Monday, January 10, 2011

Salta Grill, Icon Village

Having stayed 2 weeks sober from proper restaurants, we decided we deserved a spoilage and decided to head to Argentinean restaurant Salta at our newest hangout, Icon Village. This place was positioned strategically next to Quiznos, always raising the moral question of $20 versus $80 dinners. Eventually we relented to Salta after hearing much goodness about this place.

Let it be known that Salta is actually a city (not salt) in Argentinea. Not to say i've heard of Argentinea, but if it's Argentinean ... it makes perfect sense. It's like Peruvia is the home to Peruvian flute bands. While on the topic of lesser known words, Parrilla is actually a method of torture where victims are tied to metal grills and electrocuted. Then as a result of this, it later become used to refer to cooking methods where meat was grilled. Wikipedia claimed that this order was reversed, but of course, who is to say which came first o_O

First surprise of the dinner was a complement of the chef! A generous portion of smoked salmon and capers, cream cheese, caramelized onions, celery, parsley on half a cheery cherry tomato. This was surprisingly AWESOME, because i generally detest celery and parsley, but the flavors of the salmon and cream cheese went so well with the herbiness that after a few chews everything blended so well. I had high hopes after this dish!

The assortment of breads came with a triple serving of what i assumed to be sauces from Argentinea. The breads were exceedingly fluffy, especially the white ones! And the sauces were all unique and tasty. The red one up front reminded me a bit of indian achar - slightly spicy and sour. The yellow one on the left was also a little sour but reminded me a bit more of the indian rasam with vegetables. And the awesome green one at the back was a little like the herb, olive oil and butter you get with escargot. All went so good with the bread.

The Salchicha was AWESOME. The flavor of the pork sausage was unlike any bratwurst or sausages i've ever had - it was juicy and flavorful and slightly charred on the edges.

Look at the glisten, sweet lord. It came with rocket - always a smart choice - and a highly concentrated lemon vinaigrette.

And the star of the day was this medium rare piece of Argentinean cow. This 300g Ojo de Bife (ribeye) looked smaller than the 300g ribeye at Les Bouchons, but the flavor and texture was markedly different. We hypothesized that cows in Argentinea are generally happier and roam freely in the great Argentinean plains - as opposed to French cows who generally sit still, sipping their wine and speaking loudly in French.

The meat was tougher and pleasantly chewy, but also had a distinct unexplainable taste i've yet to taste from a steak before. Maybe whatever marinade or sauce used was different. It was also not as marbled as similar ribeyes i've had.

Look at that healthy pink. There's no other way to enjoy steak than medium rare. We also ordered a side of grilled vegies in the background.

After an amazing appetizer and main, we decided to get the most Argentinean dessert available on the menu, and lo and behold we were flabbergasted when this monster hit the table. Queso y Dulce, literally meaning "Fruits and Cheese", had so much fruit (comprising black berries, rasp berries, blue berries, straw berries, and walnuts which is a fruit), quince jelly and cheese with mint and berry sauce on the plate for $8.

Fruits and cheese are always a good pairing, and the quince jelly had a lightly sweet flavor and odd texture (closest to texture was probably this). Everything went very well but the sheer amount of cheese made it really heavy for dessert, especially if an unsuspecting individual ordered it for himself. Still, we could taste the raw winds of Argentinea wafting in our faces after this delectable delight.

Salta was awesome.

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