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Review: Perro Salado, Newport, RI

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 16th, 2010 | Restaurant Reviews
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Recently I was invited to dine at Perro Salado, courtesy of the owners.  After being told about their fabulous sticky ribs, it would have been hard to decline.  So, rather than resisting, I agreed to make a trip to this restaurant.

My dining companion (AKA my husband) and I arrived at Perro Salado about 15 minutes early for our 7:30 reservation on a Thursday night.  Entering the restaurant, the hostess greeted us promptly and informed us that our table was ready.  We were seated in a front room on the first floor of the restaurant, which is located within the Decatur House (home of American naval hero Stephen Decatur).  As it formerly was a home, there are various rooms (and a patio) in which you may be seated.

Being a Mexican restaurant, we started our dining with a round of margaritas.  They had a nice balance of sour, salty, and tequila.  Served in lowball glasses, they were the perfect size, in that a diner could sample more than one of the margaritas off of their menu without having to consume an overwhelming amount of alcohol.

While we could have sipped our margaritas and pondered the menu for quite a while, we knew that we had to sample the sticky ribs.  Rather than delay the inevitable, we ordered the ribs and then began to consider our other options.  In addition to a menu full of items, there were several specials that evening.

The ribs arrived in little time, and food decisions were put aside for the moment.  With a dinner plate filled with a generous portion of sauce-covered ribs, there would be no delaying our eating.  In a word, these ribs were fabulous.  Tender meat and slightly sweet and nicely tangy sauce created a dish that begged for you to devour it.  Cast neatness to the side, you always can wash up later!

With our appetites satiated for the moment, we returned to our menus (after cleaning our fingers, of course).  While I felt a pull to order an entrée, there were so many tempting appetizers that I just couldn’t resist.  We decided to make a meal of an assortment of munchies, including grilled corn, duck nachos, and lobster quesadilla.  While it did mean we wouldn’t sample a full meal, we definitely would get a feel for the chef’s talents with an assortment of ingredients.

All three appetizers arrived at the same time, which allowed us to nibble bites of each, enjoying the contrasting flavors.  The grilled corn was a unique and tasty dish.  Served on the cob and topped with cheese and other savory ingredients, it was a fun dish to eat.  Diners are given a knife to remove the hot corn from the cob, so that you can scoop up all of the ingredient of the dish.  The next dish that I sampled were the duck nachos.  Topped with duck, black beans, tomatoes, and melted cheese, it was another winner of a choice.  I could have eaten many bites, but I knew I had another dish to sample.  The last appetizer I tried was the quesadilla.  I have found that many restaurants claim that these sort of dishes are full of seafood but disappointingly aren’t.  Perro Salado isn’t one of those restaurants.  The quesadilla was filled with generously sized pieces of lobster.  Between more melted cheese and lobster, I found this dish to be delightful.  Needless to say, I managed to enjoy many bites of each of these dishes.

Although both my husband and I were quite full from all of the appetizers, I thought it would be best if we ordered a dessert to split, so we could try a menu item that didn’t come from the appetizer section.  The banana flan was the ideal choice for us, with the Mexican chocolate sauce on the side.  With an unexpected, but enjoyable, crust and a perfectly sweet filling of banana flan, it was a wonderful way to end our meal.

With quaint decor, tasty margaritas, excellent food, and reasonable prices, Perro Salado is well worth visiting.  In fact, the next time we are in Newport, we will be returning.  And this time we will endeavor to order entrées.  Well, after an order of sticky ribs anyway.

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