A new restaurant anchoring the west end of Dayton’s Oregon District, Salar has a menu that it a little hard to describe as any one genre. With ravioli, empanadas, duck, pizza, burgers and quinoa, you’ll also find many of the dishes blur the traditional lines between the classic ethnic recipes. Whether it’s pork belly and sweet potato, pizza topped with chorizo, or quinoa topped with pine nuts and cilantro lime dressing, this is the kind of place you’d want to drop by if you had a hankering for something you’ve never tried before. Lunch or dinner, cocktails or a feast, I have been impressed every time I have come back.
Some of my favorite menu items:
- Shrimp and “Grits”: A great appetizer, featuring roasted shrimp atop a bed of quinoa and served atop a ragout for charm.
- Peruvian Empanadas: Beef tenderloin stir fried with spices and a little onion, and fried up in turnovers. Crispy outside, juicy tenderloin within.
- Spanish Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza: topped with provolone and mozzarella as well as arugula leaves. It’s surprising how well the ideas go together; the chorizo and red pepper have a very subtle heat that will leave you wanting more with every bite. Definitely suggest splitting it.
- Duck Ragu Ravioli: Served in a wine reduction with some mushrooms. The resultant flavor is very much like a steak Diane sauce, and then there’s the duck within. The delicacy of the duck flavor is faded a little with the mushroom, but the texture remains spot on.
- Beef Tenderloin Skewer: An exceptional choice for lunch. The meat is soft like a kabab, and it’s topped with minced garlic which adds a little extra taste. Might use salt, but I recommend it be prepared medium.
- Mousse cake: So soft and fluffy. This dish is made to be shared. Chocolate on chocolate.
Then of course, there is the delicious hummus and pita chips that come complementary with dinner. There’s also something to be said for the sizable menu of wines, beers, and cocktails. In all, I have a hard time finding one dish that really stood out to me as the best. I don’t know that any one dish is the best to try first, so you can play that one by ear.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is great, it’s got a low-lit interior with a minimal, modern theme and an elegant black-and-white color scheme. The bar is spacious and the dining area feels very intimate. Then of course there is an outside patio which is great for cool nights. All told, I’m very impressed with Oregon District’s newest spot, both as a place to eat and a spot to get a drink. It could well be a personal favorite.
- The dinner menu offers many of the same dishes as lunch, but for different prices.
- I highly recommend the outdoor patio if the day is warm enough.
- I liked all of the dishes I tried, so I don’t know if there’s any specific dish I’d recommend you try ‘first.’