Salare claims to pay homage to several cuisines, including African / Southern / Caribbean. I found the menu (changes seasonally) to be somewhat pretentious and many of the ingredients listed were illusive and unfamiliar. The attempt at fusion landed flat and could more accurately be described as confusion. While reading the menu, I spent time googling things trying to figure out what they were. There was nothing on the menu that even remotely reminded me of Africa, the American South or the Caribbean. However, since my visit there in the Summer of 2017, the menu has changed and there are more obvious winks towards those areas.
The portion size for the two pasta dishes that we ordered was small, although the waiter encouraged sharing. They were plated on a salad plate. I would have expected them to be twice that size. They were actually quite good, but the meager portions made it difficult to really dig into them for fear of everyone not getting enough.
The grilled octopus that I ordered was dry, chewy, and borderline inedible. The accompanying puttanesca sauce was very tasty and the broccolini had a nice crunch and acidic note. Octopus misstep aside, the dish didn’t come together and the flavors seemed sort of random.
We also had a glazed carrot side dish that was DELICIOUS – sweet, savory, and herbaceous. I’m not a dessert person, but my friends loved the rhubarb something or other that they had.
In summary, we all agreed that my octopus dish was the dud of the bunch. The vast majority of the online reviews are very positive. And, the owner / chef, Edouardo Jordan, just opened a second restaurant (JuneBaby). So, obviously, he’s doing quite well. Although I didn't enjoy the experience, I'd give it another shot as I really wanted to love this place.