Because of its trendiness, I was suspicious of Salute. Maybe that was wrong, but in a time when the major food trend is everything wrapped or infused with bacon, I expected that a popular restaurant had to be riding that bandwagon. Thankfully, Salute appears to be above that.

We were seated immediately. It was a Sunday, but we were not the only ones in the restaurant, as sometimes happens on Sunday evenings in restaurants downtown. Seated by a window, we were able to see Bushnell Park all aglow in blue and purple lights, and downtown residents walking their dogs.

I made a meal of two appetizers. The House Mozzarella and Tomato came with a few pieces of garlic crostini and was drizzled with a basil vinaigrette. They were generous with the mozzarella and tomato slices. The crostini was not so hard that I feared chipping a tooth. This salad was a complete flavor contrast to the Sweet Potato Ravioli, which was sweet, savory, and buttery all at once. This was served in a thick sage cream. My date had the Pasta ala Vodka, which was entirely different in flavor from either dish I ordered. This is the way food should be.

We could have stopped there and left while the bill was still reasonable, but we had to have dessert– something I usually do not partake in because I am either too full or cognizant of the cookies in my pantry at home. I had the Crème Brûlée with a raspberry and brown sugar topping. My date had the Cheesecake with Macerated Seasonal Berry Sauce and Chantilly Cream. While cordial about sharing parts of the meal, neither or us offered the other a bite of our respective desserts. I have heard rave reviews of Salute’s biscotti and know some people who will make a special trip there just for that.

Salute has everything going in its favor. They are in a great location that offers a view of the park. Customers can receive 50% off the parking rate at a garage located right outside the restaurant. The service was quick and respectful, and the food was delicious. The vegetarian options are actually appealing, hearty, and sufficient in number. Even in an economic malaise, they should be able to do well with the way they do business.

Salute is located at 100 Trumbull Street and is open every single night for dinner, and Monday-through-Saturday for lunch.

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