Gourmet Comfort Food
A wonderful concept in dining brings comfort food with a gourmet twist to the Valley. Chef and partner, Harold Marmulstein, along with Guy and Larry Restaurants LLC, have put together this winning combination. Chef Harold has a great deal to offer. He has been around food all his life starting at his father’s wholesale and retail bakery in upstate New York. After graduating from high school, he went to the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. He used his culinary talent at a number of popular establishments on the east coast as well as running his own restaurant, Dick & Harry’s, with his brother for 12 years. He was the head chef for Guy & Larry at the Roaring Fork before they decided to combine talents and open the first Salty Sow in Austin, Texas, in May 2010. The Phoenix location opened in March 2013. With over 30 years of experience, Chef Harold’s incredible passion keeps him busy as he oversees the kitchen at both locations and creates unique recipes for the Special Board each evening.
“I’m proud of what we do. We serve a great product and provide great service at a great value,” explains Chef Harold.
An American Gastropub Experience
I immediately liked the décor when I entered the restaurant. It has a casual, upscale atmosphere with a huge bar, wooden tables and booths, an extra long table that has an expansive view of the kitchen and a generous size patio. Combined, the seating is 297. There are two TV’s located in the bar area and two out on the patio which are perfect to catch the game highlights. I found my visit to be a unique journey into different styles of cooking. Many brought me back to childhood memories where meals were prepared over a period of time. My mom would simmer her pasta sauce on the stove for hours. The spare ribs she’d used to flavor the sauce would be so tender they’d fall off the bone. She’d also make deviled eggs and pot roast with potatoes. Who has time to cook that way these days, Chef Harold does! He does every day and we get to enjoy his mouth-watering dishes.
For starters, there’s the Truffle Deviled Eggs made with truffle oil and sprinkled with bacon bits. They’re creamy and tasty. The Duck Fat Fries are incredible, not greasy just crispy and delicious. Chef Harold’s attention to detail makes these fries outstanding. First, they’re blanched in hot water for 3 ½ to 4 ½ minutes. Then they’re fried at 275 degrees for two minutes in duck fat. And, just before serving, they are cooked at 350 degrees for another minute or two. Served with a 110-minute egg and a cold béarnaise dipping sauce, you’ll definitely not be able to eat just one. I loved, loved, loved them. I equally enjoyed the Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad and the Brussels Sprout Leaves vegetable dish. Now, most people shrug their nose at Brussels sprouts. Not normally a fan myself, I naturally had to try them for the article, but to finish them because they are so darn good is an enormous compliment.
I’m dreaming about these flavorful dishes, along with the Pork Belly entrée that is so tender and so good, you’ll be dreaming about them, too. Also on the menu is an Asiago-Crusted Halibut; Hanger Steak; Slow-Cooked Beef Shoulder; Rotisserie Roasted Pork; Rainbow Trout Almondine; and Breaded Chicken Thighs. Plus, there are three other salads – a Farm Salad, Roasted Organic Beets and a PV Salad. If you are in the mood for a burger you can choose from an 8 oz. cheeseburger, lamb burger and a French dip rare that people rave about. The homemade desserts are definitely worth saving room for with choices of a Banana Foster Beignets, Butterscotch Budino with salted caramel and sweet cream fraiche; Crème Brulee with vanilla bean and fresh berries; and a Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake.
Signature Craft Cocktails
A wonderful offering of Signature Sips are described on the menu. I sampled the featured Mini Cocktail Sampler Board which featured the Cactus Cooler, the Margareta Cooler, the Peachy Irishman and the Blanche. They were all very good. A wide selection of local beers and wines are also available. Farm-to-table fresh everyday and nothing frozen, a lot of prep time is required to make these delicious recipes each day. So, whether you stop for happy hour with friends or plan to enjoy the culinary journey of slow cooking, you’ll definitely see why the Salty Sow has made their mark in the neighborhood.