This restaurant is closed!
When Hurricane Sandy hit, Salud, a popular tapas bar in the South Street Seaport shut down. Fast forward four years later and Salud has reemerged in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn better than ever.
It now occupies the former Olla space on Third Avenue. The space has a warm and inviting feel with candles flickering in a fireplace, and elegant crystal chandeliers perched above in bird cages dangling from the ceiling. It's dressy enough to be a destination, but not too much so, as to turn off the locals. We visited on a Saturday night and the place was buzzing to a lively Latin beat.
A large bar up front is perfect for sipping a cocktail, like a mojito spiked with sugarcane, or a glass of wine. Reds, whites and sparkling varieties are available along with a handful of craft beers. A large sharing table is great for groups.
Spanish and Latin flavors flood the menu. Small plates are abundant and perfect for sharing. Plump croquetas ($11) filled with cod are crisp around the edges served with a lively criolla sauce. Lamb meatballs ($12) get dunked in a spicy tomato sauce with almonds and sprinkled with miti crema, a cheese made from sheep's milk. If you love octopus, don't pass up on the Pulpo ala Parilla ($14). The grilled octopus is so tender, so tasty it is worth hoarding. It is served on a bed of creamy potatoes dusted with paprika and is one of the most memorable dishes I've had in a long time. So is the broiled boneless half chicken ($19) that comes smothered with large chunks of sauteéd onions. Who thought chicken could taste this good!
The show-stopper is the El Tequilaso, a flaming dish of sauteéd shrimps with tequila served over mashed plantains with a spicy chipotle sauce ($14). It got our attention. A good steak option is the mini churrasco ($14), a grilled skirt steak served rare topped with a zesty salsa verde and a side of crispy yucca fries.
Some dishes didn't fare as well, like steamed mussels ($10) which could have benefitted from a good cleaning. The broth, on the other hand, was rich with the flavors of chorizo and fennel, and tailor made for sopping up with bread. Ask for a few extra slices. Lobster filled tacos (two for $16) were good, but in need of more lobster, while the ceviche didn't really pack much of a punch.
The restaurant also serves a dry aged strip steak for $39 that looked humongous, and chuletas (pork chops) marinated overnight ($23) with rice and beans, and paellas to share including one with seafood ($48) and another made with organic mixed vegetables ($23).
If you can, save room for dessert. Churros dusted with cinnamon sugar get a cup of hot chocolate for dipping, while a rum and coconut flan is cause for excitement served with fresh berries and whipping cream.
We found the staff at Salud to be extremely accommodating and friendly. Owner Jose Rodriguez has done a wonderful job. Reservations are strongly suggested.
See more pictures on the Citiblog
Review By: Thomas Rafael