This week a friend and I tried out a new small plate restaurant in Sunnyside, Salt & Fat. It joins fellow newbies Molly Bloom’s and Cafe Marlene — slightly upscale establishments in a neighborhood that could definitely use more options besides Thai restaurants and pubs! Don’t get me wrong, I love Thai restaurants and pubs, but it’s nice to be able to have an inventive meal without hiking into Manhattan and paying Manhattan prices. Salt & Fat is a surprisingly large space for this neighborhood, narrow but long. White walls accented with stone help give it an airy quality. But it’s the food that really lights things up!
S&F starts you off with a little bag of popcorn popped in bacon fat. Jen and I practically demolished the serving as we pored over the menu. We picked four dishes to split, and it actually proved to be too much for us to finish!
We started off with the utterly sublime “crack” and cheese — fried gnocchi in a cheese bechamel sauce, with this amazing thick-cut bacon interspersed throughout. We instantly decided that regardless of what else we ate, that alone had made the trip worth it. The gnocchi was airy, the cheese perfect, and the smoky bacon the perfect accent for it all.
Next came short rib buns. The apricot mustard and pickled cucumber gave the soft white bun and rib meat a kick. (The ribs, I’m sad to say, were average.) Pulled pork sliders arrived soon after. Delicious, served on what looked like little brioche buns, the pork was bathed in spicy sriracha BBQ sauce — which just might be my favorite fusion creation of all time. Our last dish was fried chicken, and it practically pushed us into over-full territory. Coated in a perfect batter, crisp and not too oily, just the chicken paired with the “crack” and cheese would’ve been a complete meal!
Despite being pushed to the foodie limit, we couldn’t resist trying dessert, and we picked the ice cream and sorbet. Three scoops are brought out on a narrow dish. Armed with two spoons, we dug into a lemon-y sorbet, a delicious vanilla mandarin sorbet, and the truly heavenly marshmallow ice cream. It was the equivalent of eating a gooey, just toasted, marshmallow right by the fire… except that it was cold. It was the perfect way to end a great meal!
As I left, I couldn’t help but tell our adorable, curly-haired waiter (for soap fans, he reminded me of Dominic and Ethan Rains, from GH and GH: Night Shift) that if I were to die that night, what we had would’ve been the perfect last meal. Never let it be said that I don’t have a flair for hyperbole. ;). As for Salt & Fat, it has a flair for delicious, inventive fusion food, and it’s a welcome presence in Sunnyside!