By Kelli N. McClain, Contributor
Sallio Itallio, a new Uptown restaurant, has as its motto “where luxury comfort food meets classic Italian. And after a visit last month, I have to agree: It’s apt and amazing!
I walked around the corner from the parking garage (ask for a token for complimentary parking) behind the restaurant, and since it was the holiday season at the time I visited, all the lights were in the trees, and it was pretty festive start to the evening.
When you’re seated, you’ll notice that Sallio posts daily specials on its blackboard, along with the antipasti/appetizers and desserts.
But I started with a beverage, and my cocktail of choice was the Jealous Boyfriend, because it just sounded cheeky and weird. It looked like a green sea goddess and tasted sweet enough that you forgot there was alcohol in it (your mileage may vary on whether that’s a good or bad thing!)
Before appetizers came out, our darling waiter brought us a selection of sea salts infused with truffle, garlic, Meyer lemon and spicy pepper for our meal. OMG, this was new to me!
[Disclosure: Sallio Itallio provided complimentary food and drinks to The Dallas Diva. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
Soon the plates started hitting the table, and I was in awe. The lineup (below) included seafood fondue (shrimp, crawfish and crab with spinach and five cheeses, served with chips); crab cake-stuffed portobello mushrooms served with a whole-grain mustard aioli; and Brussels tempura. The fondue I would say was my least favorite only because it was the most filling — it tastes divine, and Sallio didn’t skimp on seafood, but I would recommend pairing it with a salad and call it a meal.
Meantime, the mushrooms were small and just enough for a bite, and that bite was full of flavor. But, hands down, the Brussels tempura won the appetizer race — I added a tiny bit of the lemon-infused sea salt, and soon my eyelids were fluttering and I was trying to figure out how to take some home and reheat it so it wasn’t soggy!
My main dish choice was the mushroom risotto with Merguez sausage. I was already in love with risotto, and adding this Spanish lamb sausage with a hint of spice kept me super-interested. My dining guest had chicken piccata (at top), and all I can say is that every bite had capers, which I loved — too many piccatas are stingy on the capers! (Meantime, caper-haters — ya been warned!)
You would think after all these hefty eats we were full at this point, and we definitely were, but there’s no way we’d skip dessert! We were brought a chocolate-infused salt to try for the desserts (!!!!). I picked crème brulee, and my partner had his favorite, tiramisu. We added a sprinkle of choco-salt to both.
The salt accentuated the sweetness of the brulee and gave the tiramisu a kick while cutting through its creaminess. What a revelation …
If you’re heading to Sallio Itallio, definitely make a reservation, and, again, don’t forget to ask for a parking token. Go now. And give my compliments to the chef.
Sallio Itallio, 3232 McKinney Ave., #150, Dallas. 972-707-9696.