The Salt Cellar...
If you want fresh seafood you have to go underground.
What do you do when your daughter calls you up and says “Hey Dad ... I’m coming to Arizona”? Naturally you say “great ... when you coming”. My daughter, from Huntley Illinois (Chicago) was totally disappointed that she was ordered to go for training in Scottsdale Arizona in the middle of winter, with tons of snow and -2 degrees. That’s how tough she is. Becky has never been to Arizona let alone has a chance to visit with me. I only get to see her maybe twice a year when we drive back.
Quickly greeted by the front staff we sat in one of the dimly lit rooms. Very romantic. OK I’m with my daughter but I’d bring my wife here too. Our cocktail server Danielle was very cordial and answered questions about the wine. I asked for Moscato, was told sorry but we have a nice Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling which is very similar and Becky said she’d had it before and it’s good. Next we were greeted by Chuck (hey hey a Cubs fan) and gave us a little history and some pointers on ordering. Very cool. We asked what were some of the more popular dishes or house specialties. Might as well zero in since I can’t afford to keep coming back until I’ve gone through the entire menu.
Once her final plans took shape I asked her what she would like to eat when she’s here. She mentioned something like steak, shrimp, Italian, Mexican, Greek etc. I said honey ... we only have one night together and she said “I heard about this place called the Salt Cellar. They said it was really neat.” So, needlessly to say I booked a reservation there.
Coming from the East Valley, namely San Tan Valley, I don’t venture out too far for food. I prefer to cook myself most of the time. This was an opportunity to see what’s on the other side of town. I pick Becky up at the hotel and we drive to the restaurant, pull into the parking lot and she see’s the building and says “boy that’s a small restaurant”. I said yeah it’s very cozy. Little did she know it was 3 flights down underground. Surprise!
I deferred to Chuck again and he suggested I try the Yakimono Hawaiian Ahi tuna served with a medley of vegetables, lemon pecan rice, fresh pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce on the side. As much as I like wasabi, you don’t need it here. The tuna was Cajun blackened, served medium on the outside and rare in the inside. It just melted in your mouth. Why adulterate it? So far everything was (to quote a famous chef) “Money”.
Chuck said they had a dessert tray to show and I just looked at him like “Really?”
Thanks Richard and Cindy ... you did us proud!