FOOD: Where I Learned to Love Tapas – Salt & Fat [NYC]

salt and fat

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I never quite understood the concept of tapas. Why would you want to pay almost the full price of a meal for a small plate of food? When is small portions ever a good thing?! Well, I now love tapas, and it only took navigating the 7 train to find that out.

In business since March 2011, Salt and Fat has carved out a home for itself in a quiet Sunnyside neighborhood. The farm-to-table spot showcases Asian influences throughout it’s menu, but considers itself “New American cuisine.” The name of the restaurant comes from the simple concept that salt and fat are the foundation for delicious food.

Instead of the usual complimentary bread and butter before your meal,  Salt and Fat serves up a brown paper bag of warm popcorn popped in bacon fat. The menu features around 17 plates meant for sharing, ranging from $8 to $23. My first thought was – will there be enough food? I’m hungry and want to eat this all! But in fact, despite my skepticism of this small plates scheme, and even in a group of 6 people, there was plenty to go around and I didn’t stay hungry long.

We shared the Fuji Apple Salad with baby arugula, speck, candied walnuts, goat cheese, lemon honey vinaigrette ($10), which was good but had a distinct spice to it; Lobster with english pea puree, guanciale, heirloom tomatoes, parmaesan ($13), tasty and a great price considering the hearty lobster piece you get with each portion; Yellowtail tartare with yuzu gel, scallions, cassava chips ($14) that was crunchy and mildly spicy, Prince Edward Island Mussels with chorizo, potatoes, corn, lobster broth ($9), which was such a generous portion of mussels and the chorizo had a satisfying hot, spicy bite to it; BLT buns with braised bacorn, spicy mayo, and bao bun ($9), which was creamy and tasty; Roasted Berkshire Pork Belly with Fuji apple kimchi, yuzu creme fraiche ($12), with hands-down the best creme fraiche I’ve ever had!; Fried Chicken with pickled daikon and herb ranch ($15), with the most tender and juicy chicken ever!; Long Island Duck breast with butter lychee, grilled frisee, sweet & sour jus ($23), which hit a unique, delicious note with the combination of the sweet lychee and the duck; and finally, my favorite dinner dish, the Korean BBQ wraps with marinated hanger steak, pickled daikon and miso ($8), another great price for the generous portions, quality of the meat, and pure deliciousness (if I could get a plate of these all to myself, I would!).

And don’t forget to save room for dessert! My favorite dish on the entire menu had to be the Rice Krispies with Marshmallow Ice Cream ($6). This dish alone is worth schlepping on the 7 train for. Who knew something so simple could be made to taste so exquisite and delicious!?

So, have I made you hungry yet? Waste no time and get out to Salt and Fat for your next group dinner. The quality of the ingredients, the deliciousness of unique ingredient pairings, and the not-so-small portions at reasonable prices will have you feeling full and happy (and loving tapas).

Salt & Fat
41-16 Queens Blvd
Sunnyside, Queens