Monday, March 31, 2014

The Hawthornes Try Out A New Restaurant - The Saltbox Café On Colington Road.

 Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne are checking out a new restaurant  -
The Saltbox Café on Colington Road.
The Saltbox premiered on Valentine's Day,
a good omen in and of itself.
Everyday when we drove out from Colington Harbour,
we were happy to see a good-sized lunch crowd there.
So, two weeks later, Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne,
along with Titania and Mr. Titania met at the Saltbox for lunch.

First, a few words about this location.
This is the site of the original Colington Cafe,
when it first opened 25(?) years ago.
Since Colington Cafe moved out to its present location,
still on Colington Road,
this building has housed numerous restaurants,
more than I can count or name.

The previous restaurants, Colington Cafe being the exception,
 have been mostly dives,
with a focus on the bar and sports crowds.
How many wide screen TVs can you fit in under 1000 square feet?
Thankfully, the TVs are out
and the decor is relaxed, comfortable, and friendly.
Four booths surround the outside next to the windows,
five tables are inside,
and there's a bar with stools.
Fortunately, the Saltbox Café is not catering
to the bar and sports crowds.
They're focusing on darn good food,
with a changing menu according to availability and seasonality.

Saltbox Café serves an 8 o'clock breakfast
 Wednesday through Saturday,
 lunch and dinner
Monday through Saturday,
and brunch from 8-2 on Sundays.
No restaurant here yet has served breakfast,
so I'm quite happy to see the Saltbox going in this direction.

I have a good feeling about this place.

The food is GOOD.
And I'm looking forward to coming back.

Actually, Mr. Hawthorne suggested
going to the Sunday brunch tomorrow.

The Saltbox is serving a needed niche in Colington.
We want a quality restaurant nearby.
It's so very convenient to us in the Harbour
and it's well worth the short ride down Colington Road
for anybody on the beach.

The chefs/owners are
Team Amanda Wolf and Randolph Sprinkle,
formerly of Bambino's
(formerly Nicoletta's)
in Corolla.

Chefs Wolf and Sprinkle,
I think you are taking this venture
in a most needed direction.
I applaud you and wish you much success.

 Of course, I had to stop to take a picture
 of this bumper sticker in their parking lot.

 Mr. Hawthorne started out with a delicately balanced
sweet and creamy tomato soup
 with fresh basil and Parmesan shavings.

 Light, bright, and refreshing,
this is something I will duplicate with delight!

 I chose the heartier wild mushroom soup du jour.
It was velvety and earthy, 
accented with a complementing drizzle of truffle oil.

I have mushroom parts in my freezer,
just waiting to be enjoyed.
I'll be making this, too.
Will let you know.

 Titania had a crabcake with remoulade sauce,
 slaw, and crisp fries.
I had one bite and it was all crab meat.
I know there has to be some filler in there,
but it wasn't in the bite I had -
simply sweet crab flavor.

 Mr. Titania had the Oyster Po-Boy
with a spiced chipotle/mayo sauce,
also accompanied by slaw and fries.
Mr. Titania was sitting directly across from me
and never turned around once to look elsewhere
so I couldn't spear an oyster with my fork
while he wasn't watching.
But I was ready to.
Delicately battered and lightly fried.
I could see that much.
I want these oysters.
I will order these next time.
As for the prices here,
I consider them reasonable.
This oyster platter was $10.00
and I'm counting seven oysters up there.

 Mr. Hawthorne ordered the breaded flounder.
We had to ask if it was baked or fried.
It turned out to be perfectly fried with no oily taste
and with a very light crust surrounding the fish.
Oh, and the coleslaw has coriander in it - nice touch -
and the fries are thin and crisp.

 I had the Classic Cuban  -
 roasted pork, ham, fontina cheese,
spiced chipotle mayo, and pickles,
with a slice of tomato and chips,
pressed together between some very nice bread
and grilled.

Buen Provecho!

Our service was flawless.

Nice colors.
Calming...  and happy.
Specials on the blackboard menu in back.

Car still there.

We'll be back.
It's well-prepared,
thoughtfully-made food.
Lovingly produced and presented.

Chef Sprinkle came out to our table
and talked to us.
I considered that beyond the call of duty,
but excellently executed.

Bottom line:
Any place that inspires me to go home
and try to recreate a dish-
actually not one, but two dishes -
is a winner in my book.
The wild mushroom bisque
and the tomato soup were the big hits today.

Thank you, Saltbox Café,
for a wonderful meal.
I look forward to many more!

Hold on...
There's another post coming up.
Our brunch!

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