When a new restaurant opens up I get very excited. If the new restaurant boasts a great concept, I am even more so. When I heard about The Salty Pig; a casual dining spot with a focus on seasonal charcuterie and small batch cheeses, I was all in a dither and could not wait to get myself up in their business.
I was finally presented with an opportunity this Thursday evening and a group of 8 of us ventured into the butcher's.
The inside is actually quite appealing with neat lighting, high tables and chairs and a nice outdoor seating area. The walls are like chalkboards covered in graffiti, very minimalist, but effective.
The meal actually started off quite well. I ordered a delicious Vinho Verde and we got a board of four meats and two cheeses. There were no really interesting options, we opted for Jamon serrano, speck, bresaola and saucisson sec. The presentation was nice, and the quality was up to par even though I found it a bit pricey, the total cost was 37 dollars, which split between all of us was fine...but it didn't amount to all that much food.
This being their second week since opening, glitches in the service are to be expected and I fully understand. When our drinks all came out of order and certain items were forgotten or added as an after thought (the fig jam arrived once we had finished out charcuterie board...) I did not hold it against them. What I cannot accept however, is what followed... no matter how new you are, the food coming out of the kitchen is the one thing that should not disappoint.
My friend and I decided to split a pizza, it sounded truly promising with local clams, speck, parmigianno, arugula and olive oil. What showed up was hardly a step up from generic store-bought frozen pizza. I know this sounds harsh, but it honestly was. The crust, which there was far too much of, was so tasteless even the left over fig jam couldn't remedy the situation. There were a total of three miniscule clams, no speck and barely any cheese. We were basically presented with tasteless dough topped with arugula. It was such a disappointement I had to let the waitress know.
To their credit, our waitress was most gracious and apologized saying that usually the pizzas were really great.
I wondered if she would have said the same of the carbonara and the pea risotto, both of which were also very bland.
A slight salvage were their pork and garlic meatballs which came smothered in a delicious tomato sauce with generous amounts of Guanciale.
Because it is a new restaurant, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. However until they get their food sorted out, the only thing I would go for is a glass of wine and an assortment of meats and cheeses - the other dishes are clearly in need of some major tweaking.