Salar Restaurant & Lounge is dedicated to sharing an upscale yet casual Peruvian and French dining experience with the greater Dayton area. Since reopening in 2018, the Salar team has put an even greater focus in sharing it’s mission with younger foodies living in and around the Oregon District. In addition to a new weekday Happy Hour, Salar is extending weekend hours starting the first week of March.
Salar Restaurant & Lounge has launched a new Happy Hour menu to celebrate the coming of spring that features exclusive cocktails for $8.75 and light bar bites for $7 or less. Happy-Hour exclusive cocktails include a classic Old Fashioned, margarita, moscow mule, vodka raspberry gimlet and strawberry daiquiri. Other drink options include $5 house wine, either red or white, and $1.00 off all beer both bottled or on draft. The Happy Hour food specials offer a unique peek at Salar’s worldly flavor, without the financial commitment of a full dinner. The menu features Spicy Orange Pork with fried pork tenderloins with tangy carrot slaw for $5, Chicken Skewers with green onion, aji amarillo salsa and jasmine rice for $6 and Fish Tacos with Guajillo and apple salsa, roasted garlic aioli, arugula and pickled onions for $7. Happy Hour is served Monday-Friday from 4:00-6:00 exclusively to customers seated at either of Salar’s two full-service bars.
In addition, Salar will now keep it’s main bar open until Midnight every Friday and Saturday. Salar will transition into a late-night speakeasy vibe, using its side door on 5th Street as an entrance to the bar-only service area. Live music will be featured occasionally for special occasions such as holidays or the Oregon District “First Friday” events. Salar’s kitchen closes at 10:30pm on weekends.
400 East 5th St in the Oregon District
Bar opens at 4:00pm Monday-Sunday
Kitchen opens at 5:00pm. Kitchen closes at 9:00pm Sun – Thurs,
Kitchen closes at 10:30pm on Fri-Sat
Originally a fashion designer hailing from the capital city of Lima, Peru, Margot Blondet has always been passionate about creating beauty. After spending some time in France, she decided to leave fashion behind and return home.
When her best friend opened a culinary school with Le Cordon Bleu, Margot saw it as a golden opportunity to pursue something she enjoyed while spending time with a beloved friend. After studying and working for nearly two years, word got around of her delicious food. People started asking Margot to come to their house to cook, all while she continued to take classes at the culinary institute. Becoming a chef wasn’t her first path, but it became clear this was a world in which she could weave together her love for cooking and making beautiful things.
“It’s a lot of thinking. Every dish needs to be pretty, not just good,” states Margot Blondet, Executive Chef and Owner. She spends the next hour describing to me all that truly goes into designing the perfect experience when dining at Salar. “It’s a theater” she states. No detail is too small.
“Coming to a restaurant is not only about the food, I think it’s about the space, where you’re sitting. It’s about the plates you are being served on. It’s about the lights, music, the service, the smell.” Salar Restaurant and Lounge is located in the ever-popular Oregon District in Dayton. The area is filled with many eateries but one glance inside Salar and you won’t be able to deny the unique elegance and charm.
In 2005 Margot elected to relocate herself and her children to Florida for a much-needed change. She had only planned on staying just a few months, but life had a surprise in store for her. She reconnected with her high school sweetheart, and they picked up their relationship and fell back in love. When he was offered a job in Ohio they moved together and got married.
Margot did some catering for some time when she met the owner of Sidebar. She was asked to help open the restaurant here in Dayton and one in Columbus for him. Although that establishment closed, the owner of the building was so impressed with her work, he offered the space to her if she was interested in opening a restaurant of her own, and that is how Salar was born.
Salar, which means to salt, or season, was opened in 2013. “I love salt. Salt is the essence of life.” Margot points out the many pictures of salt around the restaurant. Most of the pictures were of the salt mines in Peru, which Margot has visited herself. The salt mines are still active, as they have been since the time of the Incans. Chef Blondet has many varieties of salt in her kitchen, all with a distinctive flavor of their own.
