On the outside it looked like a funeral home — tall, imposing, the big S sign in front that reminded you of the Sultenfuss Funeral Parlor from My Girl — but the glimmering string of lights, the occasional open door and the passage of guests in and out let you know that there was indeed a breath of life at Salt. The menu boasted savory dishes of mussels and duck-fat fries for dinner, poached eggs and French toast for brunch, and a milk-and-cookies dessert that went further than any after-school snack could ever go. But even the most positive of reviews couldn't save the two-year-old restaurant from bad luck — the business saw the departure of two chefs, including co-owner Wes Johnson; it filed for bankruptcy in November; and eventually served its last Salt Smash June 29. Its menu, which specialized in bringing out the best of American simplicity, garnered accolades and attention that some restaurants and chefs work years to achieve, including a nod from the James Beard Foundation and the RFT's seal of approval as the Best Restaurant of 2011. Though the lone sign eventually would come down, the philosophy of Salt carried through to its last Yelp review, which sums up its aim perfectly: "...creative and a little adventurous, without being hip for the sake of hipness."
© 2019 Riverfront Times