A warm welcome to the Salt City Grille

My colleague and friend at the library, Sara, pulled me aside in the big room and said that I just had to take my dear wife Karen to dinner at the Salt City Grille. She talked highly of the food, ambiance and service.

The Buckley Road side.

Good call.

We both liked what we used to get when the joint just off Seventh North Street down Buckley Road a bit was the Colorado Mining Company. I told Karen how much I particularly missed the dish that place served me one night when a bunch of us made a dinner stop before catching a comedy show at the hotel next door. Shrimp Diablo, a believe they called it. Just the right amount of heat to the red sauce over just-right pasta. Yum.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

We decided that this new birth for the building is slanted way more toward fine dining.

The look is less chain, more dress-up. I still felt OK in my new shorts and golf shirt, though.

Martini smile.

Karen looked marvelous sipping her pomegranate martini. My glass of house Cabernet Sauvignon was pretty great, too.

The menu is full of locally grown and bought items. Prices range from about $18 to $35.

With a hundred-dollar bill warming my pocket from my bowling winnings, I was actually considering a bone-in rib eye with the add-on of a lobster tail, but that would have burned more than half the $100. Instead, my stomach growled when the waitress mentioned the night’s special: bacon-wrapped shrimp over vegetable pasta. Karen went for the salmon.

Great start.

First we were given a basket of honey croissants. They were still warm. And delicious. Buttery without having to use butter. I may have moaned a little.

Well-dressed.

We both picked Italian with crumbly blue to top our starter salads, which also came with the entrees.

They were fresh, crisp and covered just the way we both liked it.

It grew on me.

I wasn’t thrilled with my first bite of the bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with dill cream cheese. It was the first time I’d ever combined bacon and shrimp, two of my favorite foods ever, and the blend sort of shocked my taste buds. I passed the rest of the first shrimp to Karen, and she thought it was grand. Halfway through the second shrimp, I’d been converted. The veggies over the pasta and the light garlic sauce won me over, too. The $18 price was special, yes.

Looking fine.

Karen really enjoyed her salmon, and reported that the asparagus, quite fresh, were green-bean like in taste. That was OK, she said. She said the risotto was fair.

All in all, we were quite happy with the main course.

No, thank you.

And it filled us up.

We read the ample dessert menu, but told our delightful server that we were taking a pass.

The bill, including the one round of drinks, was $61. After a tip of a bit more than 20 percent, I $25 of winnings left.

The bartender told us they were prepping the outside area for seating soon.

The space looked nice, but quite close to the New York State Thruway running adjacent but slightly lower.

Welcome.

This locally owned establishment is trying hard to make a good first impression.

So far, so good, in my book.

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