Often times, hotel restaurants are nothing worth getting excited about, but Saltwood at the Loews Atlanta will make any foodie very happy to dine there.
During a recent trip to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to try two of the restaurant’s menus with a friend, and none of the dishes disappointed.
Our first introduction to Saltwood was via the lunch menu. We arrived just as the meal service started, but the room soon filled up with both locals and hotel guests. Despite the rush, neither the service nor the food slacked a bit, and we were offered a bowl of house made chips to nosh on while we waited.
I opted for the Saltwood Grilled Cheese ($12) and when it arrived, I had to give it top marks for both taste and presentation. The sandwich was nicely toasted so the cheese was gooey inside, and was served with a pile of house cured thinly-sliced smoked speck ham, a small dish of heirloom tomato and onion salad, and a dollop of housemade berry jam to dip the sandwich in.
It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth! The ham almost melted on my tongue, imparting a salty, but not too salty taste. The salad brought a freshness to the meal, and the tomatoes were bold and juicy. And the sandwich, dipped into the jam, was the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and savory. I think this was actually my favorite dish I ate during my weekend in Atlanta.
My guest tried the Pork Belly Tacos ($11), made with crispy house cured pork belly topped with cucumber pico de gallo, crispy onion, and a jalapeno crema on flour tortillas. I had to take a bite because it smelled so good, and found the dish to have a really good balance of salty, spicy, and brightness.
She also had the iced tea with lavender syrup, which was served with the tea in a small beaker so she could control the strength of the flavor. This I couldn’t try because of a lavender allergy, but she loved it and said it worked really well with the saltyness of the tacos.
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Two days later, just prior to checkout at the Loews Atlanta, we got up a bit earlier to sample Saltwood for breakfast.
Now let’s be honest, breakfast is really a hard meal to screw up, but it’s also hard to elevate the meal without getting too crazy. Saltwood managed to make their dishes special with subtle touches.
I opted for the Piedmont Park ($14), which included two cage free eggs prepared to order, a choice of meat (bacon, turkey bacon, chicken apple sausage or grilled ham), a choice of breakfast potatoes, cheese grits or seasonal fruits/berries, and a choice of bread.
My choices were bacon, a croissant, and the grits. It was the cheesy grits, which arrived topped with bacon crumbles and shredded cheddar that made the meal. They were so creamy and savory, and surprisingly not heavy. I was seriously sad when I hit the bottom of the bowl.
My guest woke up with a sweet tooth, so she ordered the Red Velvet French Toast ($14). That’s right, I said Red Velvet French Toast – like I said subtle touches, but ones that elevate the dish. Decadent and delicious.
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Saltwood is helmed by Executive Chef Oliver Gaupin, a native of Orleans, France, who created the charcuterie-driven menu. All meats are house cured, and all ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible, including the handcrafted cocktails and craft beers.
The attention to detail in the food shows in the layering of flavors, and the presentation of the dishes. The restaurant itself, has a relaxed upscale feel with lots of warm woods and rustic touches. I especially enjoyed the chalkboard wall with its pork diagrams and other food graphics
Even if I weren’t staying at the Loews Atlanta, I would return for a meal – perhaps to try the extensive dinner menu with its charcuterie boards.
If you’re in Atlanta, do your taste buds a favor and visit Saltwood for a meal. They’re open daily at 6:30am, closing most nights at 10:30pm, except for Friday and Saturday when they go to 11pm.
If you’d like to know more about Saltwood’s home, click here to read my review of the Loews Atlanta hotel.
[Disclaimer: I was hosted for lunch at Saltwood as part of my hotel tour, but breakfast was on my own time and dime.]
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