What can I say? I was wined and dined, I heard Italian phrases that I could half understand and then? They named a work of art after me.
I’m talking, of course, about Salute Wine Bar & More, the Italian-American restaurant located in the Marriott downtown. Specifically? I was swept off my feet by their new menu.
The first section is called (be still my heart): Quick Bites. (So brilliant!)
Love is an apt metaphor because it’s Italian food, after all, and because there’s so much to love about Salute’s new and completely refreshed menu.
They’ve consolidated their lunch, dinner and lounge menus into a single, all-day menu, and though you may still find some of your favorite dishes, everything’s been rearranged into simple-to-understand categories. There’s Quick Bites, or course, which includes a cheese plate and a meat plate, hummus and pita, bruschetta and more.
You’ll find some familiar tastes in the Small Plates section, including their fab flatbread pizzas, as well as a couple oyster options, calamari fritti, mushroom arancini and some great American staples such as tacos (including ahi tuna), wings, quesadilla and sliders.
Other lighter choice menu highlights include a summer berry salad, Italian ‘bistecca’ Panini sandwich and a Northwoods walleye classic sandwich.
Entree selections are divided between “By Air” (chicken dishes), “By Land” (beef, lamb and portabella) and “By Sea” (walleye, salmon and a fennel-encrusted grouper).
If you want a real taste of Italy, though, head straight to the “Specialita Della Casa” section, which features decadent pastas and pizzas, including a chicken alla vodka lasagna with vodka sauce, capicola ham, spinach, tomatoes, provolone and mozzarella. For pizzas, try the Salute white deluxe, with parmesan cream sauce, wild mushrooms, pancetta, chicken and mozzarella.
Salute is open with their new menu Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and weekends from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Party with a Thirsty Belgian
One of my favorite low-key places to chill after work is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.
Thirsty Belgian is celebrating Belgian-style (or I assume they are; I have no idea how the Belgians celebrate) with beer specials, a tap takeover and new menu items.
First, be sure to order a bottle of the perfect summer beer, Schofferhofer Grapefruit wheat, for just $3 a bottle all month. To keep on the summertime-is-for-freshness theme, try a new appetizer — the paleo platter — which is filled with fresh veggies, berries, olives, meats and nuts.
And finally, be sure to do both of those things tomorrow, Friday, July 17, when the Thirsty Belgian will be celebrating its anniversary and Belgian independence with a tap takeover. At 5 p.m., they’ll tap kegs of Prearis Quadrupel, Prearis Saison and B.O.M. Wild and Funky.
Check it all out tomorrow or sometime this month at Thirsty Belgian, 2650 S. Broadway Suite 600.