on October 20, 2009
Although I usually research and select the restaurants on vacation, hubby insisted on this one and said he had read several great reviews. After a week of seafood he longed for a juicy steak. "Salacia" (named after Neptune's wife) is located above Catch 31 in the Hilton Hotel located near the Neptune Statue on 31st and is touted for their world class selection of bovine delights. You enter though a separate door of the Hilton but actually have to transverse thru the interior of "Catch 31" ( a decidedly more casual restaurant) to enter Salacia. Reservations are recommended (especially if you want to eat on the lovely terrace that overlooks the sea). After much ado about our LACK of a reservation we were seated indors in the beautifully and elegantly appointed dining room. The interior is dark...very dark...lit romantically and elegantly but making it quite difficult to read the menu. All items ordered a la carte and the menu is limited and a little expensive but the setting and service seem to be designed to compensate for the hefty price tag. Our server aproached us with a selection of 2 bottled waters being offered that evening. We declined and opted for tap water. We perused the menu by taking turns squinting and holding it up to the table light. Maybe a small flashlight would have been in order?(I'm serious). After much debate we made our selections and started a meal with an interesting bread basket. Glenn, indulging his latest passion, wanted to sample the "She-Crab Soup". This is a traditional Southern dish so named because the eggs of the she crab are said to make the soup tastier. Heclaimed it tied for second place in his survey. My breathtakingly fresh oysters on the half-shell arrived with a trio of sauces that gave each oyster a different taste. followed by a delicate amusee-buchet(small mouthful) of Mediterranean Salad that our server announced was a compliment from the chef. I honestly dont know what was in it- it was very tiny. Glenn ordered a Caesar Salad which we split. It may have been the best Caesar Salad I have had this year. It came with shards of crisp Parmesan cracker that gave the dish an interesting look.and texture.I could not resist the 1 1/2lb.lobster tail ($40) and after much discussion Glenn took the Kobe beef($60) that we were told was the best beef in the world. For our a la carte selections we went with steamed vegetables which were really quite good. The by the glass wine selections were out of the ordinary but pricey. The wine cellar is located right in the restaurant which I guess is supposed to be a big deal. Service was frequent if not somewhat overdone. (Glenn insisted that he saw one server take our small plates, walk it to the kitchen then turn around and return with the same plates.) There was a lot of shifting of china and exchanging of silverware- not quite sure the reason but I'm sure Emily Post would know. The meal was quite good...certainly enjoyable but I'm not sure that the $180 (before tip) check for 2 matched the food and service. The kobe beef was NOT a good recommendation...it appeared flat, charred,looking on the outside like burnt shoe leather. It had a LOT of fat. He might have been better off sticking with the Queen Filet (his first choice). I was very happy with my lobster tail-it was huge and every bite was delicious. We would probably go here again because it IS romantic but would NOT order the Kobe beef!
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