Saturday, April 25, 2009

Salut - Saint Paul

I seized on the opportunity to dine outside for the first time this year with the 80 degree temperatures. It was a perfect evening for Salut Bar Americain on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. This was probably my third time dining on the patio at Salut and all three times have been pretty consistent. Grand Avenue, and Saint Paul in general, are desperate for more places like Salut. I hope more local restaurateurs take note of Salut’s apparent success and open up more cool places to go out to. They were sure busy on this warm spring night. I’ve noticed on the half dozen or so times I here that it is a favorite spot for girl’s night out. Salut has a comfortable bar area that opens on to the large outdoor patio. There is also a large indoor dining room and even when they are very busy I’ve never had to wait longer than a couple drinks to get a table. I’m not sure is Salut is an American bar-restaurant trying to be a French bistro or a French bistro trying to be an American bar-restaurant. Either way it seems to work. You will feel comfortable here in a jacket and tie or t-shirt and flip flops. The food and service at Salut are good, but if they could kick it up a notch or two I think they would really have something. None the less, it is still probably the best option on Grand if you a looking for a spot to meet up with friends between Lexington and Dale that is a step up from the rest.

We started out with a generous portion of calamari which was lightly fried and served with both an aioli mayo and a roasted red pepper sauce. Both complimented the calamari nicely. I shared a crock of the French onion soup, which always hits the spot. For the main course I shared Le Cheeseburger Royale, a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and onion, served with excellent Pomme Frites and BĂ©arnaise sauce. The French fries with the side of BĂ©arnaise were the highlight. Unfortunately, the Lyonnaise frisee salad we shared was not so great. We finished off the evening with a gigantic piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. This cake is awesome and worth a trip just for desert.

I would put the menu prices on the reasonable moving towards the high side. There is plenty of variety on the menu as well. Anywhere from small plates to full blown steak and fresh seafood dinners. Salut is located at 917 Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. They are open Monday – Thursday 11am – 10pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight and Sunday 10am-10pm.