Salut Kitchen Bar in Tempe: Happy Hour Report Card

Salut's lavender lemon fizz comes in a unique glass made from an old Bombay Sapphire gin bottle.EXPAND
Salut's lavender lemon fizz comes in a unique glass made from an old Bombay Sapphire gin bottle.
Lily Altavena

The Spot: Salut Kitchen Bar
1435 East University Drive, Tempe
www.salutkitchenbar.com

The Hours: Happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Perfect for: Trendy cocktails and discount bottles of wine on a breezy, dog-friendly patio. 

The Interior: Salut has a massive covered patio and a trendy interior as well. We loved the wood paneling on the walls, vintage-looking light bulbs, and greenery snaking around the patio's fence. The cushioned wooden booths outside were also surprisingly comfy, tempting us to stay for hours. 

Salut's colorful hummus nachos.EXPAND
Salut's colorful hummus nachos.
Lily Altavena

The Food: During happy hour, Salut takes $2 off tapas, which ranges from fresher options like caprese salad ($6) and quinoa fritters ($7.50) to heavier stuff like crispy mac-and-cheese bites ($7) and ricotta ravioli ($7). The hummus nachos ($7.50) fall somewhere deliciously in between that range, with a crisp, sweet taste. The scoop of hummus that came on top of crispy pita chips was creamy, with a slight tang from a balsamic drizzle. Bits of red onion made for a nice added crunch. With just one bite, we became hummus nacho converts, although we do think $7.50 is a little high for happy-hour tapas.

The quinoa fritters were crispy on the outside and springy on the inside, topped with delicate slivers of crimini mushrooms and a roasted red-bell-pepper sauce. These meatball-like fritters needed just a little more sauce, but had a great texture. We still thought the happy-hour price point — $7.50 — was a bit steep.

We couldn't resist the idea of s'mores for happy hour ($10), which you roast yourself over a mini faux-campfire at Salut. The s'mores tasted like the classic summer treat, coming on a big platter with plenty of graham crackers and milk chocolate. We were happy Salut went for a classic s'mores presentation rather than attempting a trendy twist. 

S'mores during happy hour is a novelty.EXPAND
S'mores during happy hour is a novelty.
Lily Altavena

The Drink: One of the best things about Salut's happy hour is that it doesn't fall victim to a classic happy-hour pitfall: leaving craft cocktails off the menu. There are options for everyone, including 50 percent off bottles of wine and $2 off craft cocktails, house wine, and craft beer. Salut definitely has a strong wine list, with a nice mix of reds and whites like an Italian Ruby Donna moscato and a Simple Life pinot noir from California. The beer list isn't extraordinary, but offers some local choices from Papago, San Tan, and Four Peaks. 

For $11, we had high expectations for the menu's lavender lemon fizz, which is a mix of gin, lemon juice, lavender syrup, and dry lemon soda. The drink was citrus-y and refreshing, perfect for a warm day on the patio. The drink, in a glass re-purposed from a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle, took us a while to finish, due to a generous pour. 

Conclusion: Salut brings one of the strongest happy hours we've been to in Tempe, with an impressive wine list, delicious cocktails, and hearty tapas. We were a little turned off by the prices, but most of the items we tried were well worth the few extra bucks.

Don't Miss: The s'mores. In fact, we never miss a chance to feel like a kid at camp while sipping cocktails on a gorgeous patio.  
Skip This: The quinoa fritters, which tasted just fine but weren't worth $7.50. 

Grade: A-

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miles
Salut Kitchen Bar

1435 E. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281

www.facebook.com/SalutKitchenBar


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