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Foodie Friday: Saltie Girl

Tinned fish is about to become a thing in Boston. Brand new Back Bay restaurant Saltie Girl, brought to you by the local MET Restaurant Group, opened June 1 complete with raw bar and a tinned fish menu. MET Restaurant Group president Kathy Sidell (who by the way is Stephanie of Stephanie’s sister, who knew?) was inspired by tapas bars in Barcelona.

The skinny sliver of a space (just 30 seats, galley style, with four banquettes down one side and the bar down the other) is located adjacent to MET Back Bay (it used to be its private dining room). It’s a much needed addition to the neighborhood, which mostly lacks cooler restaurant concepts.

The Saltie Girl interior is design perfection. And I mean perfection. Even more impressive, Kathy Sidell decorated it herself. She is responsible for all of it: the Moroccan patterned cement tiles for the bar backsplash, the turquoise fish scale tiles that clad the bar itself, the perfect aqua paint color, the rope wrapped columns, the glossy wood banquettes, the copper light pendants, and the travel photos

As for the food, it is also exquisite. Gorgeous and insanely delicious.  Chef Kyle McClelland (a culinary artist) works behind the bar to make the cold offerings, while hot dishes, overseen by MET chef David Daniels, come from the kitchen downstairs. Oysters are shucked barside, obv.

New Back Bay Restaurant Bar Saltie Girl Moroccan Tile

The bar is the restaurant’s focal point, and an on trend thing of beauty. Its back wall is lined with Moroccan patterned cement tiles(#trendalert); glass shelves hold the liquor. See those copper pineapples? (#trendalert)  Exotic drinks for two are served in them. The second time I was there a young couple was sharing one, but it seemed rude to intrude upon their moment for a photo.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The bar is lined with aqua fish scale tile (#trendalert) by Mercury Mosaics. The first portion of the bar is dominated by a raw bar. Glass canisters hold garnishes and sauces are served in apothecary-like bottles with medicine droppers (#trendalert) .

Boston Bar Saltie Girl Serves Bloody Marys With An Oyster

Bloody Marys are topped with a raw oyster (#trendalert) . The straw is stainless steel (#trendalert) , which I quite appreciated. (I have an unreasonable aversion to black plastic straws.) The clipboard (#trendalert)  lists the raw bar offerings: various oysters, clams, shrimp, king crab, and sea urchin.

Oyster Platter At Boston Raw Bar Saltie Girl

Two young women sitting next to my husband and I at the bar ordered this spread of oysters. I did ask them if I could take a photo. Note the medicine dropper condiment potions.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Banquettes Rope Wrapped Column

Four banquettes line the deep turquoise (I’ll ask Kathy for the exact paint color) wall parallel to the bar. Columns are wrapped in thick rope. Worn copper pendants illuminate marble tabletops.

Travel Photography Boston Restaurant Design Saltie Girl

Kathy told me the name of the photographer who took all these travel shots (his day job is a globe-trotting position for Ralph Lauren), but I cannot recall. I will find out and update.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The floor is a simple white hex tile with black grout. A dozen industrial style metal stools(#trendalert) are used for bar seating. A handy black pipe means your legs don’t dangle.

Tinned Fish Display At New Boston Restaurant Saltie Girl

Back to the tinned fish(#trendalert). They’re imported from Europe and the packaging is pretty. Options include tuna (for the unadventurous like me), sardines, anchovies, trout, and mackerel.

Tinned Fish Clipboard Menu New Boston Dining Experience Saltie Girl

Time to order. Raw bar and tinned fish on a clipboard. Salads, sandwiches, and hot dishes on a paper placemat, diner style (but definitely not diner prices).

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

Obviously we had no choice but to order a tinned fish platter. Lamely, we got tuna, though I understand the mackerel is easy to eat too. Cockles are not for me. The tinned fish is served on a slate slab (#trendalert) with crusty bread, pickled peppers, some sort of delicious jelly, and OH. MY. GOD. The BEST homemade butter I have ever tasted. There went my diet.

Black Salt Grey Salt White Salt Boston Restaurants

And to make everything even better, Chef Kyle (complete with requisite tats (#trendalert))  treated us to a trio of exotic sea salts (#trendalert). A black lava salt (from Hawaii maybe) with a smoky flavor, a grey sea salt, and a white. I’ve probably not mentioned this on the blog before, but butter and salt are basically my two favorite foods.

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

As you can see we ate every bit of that tinned tuna fish, jam (#trendalert), and butter. Okay, I got seconds on the butter.

Chef Kyle Serves A Salad At Saltie Girl In Boston

Next,Chef Kyle McClellan serves my husband a salad.

Green Salad At Saltie Girl

Have you ever seen such a pretty green salad?

