Hours: Lunch, Dinner: seven days
Open Late: Every night till 2
CLOSED. River North wine bar serving piattini, Italian small plates.
Saluté Wine Bar is a warmly lit space with a sidewalk patio that seems perfect for a drink and a bite to eat before a movie or play. On a recent weeknight, however, even though the place was mostly empty, service was so slow that we had to rush through the last of our food and leave our drinks unfinished to make it to our movie on time. The food, mostly OK, hardly made up for the sluggish service. Beet hummus was pleasant, with plenty of tahini and a subtle earthy sweetness from the beets, but could've used more of the aged balsamic reduction it was served with; thin crostini was piled high with goat cheese and a garlicky white bean and roasted red pepper spread that I liked but seemed excessive in proportion to the toast. In the second round--which arrived at least half an hour after we'd finished the first--the flavors of an open-face sandwich of chopped smoked turkey and "dehydrated cranberry hash" with basil pesto meshed beautifully, but a wan Caesar salad that arrived sans Parmesan was pretty flavorless. The all-Italian wine list includes about 20 wines by the glass, mostly priced a little under $10, and close to 100 in total, all served in stemless glasses. There's also a small selection of cocktails, including the Caprese, a smooth basil-infused vodka martini garnished with a mozzarella-stuffed cherry tomato, and a limonata with citrus-infused gin and lavender water that went down easy (maybe because I couldn't taste any gin). For dessert there are house-made cellos including Meyer lemon, kumquat, and blueberry as well as a half-dozen sweets--but we didn't have time to try any of them.
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