2011 Best New Restaurant: Salt of the Earth

The mark of a great new restaurant is that it engages you on many different levels, and that’s exactly what has made Salt of the Earth a hands-down success since it opened in September.

back to Best Restaurants 2011

Salt of the Earth, Best New Restaurant 2011

Communal seating makes up the majority of the downstairs dining area at Salt of the Earth, Garfield.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

 

The industrial-chic space with a high-ceiling grabs your attention by offering an immediate view of the open stainless-steel kitchen—and even a cursory glance reveals that the intensely focused crew in black T-shirts emblazoned with NaCl (the symbol for sodium chloride) are not just slinging hash.

Start to examine the chalkboard menu on the wall that’s divided into sections called Starters, Mains and End, and you’ll be drawn in on another level: figuring out what to order. Sousa wants to play with our expectations, and it shows. A venison tartare is served with flavors of blood orange, white chocolate and Douglas fir. A decadently creamy chestnut soup is enhanced with argan oil and pumpernickel. Arctic char is paired with couscous, pomegranate, coconut and sharp-white cheddar.

Part of the buzz here comes from the excitement of diners—even servers—as complex dishes are explained or first bites are taken. There’s also the sense of having a front-seat view of the city’s increasingly progressive dining scene. Yet for all the foodie intrigue, this is a casual place. The seating is communal at the three long, wooden tables or at the eight-seat kitchen bar. More seating can be found in the separate, quieter upstairs balcony—the only area able to be reserved.

You won’t find wine snobbery or fine-dining flourishes. What you will find is Sousa’s distinctive vision for a dining experience that brings something new and entirely fresh to Pittsburgh—and we couldn’t be happier.
 


Salt of the Earth, chef/owner Kevin Sousa; 5523 Penn Ave., Garfield. Info: 412/441-7258, saltpgh.com.


Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

The towns, neighborhoods, boroughs, main streets and small corners of western Pennsylvania that we call home -- and what we love about them.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Once again, our editors scour the city for 57 FRESH TAKES on our favorite things about Pittsburgh, including place to "get the boot," witness a nerd fantasy come to life, and snap a selfie with a furry.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Burger joints. Bar bands. Radio hosts. Here's the most popular stuff in town.
Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

A long-awaited update to Pennsylvania's beer-selling law prompted change to the region's brewpub scene.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Things You Might Not Know About Beautiful Heinz Chapel

Things You Might Not Know About Beautiful Heinz Chapel

From the mind-boggling number of pieces of stained glass to its amazing pipe organ, a new video reveals that this chapel is much more than just a popular wedding spot.
The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

Most people simply would catch their breath — but not this legendary Steelers linebacker.
Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

The Pittsburgh-area native and her teammates are headed to Heinz Field next month.
12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

The images are not necessarily iconic, but they're just as revealing of the city's spirit.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

The towns, neighborhoods, boroughs, main streets and small corners of western Pennsylvania that we call home -- and what we love about them.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Once again, our editors scour the city for 57 FRESH TAKES on our favorite things about Pittsburgh, including place to "get the boot," witness a nerd fantasy come to life, and snap a selfie with a furry.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Burger joints. Bar bands. Radio hosts. Here's the most popular stuff in town.
Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

A long-awaited update to Pennsylvania's beer-selling law prompted change to the region's brewpub scene.
PittGirl: A Feminist with Killer Shoes, Hear Her Rawr

PittGirl: A Feminist with Killer Shoes, Hear Her Rawr

PittGirl takes a history lesson in feminism, prompted by her daughter's love of dinosaurs.
Chic Summer Fashion: Get Ready for the Haute Wave

Chic Summer Fashion: Get Ready for the Haute Wave

These summertime looks sourced from Lawrenceville shops will keep you feeling cool and stylish.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module