The question “Hey, who wants to go to a steakhouse?” is not one frequently heard among the TikTok set. There’s something decidedly retro about a steakhouse … unless you’re talking about Salt & Char.
At Salt & Char, there are plenty of meat and potatoes, but the sourcing is so impeccable, the adherence to technique so classic-French-filtered-through-a-farmy-American-lens, and the preparation, ingredients and plating so post-mod, one would be excused for forgetting they’re dining at a steak emporium.
Also, while diners could easily drop multiple Benjamins for a multi-course dinner with wine, many opt for rotating weekly specials, or craft beer on draft and an impeccably made burger at the bar.
Refined, but relaxed sophistication. Think country club casual, with a more urbane flair.
The type of place where the seating in the beautifully appointed 170-seat dining room is so comfortable you’ll have to occasionally remind yourself to maintain decent posture. For an especially luxurious experience, grab drinks, dinner or both when weather permits on the stately veranda. You’ll have a perfect view of Broadway, and the perfect perch for people-watching.
There’s a reason Wine Spectator has given Salt & Char multiple accolades: the wine list is the best in town.
There are reasonably priced, but brilliant wines by the glass (the Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon at $16, and the Chateau Milon Saint Emilion, from Bordeaux at $13 are steals), and they have an encyclopedia of options by the bottle, ranging from reasonable to big spend, with an emphasis on the most well-respected and lauded terroirs and brands from France, California, and increasingly, Oregon.
In addition to wine, there are imaginative cocktails (I’ll take the Fizzy Lifting with vodka, pomegranate, lemon, agave and Prosecco please) and fantastic, primarily New York State craft brews on tap (Chatham Brewery, LIC Beer Project, Southern Tier, among many others).
If you’re dining with a group, grab the Broadway Tower (Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, seasonal oyster, salmon tartare, crab salad) to start. And definitely snag the thick-cut candied maple glazed bacon.
For the entree, resist the urge to veer off-track. The Cavatelli Bolognese is delicious, but the Black Angus Filet Mignon is transformative. You simply can’t make steak like this at home, and if you can, you can come over to my house any day. The true meat fanatics will love the dry-aged Kansas City Strip, T-bone and porterhouse, and of course there’s Bobby Flay’s fave: the American Wagyu Cap.
The best sides are also the classics: roasted Brussels sprouts, pommes frites, spinach au gratin.
Follow Salt & Char on social media. Not only will you be perennially dining on the gorgeous food porn the kitchen cranks out, you’ll be able to stay up to date on their frequent specials (date night, burger night, etc.) and the epic wine dinners they host with visiting producers.
Kathleen Willcox lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and twins. She writes about the culture and politics of food and wine as well as travel and lifestyle; her work regularly appears in Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily and Edible Capital District.