If there’s one thing that appears at every dinner table, it’s salt. But this week, Caviar & Bananas is paying homage to this ancient mineral by taking dinner in a new direction.
“When it comes to salt, it’s just like everybody knows: salt is truly the seasoning of all foods,” says Executive Chef Todd Mazurek.
Several months ago, Caviar & Bananas installed a salt bar that they can only describe as badass, complete with 16 artisanal salts designed to enhance all of your favorite flavors.
“People think it’s just salt, but salts can have such a distinctive flavor of their own,” Mazurek says. “I love me some salt, just to be able to do a dinner and show people certain variations, certain textures, and the grains. … There’s more than just iodized and kosher.”
Now, Caviar & Bananas is launching the second “Pass the Salt” dinner, a hands-on meal where guests are invited to touch, taste, and experience exotic finishing salts specially chosen by Executive Chef Mazurek. Writer Sarah Graham will lead guests through a discussion on the art of choosing and using salt.
The dinner will begin with a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails, all paired with the first round of artisanal salts. The Foie Gras “C,B&J” — paired with the Hawaiian Red Salt — will make an appearance. It’s a twist on the all-time classic peanut butter and jelly but with foie gras mousse, cashew butter, and apricot jelly on toasted brioche. The salmon trio in puff pastry will be finished with Persian Blue Salt, while the mini local beet tartlet will be paired with Cypress Smoked Salt, and the housemade mini pretzel nugget and Palmetto Amber cheese mustard will be served with the Murray River Pink Salt.
After cocktails, Graham will host a small discussion over buttered white bread squares, cucumber moons, juicy cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese crostini.
Dinner includes a variety of family-style entrées and sides, including the seared flank steak served on a Himalayan salt block with local blackberry and preserved meyer lemon gastrique. Chef Mazurek will also be cooking up fried local potatoes, smashed and salt-baked, with green garlic and chives. Stewed heirloom tomatoes bring a little bit of Southern to the menu with fresh corn and local okra. Ambrose Farm’s Kentucky Wonder green beans will be served with Benton Farm’s country ham, finished with a Guava Wood Smoked Salt. Finally, for dessert, guests will enjoy a lime margarita with South Carolina peach compote and a salted tequila reduction, served with Balie Coconut Lime Salt.