I turned right onto Cole off of Fitzhugh, checked my phone for directions and realized I had already passed the restaurant. After looping back around, we figured Salum had to be in the commercial lot right at the corner. Salum maintained a low-key profile, but beauty isn’t always evident from the outside.
The consistent theme of my experience at Salum was effortless excellence. Upon entering, we were greeted by a smiling gentleman in jeans who took us to our table. The dining room is an intimate size with a bar and an open kitchen. Billowing light fixtures hang from the ceiling, shining lite on a tasteful and relaxed color scheme. Tables are set in a way that tells you, “You’re here to eat great food,” but the smiling staff let you know not to take it all too seriously. There is a definite energy, but a calming presence that assures you that you’re going to be taken care of.
My Black Manhattan used Amaro Averna in place of vermouth, giving it the black color and a unique, delicious twist in flavor. I ALWAYS prefer a Manhattan to an Old Fashioned, but I tasted the Smooth Old Fashioned as well. I’m quite sure it was the best I’ve ever had. Warm bread followed drinks, a brief hint to how good the food was going to be.
For an appetizer, we enjoyed the Texas Goat Cheese with roasted elephant garlic and olive oil. Each ingredient contributed its own distinct flavor. It was served with the goat cheese and garlic divided, allowing you to play around with combinations on top of idyllic sliced baguette. I quickly learned to load on the delicate-in-taste elephant garlic. The dish managed to deliver intense flavor while still being warm, comfortable, and ultimately scrumptious.
For his entree, my friend ordered the Home Made Oxtail Tortellini with roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, brown butter, and tartufella. As with everything that arrived at the table that night, this dish was nice on the eyes and exquisitely, but also inviting. Sturdy pasta enveloped juicy and flavorful oxtail. Each bite was truly a treat, honoring the Italian roots of the dish but making it clear that it wasn’t just any tortellini.
I had the pleasure of ordering and enjoying every bite of the Australian Rack of Lamb with a dijon truffle crust and mushroom bread pudding. 3 bones protruding from each cut acted like a cage that would open to brilliantly season, perfectly medium-rare meat. I struggled to decide whether or not to slide each cut through the sauce. On one hand, it made an excellent partner to the meat. On the other, it was difficult to do anything to take away from the exquisite flavor of the lamb itself.
Abraham Salum has created a special restaurant in Salum. While enjoying my entree, the chef came to the table and asked about the meal. I realized that he was the same gentleman in blue jeans that greeted us at the door. So, Abraham and his staff are thoughtful and caring to patrons from the second they walk in the door to the moment they leave. You can expect an energetic atmosphere and staff. You can expect excellent ingredients that are given excellent treatment. You can expect the need to close your eyes in an attempt to truly enjoy incredible flavor. And you can expect to be comfortable, yet constantly impressed. While Salum may not be doing anything revolutionary, the restaurant certainly offers a level of cuisine that isn’t easy to find in Dallas (especially at that price point). From my brief interactions with Chef Abraham, I wouldn’t think he’s losing any sleep over the fact that Salum isn’t in D Magazine’s Top 50… but it absolutely should be!