Just west of Blackbird on Randolph St. is Salero, which is just shy of being six months old. Everything about this restaurant is both eye-catching and intriguing from the moment you pass by on the street to when you enter its doors. Even the name is catchy – Salero means ‘salt shaker,’ a reference to wit and charm.
I stumbled across this newly-opened Spanish restaurant recently for drinks and I liked it immediately. The spacious bar with a high beam ceiling and dangling lights makes the entrance quite inviting. The dining room sits in the back, with similar decor, seating around 45, with soft white-bricked walls.
I was impressed by the setting, intrigued by the menu and sitting at the bar and watching the bartenders prepare cocktails was mesmerizing. I typically steer toward wine, but Salero’s cocktail menu grabs you at first glance. There are many cocktails listed to get you started, they are quite playful and not your standard, but feel free to get creative as the bartenders are not novices.
I enjoyed their wine list and I also tried the red sangria, which was delicious. Made fresh, it arrives in a large wine glass with floating fruit and an ice cube made out of orange juice.
We also ordered a few pintxos to accompany the cocktails, the menu is quite appeasing. All are under $5 and are very flavorful. One that stood out was a grilled baguette, rubbed with tomato and garlic topped with serrano ham, which adds the right amount of spice.
Since I was already committed to Avec for dinner, I only nibbled on pintxos and tasted a few cocktails; however, I am incredibly intrigued by their menu. I say intrigued, because Salero is Spanish, though it is not tapas style, which makes it unique to Chicago.
I will definitely return to Salero for dinner and will keep it in mind for future drinks on restaurant row from a place that presents itself in style with a bit of wit and charm.
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