Let me preface this entire post by first saying, with absolute full disclosure, that the owners of Saltyard (Kristy-Jones Favalli and Christian Favalli) are very dear friends of our family. You may know the Favalli name from the the longstanding Atlanta restaurant, La Grotta Ristorante Italiano. Christian and his wife Kristy, opened their own restaurant in the Brookwood Hills neighborhood of Atlanta in June 2013 . My plan before going to Saltyard for our first time was to evaluate the restaurant in an unbiased way and give it a fair review like I would any new restaurant I was visiting for the first time. With that said, here we go!
I LOVED IT!!! (Now you probably understand why I needed to explain the whole full disclosure thing.) We set out for the evening to meet our friends Anne & Paul and my parents for a nice evening out. Riche, Dad and I had the unique opportunity to attend one of Saltyard’s “pop up dinners” where we were first introduced to the General Manager, Executive Chef, Nick Leahy, and head bartender, Mike May. We had a fabulous time that evening and were very much looking forward to a full dining experience at the actual restaurant.
As you first enter into the restaurant, you are welcomed not only by the lovely hostesses but also the open kitchen. The overall decor is perfect with high exposed rafters and reclaimed wood that help to create the perfect balance between casual yet modern. We started with cocktails…all of which were delicious. Mom and I both had the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (jameson, meletti amaro, lilet blanc, sweet vermouth). Anne started with the Humble Pie (mulberry infused mojito). Riche started with a step in the right direction (hendricks gin, cucumber, st. germain, mint, simple syrup, lime) while Dad and Paul started with wine and beer respectively. I must add that I also had the opportunity to try the Handlebar Mustache (jack daniels, fresh lemon sour, orange bitters) while Riche loved the Swift Kick in the Tito (tito’s vodka, fresh jalapeno & basil, simple syrup, lime). The entire drink menu had something for everyone. I look forward to going back and enjoying some drinks on their ample outdoor patio. You can check out their drink menu here.
As we move onto the food menu (which can be found here), I must admit that we did not get any pictures because the food was so yummy, that none of us wanted to miss out on any of the food! (You can see pictures on their website and Facebook fan page… there were too many). The whole concept for the menu are “small plates”…much like tapas, mezze or antipasti etc. The best way to describe the experience was that it was a social dining experience where we were able to order many different items and share amongst the table. There were so many yummy things on the menu, I honestly don’t know where to start! One of the favorites for a starter were the deviled farm eggs and ceviche. The fig, blue cheese and honey bruschetta didn’t disappoint with a perfect blending of flavors. The pork special and seafood specials for our biggie small selections were outstanding as was the provencal duck confit complete with beluga lentils.
A selection of desserts were brought to the table with an outstanding variety of chocolate nemesis cake, meyer lemon polenta cake with honey icecream (which received rave reviews from even Anne who doesn’t usually like lemon cakes), ricotta zeppolis (amazing donut bites with salted caramel, fudge and raspberry dipping sauces) and finally a mixed berry parfait complete with mascarpone and amaretti cookies.
When Kristy and Christian were interviewed on why they selected the name Saltyard for the restaurant, they were quoted as saying “We researched the origins of salt, which was historically an extremely expensive commodity. If you shared salt with your house guests over dinner, it was truly a friendly gesture and a sign of hospitality. This is our philosophy: We want to know every guest that comes through the door; their likes, dislikes, their dogs’ names. In keeping with our choice to source locally whenever possible, we decided on Saltyard. It’s strong and stands for something, and we like that!”
I couldn’t agree more! I HIGHLY recommend Saltyard for your next dining experience. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll actually wish you’d gone sooner! I do recommend reservations!!!