn't have to handle our own check and deal with her attitude. That really killed the night. Up til then she was getting pretty high marks, but now it's all gone. Overall, the ambiance and food was nice...but I thought portions were small and prices were high. Plus the waitress put a damper on things. :( The food wasn't too spectacular for me to really recommend this place. But if you do go, definitely get the couple things I mentioned that were good. :)
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Overall Experience:


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