Stone Crab Toast At Saltie Girl In Boston

Both times I ate at Salti Girl I ordered Stone Crab Toast with burrata and avocado. There is a whole section of toasts (#trendalert) on the menu. At $10 it’s a good deal; very filling. It melts in your mouth and tastes heavenly.

Best Tuna Tartare In Boston

My husband, who is much more disciplined when it comes to sticking to his diet, ordered the tuna tartare. Scrumptious. Those purple flowers are chive blossoms.

Moroccan Tile Backsplash At Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston

Another shot of the Saltie Girl bar (aka, my husband’s new neighborhood haunt).

Travel Photography Adorns The Wall At This New Boston Restaurant

Some more travel photos above the banquettes. Looks like Capri.

Tinned Fish Packaging At Saltie Girl In Boston

Tinned fish packaging is cute and pretty. That squid looks like a Disney character.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

At the end of the meal, there is this Japanesque presentation — a wood block with water and a compressed cloth.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

Voila. It rises. Pull it apart and wipe your hands.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Canned Fish Tin

The bill and an empty tin. A mermaid is the Saltie Girl mascot. There’s a carved one mounted at the bar too.

Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston's Back Bay Has Raw Bar Tinned Fish & Great Design

Saltie Girl, 279 Dartmouth Street at Newbury Street, Boston

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary, Foodie Friday

Swatching: Bathroom Floor Tiles

We’ve been enjoying the Florida condo immensely. Last weekend, the painter started, and I’ve signed the contract to have very cool (and inexpensive) cork floor tiles put in throughout. Except in the bathrooms. One bathroom is remaining in its pink tile and flamingo wallpaper glory. But the master bath is getting a simple upgrade. (There’s a before photo at the end of this post.)

I’ve already had the pink wall tile and pink tub re-glazed in white. The wallpaper was removed this week, and the walls painted white. The vanity cabinet will be painted white too, and be treated to new brushed chrome knobs from IKEA. The countertop is pink Formica, with an overmount pink sink and awful cheap faucets. I don’t have a plan for that yet. (I’m thinking of tiling the counter since stone is way too expensive.)

Meanwhile, the floor is an easy fix. The pink floor tiles must go! I think they’ll even be able to tile right over them, which will save money. I looked around for inspiration, including Waterworks, Urban Archaeology, ABL Tile & Bathroom Centre, Overstock.comHome Depot, and of course Pinterest.

I might just do a plain white penny tile on the floor. We have that in the boys bathroom and laundry room on the Cape, and I love it. Or, something in an airy green.Here are 22 blue, green, and white tiles that caught my eye, along with my thoughts. Feel free to chime in.

Bathroom Floor Glass  Tiles InBlue

Interesting mix of materials (metal, concrete, glass), but too busy.

Bathroom Floor Pebble Tiles In White & Blue

Adore these flat ocean pebbles, but won’t work with the overall Scandinavian decor.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.43.47 AM

Simple gray penny tile—total contender.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.45.43 AM

Love the color palette, but a basketweave tile pattern is too traditional.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.48.47 AM

Love these skinny gary horizontal tiles. Is the shape too on trend/contemporary?

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 12.06.26 PM

Dreamy colors. Definitely a possibility. Possibly perfect.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 12.06.34 PM

Three-dimensional pattern in green concrete. Would work well with plain white tile. Too design-y?

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.40.28 AM

Gray, clear and white in a mix of materials. Maybe?

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.40.42 AM

Green and blue glass is fresh and pretty. Too right now? Too sleek? Too slippery for the floor?

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.42.39 AM

Pretty penny tile in ombre, but the lavender hues are annoying.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.42.50 AM

Basic white penny tile. These are kind of small, and marble; I’m thinking glossy porcelain.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 11.43.08 AM

The rest of the condo flooring will be cork. Should the bathroom be cork too?

blue-penny-tile

I’m so attracted to the blues, but really I want the bathroom to be green.

emerald-green-penny-tile

Emerald green penny tile. Intense.

mint-green-penny-tile-

Green penny tile. Perfect.

robins-egg-blue-bathroom-tile

More blues.

oval-bathroom-tile

Oval white tile. Fresh clean but not too modern.

organic-white-bathroom-tile-

Organic white tile. Very pretty, but maybe too fashion-y for such a basic bathroom.

mixed-green-penny-tile

This is fun. Blue, white, and green together.

bathroom-tile-green-mosaic-porcelain

Nah. Too kid-like.

jade-green-penny-tile

Beautiful deep celadon green.
pale-green-penny-tile

Also love this lighter cleadon green penny tile. Lighter, fresher, better with plain white.

 B E F O R E 

delray-beach-bath-before

Here’s the bathroom.  Imagine it in white. 

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