So ended up going to Saltaus
It's in a neat part of town that apparently has gone through a bit of a renaissance since Oprah Winfrey built her studio in the neighborhood. I'd love to go back and check the area out more thoroughly when I have some more time.
The space at Saltaus is beautiful, and except for an occasionally eccentric CD player, the atmosphere was very nice. Interestingly, even though our reservations were a bit early (7PM) the place was completely empty when we arrived. Not a soul. A couple came in about halfway through our visit for a drink, and a foursome of guys showed up just as were finishing up our meal, but I was blown away at how slow the place was, even on a Thursday during Passover and Easter weeks.
We ate light and shared a couple appetizers:Asian Inspired Hummus, Crisp Teriyaki Mushrooms and Black Sesame Seed Flat Bread
andBeef Carpaccio, Fennel Salad, Citrus Vinaigrette and Aged Goat Cheese
I scanned the wines by the glass selection to see what I could come up with, but the mixtures of flavors and ingredients were pretty challenging. We started with, and stuck with some Moet et Chandon Brut Rose NV with the dishes and it worked quite nicely.
The hummus with crispy mushrooms was a big hit, and the combination of the rich hummus and the sweet and crunchy mushrooms with the killer flat bread was a memorable dish.
The carpaccio used some very high quality meat, and had potential, but the salad of fennel with citrus vinaigrette competed with the flavors of the beef and aged goat cheese, and the dish never came together completely. Great ingredients, just not a great meld of flavors.
For dessert we split:Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Torte with Mango Cardamom Sorbet
with some espresso. Again, the flavors seemed to compete with each other rather than complement, and alone the cake was wonderful. The sorbet was interesting, but a little strange. Together there was no magic.
The chef has apparently recently changed, and although the guy shows a great deal of talent and selects very good and fresh ingredients, it's hard not to get the feeling that he may be trying a little too hard. All in all, a very nice night at a lovely place.