SINCE we now have an empty nest and no children to cook for on a school night, we have decided that Thursdays should be a time for dining out.
We have also decided that instead of eating in our tried and tested favourite restaurants we will cast the culinary net wider and try pastures new.
Friends have made recommendations and, so far, we have not been disappointed.
One place on our list was an eaterie on the canal basin in Sowerby Bridge, the Salt Bar and Grill.
We had dined there when it was called something else and quite enjoyed the experience. And so we were prepared to give it another go.
The restaurant is housed in an 18th century converted warehouse, which has been pleasingly restored.
There are scrubbed stone walls; a giant chandelier; cosy bar with modern furniture; the ubiquitous leather dining chairs found in almost every modern restaurant; and a soothing ambience.
There’s easy parking but we arrived there after a brisk walk along the canal – exercise is another part of our Thursday evenings – and were ready to relax over a drink while we chose our meal.
Salt describes its cuisine as ‘modern British rustic’ and there is a certain robustness about the menu.
There are sharing platters of meat; fish and chips; steaks and fresh tuna; plates of Yorkshire cheeses and crispy belly pork.
Vegetarians can opt for Greek salad, houmous, couscous etc and the restaurant says it can arrange special dishes if diners let them know in advance.
Starters range from soup and retro favourites such as garlic mushrooms and pate to tempura prawns and gravadlax.
As usual I gravitated towards the fish dishes and chose a fresh tuna salad nicoise for my main course. In a complete departure from what I usually eat I opted for the pate in a pot for starters.
The Man-in-Charge selected the small fish platter for his first course and followed it up with a sirloin steak, big chips and a garnish of roasted vine tomatoes.
As usual I wished that I’d ordered what he had. But, the flavoursome pate was charmingly served in a little preserving pot and came with a really crisp salad and warm toast.
And my main course tuna was beautifully seasoned and cooked to perfection – still pink, the middle and tender. My only grouse was that the boiled egg came runny and cold. Warm would have been better.
The Man’s fish platter was an attractive arrangement of smoked and cured salmon. Not cheap at £7.95, we thought, but well presented, tempting and tasty.
His main course steak was, he said, wonderfully tender; so tender, in fact, that it inspired some debate as to how to chef had achieved this feat.
Was it just good beef or had he, or she, done something to it?
Certainly it was also well seasoned – as food from a restaurant called Salt should be – and carefully cooked.
It almost goes without saying that I had to steal a chip or two – that’s what women who order salads for their mains courses do.
And they were scrummy.
Note to self – order chips next time.
And there will be a next time as we enjoyed our evening at Salt so much we have planned to go back soon.
We may even get as far as the pudding course and be tempted by raspberry creme brulee or cherry frangipane tart.
In fact, I may not be able to resist.
Salt Bar and Grill
The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge
Venue Salt Bar and Grill
Tel 01422 316395
Opening hours Closed Mondays, open every other day from noon. Food until 7pm on Sundays and 10pm rest of week.
Children Kids eat free from the children’s menu between 12-7pm daily (one child per adult).
Disabled access Ground floor dining possible but main dining room on first floor
The bill Two courses each, drinks not included - £40.90 for two.