Salty Sow in Paradise Valley blends the atmosphere of a high-end gastropub with the refinement and quality of a fine-dining establishment.
Salty Sow brings a unique edge to the dining scene in the area within Paradise Village Parkway. They capitalize on current dining trends like farm-to-table and handcrafted cocktails, but make sure to do it in a way that establishes trends rather than follows them.
The vibe at Salty Sow is modern and casual but there’s a touch of class and elegance that sets it apart from most other places. The open kitchen in the rear of the restaurant gives a big-city feel and the large bar which sits en route to the pet-friendly patio adds to that feel.
All of the menus – cocktail, happy hour, and dinner – are wide-ranging but one thing you will be hard-pressed to find at Salty Sow is a bland item. The cocktails have a strong kick and even the frozen drinks like the Little Larry, a frozen margarita topped with Grand Marnier; and the Blanche Royale, a frozen blood orange margarita topped with Chambord, have fresh flavors you normally wouldn’t expect from frozen cocktails. If you’re more into beer or wine, Salty Sow has a worthy cross-section of local craft beers and a varied selection of almost-exclusively domestic wines.
In the starters and shared plates, the Duck Fat Fries are hands-down one of the best appetizers you will find. They are reason enough to go check out Salty Sow. The 110-minute egg always opens up beautifully to give an additional richness to the dish. Then, dipping the fries into the cold bearnaise sauce will make you never want to ruin your fries with ketchup again. The Truffled Deviled Eggs are creamy and the specks of Salty Sow bacon add both texture and flavor to the dish. Finally, the Fried Green Tomatoes with housemade guacamole are fried perfectly and taste like they were picked from the garden earlier in the day.
If you’re lucky enough to be at Salty Sow for Happy Hour, you’ll find all three of the appetizers mentioned on the menu. You’ll also find the Honey Rosemary Dipped Fried Chicken that is served with a housemade buttermilk biscuit. It’s always seemed like boneless fried chicken is missing something compared to its bone-in brethren but here, that isn’t the case. The accompanying biscuit was good enough to make the resident southern belle at the table swoon with excitement. Happy hour is seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
For your entree, you can choose from a selection of House Specialties, Burgers and Sandwiches and also daily chef’s specials. If Harold’s Southern Style Hot Chicken Sandwich is available that day – and you can handle a significant amount of heat – it is an excellent choice. Named for award-winning Executive Chef and partner Harold Marmulstein, the sandwich is an explosion of flavor and spice and is simultaneously hard to put down while requiring multiple breaks. Since you’re at a place called Salty Sow, you know the Pork Belly entree is going to be good. You get a generous portion of tender pork with white corn cheese grits and a bacon and arugula salad. If after multiple frozen cocktails and appetizers you want to be a bit healthier for your main course, the Rainbow Trout Almondine is light and flaky. It’s served with a generous portion of quinoa with lentils and spinach. The toasted almond brown butter poured lightly over the fish gives just a touch of sweetness. For fans of slow-cooked beef, the shoulder served with a fried egg and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes can be cut with a spoon and that tells you all you need to know.
The dessert menu lives up to the bold precedent set up to this point. Items like the flourless chocolate cake and butterscotch budino just burst with richness and decadence. You may need to take home a few leftovers, but you’ll be thankful for the opportunity to relive the experience.
Salty Sow is open for dinner seven days a week starting at 4 p.m. For more information, visit saltysow.com.