When asked what she loves most about cooking she tells me that she is not the most patient person. Delayed gratification is a difficult thing, but with cooking, you get rewarded straight away. She goes on to say, “You feed somebody, and they try it and they like it. You see their face and its immediate.” Feeding someone a good meal is satisfying, “The restaurant came after the food by logic.”
The food at Salar isn’t strictly traditional Peruvian cuisine if there ever was such a thing. Margot describes Peru as “the catalog of the world.” Everything from their culture to their dining has been influenced by immigrants from all over the world. “We have a lot of Chinese immigrants. A lot of Italian immigrants… We were conquered by the Spanish too.” They also have influences from Africa, and the Middle East. In addition to all the cultural influences, Peru is known for its over 90 microclimates. Microclimates are pockets of weather conditions that differ from atmospheric conditions nearby. These variations mean the food available locally is entirely dependent on what part of Peru you reside in. “I haven’t even eaten all the food”, Margot chuckles.
The food at Salar Restaurant and Lounge is all house-made. “If you want French fries, you have to peel the potatoes.” Margot is dedicated to sourcing the best ingredients in the market, as flavor and quality are priorities for her. Even the cocktails are made completely from scratch. “I put a lot of love. This is like my second house”.
Owning a restaurant has not come without adversity. In 2017 Margot was awoken with a phone call letting her know her restaurant had caught fire. “I thought it was a prank at first.” Sadly, this was no joke. This was a very painful process for her, especially because she felt responsible for her employees. It took 9 long months to get the restaurant open again. As difficult as that was for her, Margot’s mindset looking back at the whole experience is impressive. “It was an opportunity, as much as it was a bad thing, in the end, once you pass it, you see it as a good thing because everything is brand new. You build something better.”
Through the course of the remodel, Margot gave special attention to every aspect from the Peruvian art adorning the walls to the stunning chandelier hanging in the Pisco bar that Margot put together with her own hands. Pointing to an alluring waterfall feature, she informs me that it’s not just for aesthetics, but also doubles as an air purifier. Everything in the entire space has been chosen with much thought, all intended to cultivate an atmosphere and give the diner much more than a delicious meal. “That’s the whole mentality here that we try to do. From him (pointing to the gentleman greeting the customers at the door) with a big smile to welcome you.”
Margot gives me a tour of the restaurant, and somehow each room is more lovely than the last, ending at the intimate outdoor patio space. I marvel at how she has pieced together each component of the experience together like a puzzle. “The food is just one piece of it. The food is a start. It wouldn’t be possible without all the other elements.”
- 400 East 5th Street
- Dayton, OH 45402
- (937) 203-3999
NoshUp at Salar Sun, Feb 23
Get a plate full of some great Peruvian cuisine and meet Salar Chef-Owner Margot Blondet, who will share her story of Lima to Dayton and fashion to food.
SEATINGS & INFO
There are 3 seatings for this event:
- Seating 1: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
- 60 ticket capacity
- Seating 2: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
- 60 ticket capacity
- Seating 3: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
- 60 ticket capacity
Buy your tickets online here.
Vegan and Vegetarian plates are available. Please be sure to select your preferred option on your ticket order form.
For those interested in adding an adult beverage, Salar will have beer, wine and select Peruvian-influenced cocktails available from their bar.
Tyler Kinnett currently helms the kitchen at Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts as Executive Chef. At the age of 16, Kinnett began his career the hospitality industry, working his way up at a restaurant inside The Golf Club of Yankee Trace in his home state of Ohio. At 19, he moved to Vermont, working part-time at various restaurants while attending the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier. Kinnett joined the team at Harvest in 2012 as a sous chef where he quickly moved up the ranks. Based on his extraordinary talents he was appointed to Executive Chef in 2015.
