Salt Kitchen Review, Part II (Ipswich, MA)

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*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

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OK, so I guess we really like this place. Check out my first review here.

We went back to Salt Kitchen and Rum Bar in Ipswich recently for dinner with close friends.

I almost always have my camera with me these days, so I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures. We tried a ton of different dishes. Their food is totally my style: Homey but inspired.

The first one (the pork belly/fried egg job, I’ll get to it in a sec), made such an impression on me that I want to learn how to make it at home.

Not that I need to make a habit of eating deep fried poached eggs, mind you.

If we keep this up, owner Dave Gillis is gonna have to start offering discounted gym memberships at the door. They do food and cocktails right.

His wife was kind enough to come over and chat for a little bit. Such super nice peeps.

What did we eat?

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Apple Cider Pork Belly

From the menu
“Apple cider pork belly, deep-fried poached egg, burrata, green tomato, and poblano salsa verde”

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What did we think?
Their take on bacon and eggs. AMAZING. Melt-in-your-mouth pork belly w/hints of apple. Salsa and green tomato business were good piquant accents. But the egg: We need to talk about the egg. This thing was delicately poached, then rolled in what I’m guessing was panko, then fried to a perfect, not-at-all-greasy crisp. They somehow managed (MAGIC) to keep the yolk runny. I definitely want to learn how to do this. This is what it looked like inside. God help me, I would eat these every day.

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Crabbies

From the menu
“English muffin, lump crab, “Old English” cheese”

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What did we think?
This is an old New England thing I’ve never heard of. Thin, crisp English muffin topped with succulent crab and sharp melted cheese. Utterly delicious. You’ve gotta admire a chef who has the balls to put an English Muffin on the menu. They totally pull it off. Could definitely see making these at home.

Crispy Pork Tacos

From the menu
“Pork belly, caramelized onion, chipotle crema, pico de gallo, salsa verde”

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What did we think?
More pork belly, which I’m a total sucker for. This time, lightly breaded and fried to a good crisp. Rich pork. Creamy sauce. Sweet onions. Fresh, green salsa. Great combo of flavors/textures.

Charcuterie Plate

From the menu
“Prosciutto di Parma, wild boar sausage, guanciale, Carozzi Caprino cheese, Humbolt Fog goat cheese”

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What did we think?
I’m a nibbler, which means I generally love any kind of sampler plate. Rustic presentation. Good tasting portions of each item. Grilled bread with a light char that gave it a hint of smoke. The guanciale (cured pork jowl) melted in your mouth. If you ever find this stuff, definitely try it. Really good. There was also some kind of delicious pate business going on in the center that (I think) was laced with Cognac. I’m a bad restaurant reviewer, I know. I was too busy eating that I completely forgot to ask.

Grilled Chicken Wings

From the menu
“Hickory smoked, buffalo style, bleu cheese”

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What did we think?
Deeply smoky. HOT, which is how we like our wings. Moist. Tender. They were so good on their own we skipped the sauce entirely.

Meatloaf

From the menu
“Foie gras, chunky merlot ketchup, mashed potato”
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What did we think?
Hello, meatloaf made with foie gras! Moist. Super generous portion. Tasty homemade ketchup laced with wine. Definitely stick-to-your-ribs.

Fish of the Day

From the menu
“Whole grilled branzino with roasted fennel and orange pickled red onion”

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What did we think?
Our friend picked his fish clean. ‘Nuff said. Only complaint was that the cheeks weren’t meatier. Small bone to pick (har har), I know.

Fried Chicken and Bacon Waffles

From the menu
“Chipotle rum maple syrup”

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What did we think?
Their take on the great southern chicken and waffles thing, minus the gunky white gravy you so often see with this dish. (My apologies to diehard Southerners. I can’t deal with creamy gravy.) This was a half chicken breast (boned) with the leg (with bone) attached. Moist meat. Perfectly fried. Boning the breast was a really nice touch and made it a lot easier to eat with a knife and fork. Waffle flecked with bits of crunchy bacon.

Dessert

We skipped it this time. Seriously, we would have popped.

Overall?

Rinse. Repeat. Really well done food and cocktails. They’re consistent, which is so important in a local place. Definitely our new favorite place on Boston’s North Shore. If you missed my first review of Salt, check that out here.

Salt Kitchen and Rum Bar

1 Market Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
(978) 356-0002

*If it needs to be said, I wasn’t compensated for this review in any way. I eat out a fair amount, and want to share some of my better meals (and a slice of where I live!) with you guys. Culinary inspiration comes from a lot of different places. Oh, and if you’re wondering why my reviews are almost always positive, I really only take the time to write about stuff I like. ;)

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

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