Salute is a welcome surprise to a location downtown that has been one too many fly-by-night restaurants in the past. This one seems destined to succeed from the start. The owners have over 30 years in the restaurant business in Philly and Italy, not to mention a vineyard in Tuscany. After extensive remodeling, the rooms are lighter, the patio extended and under canopy, and the overall feel like a true Italian trattoria overlooking the piazza.
The new wine room at Salute adds warmth and character.
The owners are friendly and delightful, especially the chef and manager. Look for 80 percent of the pasta to be homemade and the sauces, well…divine. The Agnolotti—half-moon-shaped pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach in a light cream sauce, served to the table in a copper pan—was a perfect al dente and rich enough to share with a salad and appetizer.
Veal saltimbocca at Salute is delicioso.
A favorite is clearly the imported cheese and dry cured meat platter. You can select your choice of three cheeses and three meats, served with bread, grapes and housemade marmalade. I see many an afternoon ahead with a glass of Chianti and a platter of Gorgonzola dolce, Pecorino and Taleggio Latte Crudo watching the downtown crowd go by, just like you would in Italy on a sunny afternoon.
The cheese and meat platter.
Salute will be open Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and it would be a crime not to indulge in the Zuccotto, a house specialty rum-soaked Florentine cake with layers of mocha, chocolate and vanilla mousse. A dessert that is light and a perfect complement to a wonderful lunch or dinner.
As this year comes to a close, I want to put the fork down for a moment and thank all our readers. Your comments have helped me be a better culinary reporter, and as always, I will look forward to a tasteful year ahead. Next week I will try and recap the best tastes of the year, and oh, what memories of flavors and senses that will delightfully involve. If you have a favorite dish of the year, please share it with us by clicking on the comment button.
Happy Holidays to all and to all a delicious night!