Join Chef Tyler Kinnett as he returns home to create a delicious culinary experience as a fundraiser for the Women’s Health Initiatives Foundation, which helps women fund alternative ways to prevent, treat and fight from cancer on Sunday, August 4th starting at 5pm.
Kicking the event off in style will be Chef Margo from Salar Restaurant and Lounge who will be delighting your palette with a fabulous cocktail hour on the patio overlooking the beautiful countryside at Stoney Hill Farm.
Chef Tyler is known for his ability to showcase produce-driven cooking using fresh regional ingredients to develop delicious vibrant flavors. This is a dinner your palate won’t want to miss!
This event is being held at the House at Stoney Hill Farm, which is the perfect setting for a ‘farm to table’ dinner and wine pairing. All the food will be locally sourced with the beef and produce coming from Grassland Graze a co-op of Liberty Farm Market in Butler County, Ohio. Get your tickets here.
Now that it’s patio season in Dayton, one of the Oregon District restaurants has just given their back patio a major makeover. Salar Restaurant and Lounge is opening their newly renovated back patio on Saturday, April 13 along with the release of their new food and wine menus just in time for Spring. Salar’s new back patio joins their covered front patio, which faces Fifth Street in the Oregon District. Both patios will allow more than 50 seats for outdoor enjoyment.
Salar owner and executive chef Margot Blondet has spent months designing and working to complete the back patio and is excited to release the new menus along with the outdoor space.
“The winter months gave us the time to work on recreating the outdoor space and I can’t wait to share it with the Dayton community,” says Blondet. “I brought a number of fresh, seasonal ingredients to the menu as well and I wanted the new space to reflect that.”
Elements of the renovation feature a custom pergola, curtains, bohemian rugs, string lights, all new furniture and even miniature herb gardens.
Salar, located at 400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton, Ohio, reopened to the public on Oct. 1, just shy of a year after a devastating fire forced the local restaurant to shutter temporarily to rebuild.
SALAR RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
400 E 5th St.
Dayton, OH 45402
BAR opens daily at 4pm
Sun – Thurs: 5pm – 9:30pm
Fri – Sat: 5pm – 10:30pm
Located in Dayton’s Historic Oregon District, Salar Restaurant and Lounge features a vibrant menu of world-fusion cuisine with strong Peruvian, French and Mediterranean influences. Salar’s upscale, yet casual style offers guests two outdoor patios, two full bars, a main dining room with full-wall windows looking out onto the Historic Oregon District, an intimate lounge space and a private dining room. Salar is a Green Certified Restaurant.
After a devastating fire that forced the local restaurant to shut down temporarily, Salar Restaurant and Lounge, located at 400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton, Ohio, will once again welcome the public on Sept. 27, beginning with three days of soft opening activities from Thursday through Saturday, followed by a grand opening party on Sept. 30 and regular service on Oct. 1.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us rejoin Dayton’s culinary scene,” says Salar owner and executive chef Margot Blondet. “Everyone involved in reopening this labor of love has worked extremely hard to get us cooking again. We’re back with renewed energy and creativity as we provide the city’s residents and visitors a beautiful restaurant to gather with family, friends and colleagues to create new memories.”
The soft opening days will serve as fundraisers for Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Burn Program to help provide burn kits to families in-need that financially cannot afford to purchase the necessary medical supplies to treat injuries. Tickets are priced $10 per person, not including food, beverage, tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made online at salarrestaurant.com/event-tickets; space will be limited. Blondet has curated a selection of fan-favorite dishes for the soft opening days.
Salar with celebrate its grand opening with a special event on Sept. 30 from 5-7 pm. Tickets are required and can be made online at salarrestaurant.com/event-tickets. Complimentary food, beverages and live entertainment will enliven the ambiance. Salar will remain open until 9:30 pm, offering a select number of dishes and cocktails that restaurant fans have come to love.
Beginning Oct. 1, Salar will be open seven days a week. The bar will open at 4 pm and the kitchen will be open at 5 pm daily. More information regarding hours will be available at salarrestaurant.com.