You can’t possibly see and eat your way through Orlando without stopping into at least one of the Good Salt Group’s restaurants. Debuting at different times, every spot has done an immense deal of detailed planning to ensure that each experience is different, yet just as decadent and delicious as the last. The decor, the menus, all the way to what’s playing in the restaurant when you walk in for the first time is carefully stitched together to create an immersive, social experience that will impress you every time.
So far, Good Salt has created four eateries that each deliver different food and ambiance. First I’d like to focus on the Osprey, my personal favorite. Located in Baldwin Park with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with a view of the lake, this place had my attention immediately. Walking down New Broad street, I noticed the patrons who were sitting outside had beautiful cocktails and platters of oysters. My mind was already made up, I was going in for sure, then looking up I saw the name “Osprey”. One of the most stealthy, strategic, fish eating birds. Interesting. Upon entering, I was greeted instantly with smiles, hellos, but nothing could distract me from the approachable, yet elegant vibe. The layout felt like a wave that just crashed in front of my eyes, the bluish gray hues, the wood and silver accents on chairs and the bar..GORGEOUS. I was seated quickly, and within just a moment I knew I was getting mimosas and the highly recommended Shrimp and Grits. 10/10, perfect portions, affordable prices.
Another location that totally knocks it out of the park, located in downtown Orlando is The Monroe. The first thing that came to mind about this place was it looked like all of my pinterest items got together for drinks. It’s modern, open, full of plants and Orlando inspired art and decor. Just my cup of tea! Like the Osprey, there’s a common link with all of these restaurants and that is the option to make your trip here either a prolonged, loungey meet up with a friend, a big dinner event with the family or even just enough space to bring your laptop in and get some work done. I’ll say it once I’ll say it again, versatility makes the world go round!
I took a poll amongst my friends in the area and the end result for my main course was the fried chicken dinner. Fried chicken wings, paired with the most perfect biscuit. For cocktails, I narrowed it down to the B&B’s Knees. simple and sweet with gin, lemon, lavender and honey and the Bamboo a fruity and dark libation. And because I couldn’t choose..I had a moment much like the little girl from that taco shell commercial..”Why not both?”
The story of the current Sieto is one of generational grit and love. Sue and Jason Chin, the founders of Good Salt, met in the original Seito Sushi (same spot, different menu.) which was created and run by Jason’s father. The serendipity that surrounds these two is astounding. Jason has expressed in many forums, but most importantly the Orlando City Magazine, that his parents’ menu items never truly hit the spot for him. Being so young, he didn’t have much choice in the matter, but after meeting Sue and inheriting the restaurant, Jason knew it was time to collaborate with executive chef Austin Boyd. The workmanship of all three of these creative lights, have renewed Sieto and brought a slew of new customers in.
Sieto honors the culture built into it with Asian inspired decor and art blossoming around the New Broad street bistro. Deep reds and mahogany browns, clean finishes, another open aired, flowy space. Good Salt knows what they’re doing when it comes to design.
As for the menu, if I am being honest..I tried as much as I could in one sitting. My party started with edamame, salted soy beans in shell, and gyoza, a pork dumpling from heaven. We gave ourselves some time to relax and start cocktails before the entrees and between the three of us attending, we ordered 2 of the sake varieties, Cowboy and Soto. Soto, which was the ultimate crowd pleaser, is a sake crafted with apple, umami and nougat. The cowboy sake is a fruity, acquired taste..still very good and you certainly don’t need much of this to start craving more food that’s for sure! For entrees, we all split the crab fried rice and the katsu. Leaving full and satisfied, I could not wait to try our last branch of the good salt family!
Over 150 different agave spirits, beautiful rustic-looking, almost boho meets mexican theming, Reyes is another mind blowing, authentic dining experience. The City Beautiful is home to hundreds of Mexican food spots but this one takes the cake!
Opened in 2017, Reyes has consistently made this environment a place for celebration. The ambiance here is giving..very much “take my money now!” energy. Not surprising after being impressed time and time again in all other branches.
With the option of lunch or dinner based on the time I arrived I decided to wait for the dinner menu. The choice was so hard, but I chose to start with a DELICIOUS mezcal margarita, smoky and sour. Alongside that, listening to the hustle and bustle around the restaurant and very much noticing how happy and satisfied everyone in there was, I ordered the house Ceviche (added octopus because I was feeling lucky!). It was so fresh and citrusy due to the marinated sea bass as the base of the appetizer. Again, 10/10, definitely would eat again! For the entree, after my second marg, (hashtag no regrets) I ordered the chorizo flautas with a side of cilantro rice and fried yuca. The FLAVOR of these flautas was insane, the cotija cheese and heirloom tomatoes in it brought out a full on party to my table..I almost forgot I was by myself for a moment.
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