Restaurant Reviews > Salt Tasting Room - Blood Alley's Hidden Secret

Salt Tasting Room -
Blood Alley's Hidden Secret

By BAY OLIVER
Published: December 8, 2008

Salt Tasting Room is a well-known but little advertised gem. The sleek but rustic restaurant, in the heart of Gastown's Blood Alley, is a wine and food tasting delight. If artisinal cheeses, cured meats and a fantastic array of wine, beer and spirits sound like a night in heaven, then Salt is the place for you.

The exposed brick wall, wooden furniture and minimalistic feel convey in decor what their food and wine tasting experience is all about. Keeping things simple and classic is Salt's specialty. The general idea at Salt is that you choose either 3 cheeses, 3 meats, or a combination of both, from their hand-written chalk board, and pair these with 3 condiments (think cornicon pickles, BC apricot jam, Guinness mustard, Piccadilly relish and more). Each of these plates is $15 and comes with a basket of Terra-style bread to lay the delicacies upon.

Of course, if choosing from the dazzling array and finding the perfect pairing is too much, then Salt's friendly and knowledgeable wait staff will be more than happy to help. You can just sit back and take in the surrounds.

The Salt Tasting Room staff will also help with wine selection. You can buy a bottle or a glass to go with your meal, but if pairing is what excites you then a set wine flight of 3 wines might be the best way to go. This is also $15 and will see you set up with 3 delectable 2oz glasses. When the food arrives your waiter/waitress will show you which wines to taste with which items.

One point to make is that the food and wine servings, while gourmet, are not large. You may want to have a wee snack before heading to Salt, and buy a bottle of wine instead of the tasting flight if quantity is favoured over variety. If you're not a big eater or drinker, the wine flight and one plate would definitely be enough to satisfy.

Another item to note is that Blood Alley shows some of the underbelly of Vancouver. If you're lucky you might catch a deal taking place in front of the restaurant. If this is not your thing, have a taxi drop you off in front of the restaurant and pick you up again afterwards. But, don't let it put you off, the trip is definitely worth it.

Salt is located at 45 Blood Alley, Gastown. Phone 604 633 1912 for reservations.

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