As soon as we sat down, we were greeted warmly at the gastropub. Kevin Bird, Salty Sow’s general manager anticipates our needs and soon he’s setting down drinks before we even realize we need them.
He introduces us to The Wallow, a Four Peak’s drenched twist on Salty Sow’s house-made blood orange frozen margarita called The Blanche. With the touch of Four Peak’s Sunbru on top of the margarita, It’s just the right amount of bitter, sweet, and fruity with a hint of warm nutty notes. Like, the only way to make this drink better is if you could get a pool and an inflatable unicorn float to go with it.
It paired well with our starter course, a plate of smoky deviled eggs (a southern delight if there ever was one) topped with bits of bacon and a charcuterie board with assorted cheeses, made-in-house pâté, fresh smoked white fish with a bit of dill-infused Crème fraîche, toasted bread, pickled onions, and prosciutto.
If you’re not a fan of white fish, please get on our level. White fish is the best topping for a bagel (Trust in us.) and it was the best part of the charcuterie board. Did we get a few bones? Okay, yes. But that’s kind of part of the white fish charm.
The second course was a brussels sprouts caesar salad, a hearty mix of romaine lettuce, candied almonds, golden raisins, dried cranberries, and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano and crispy brussels sprouts.
This salad was crunchy, sweet, and hearty. It wasn’t drenched in dressing and the accouterment of nuts and berries didn’t fall to the bottom but were evenly mixed throughout the salad so every bite gave you a full spectrum of flavor. We had the half size portion which was perfect to share with someone before a meal and probably could have made a great lunch or dinner for one person.
Our third course was good ol’ fashioned home-style cooking with a decadent twist: Crisp chicken thighs and the slow-cooked beef shoulder.
The chicken thighs were a nice sized portion, each plate held two all-natural chicken thighs with crispy skin and fried smashed potatoes drenched in house-made neck bone gravy. If the phrase ‘neck bone gravy’ scares you, then just think of it as a traditional rich brown gravy and leave the neck bone out of it, but trust us, you won’t be sad you tried it. The chicken was succulent and the potatoes with gravy added a depth of salty and addictive flavor to the chicken that kept us going back for more. We like a little bit of lightness with our dinner, so when we go back, we might order a half salad with the crispy chicken just so we can feel a little better about all potatoes we ate.
Luckily, the slow-roasted beef shoulder came with a bevy of glazed root vegetables and… more potatoes. Which we ate. Gladly. Did you know we will eat potatoes any which way you offer them? And here, we were happy to have potatoes two ways: mashed and glazed. Served in the pan, the mashed potatoes were salty and soaked in jus from the slow-roasted beef shoulder and yolk from the fried egg on top that we split open before digging into the dish.
Creamy yolk makes everything better and was a nice addition to the beef shoulder which was tender (and boneless!) thanks to Chef Partner Harold Marlmulstein and Executive Chef Brady Cohen.
For dessert, we were served a chocolate truffle cake drizzled with raspberry sauce and topped with house-made sweet whipped cream. It was everything. A cake so rich can definitely be shared, though the portion is tiny, the cake had heft. The plate was heavy. It was a joy to eat, and paired well with prosecco, but even we didn’t finish an entire piece (so we took it home and ate it for breakfast!).
Overall, The Salty Sow offered elevated rustic cooking that wasn’t too fussy, but presented in a fun, whimsical way and best of all, felt like home, except it tasted way better.
We did receive this meal gratis, but we give our true opinions. We’re called the bitches for a reason. Honest to blog.
The Salty Sow is open 4-10pm Monday through Saturday and 4-9pm Sunday.
Happy hour everyday 4-6:30pm
4801 E. Cactus Road
Phoenix, AZ 85254