One of the restaurants we were most excited to try in Vancouver was Salt Tasting Room. It specializes in pairing artisanal meats and cheeses with wine in up to three courses. It’s such a cool concept that totally lived up to our expectations.

The first thing to know about Salt is that it is located in Blood Alley in Gastown. Yep. Blood Alley. As David and I tried to find it, and realized we would be heading down a very nondescript alley, I said to him “Isn’t there a way to get there that is less… stabby?” Because really, it looked like an alley you may get stabbed in.

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Happily, we didn’t get stabbed and there really aren’t any safety concerns in that regard. We did sit by the window, and we did see a potential drug deal… but we also saw a mix of totally regular folks walking up and down that alley. So, the moral of the story is… don’t let a stabby vibe keep you from this place!

As we entered on a Monday night, we were the only people here for a good hour or so. Monday nights just aren’t that busy, they said.

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We studied the chalk board menu, and instantly went for the cheese and wine pairing. We could have picked some meat to go along with it, but I am crazy about cheese.

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It works like this. We ordered the cheese plate of the day, with three cheeses and accompaniments laid out. You also receive three marked wine tastings and you eat/drink them together in their pairing (going from left to right). The flavours build intentionally. So fun!

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We started with Brie with Quince Jelly, paired with a sparkling white (bubbly). It was a nice light start. The second pairing is what really stood out for us. We loved the tang in the Mont Jacob cheese with a Mostarda jam. It was absolutely sensational with the best wine pairing of the night – a deeper white wine (sauvignon blanc I think). Finally, we ended on a salty note with an Isle of Mull cheese with green olives, paired with a dry Spanish sherry.

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Once our lovely server told us there was a lemon tart that we could end the night on, I was completely sold, and it was an absolutely fantastic way to end the night (with the bill coming to us in a camembert round box).

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If you are looking for more of a snack or light meal, or a unique date night experience, Salt Tasting Room is a great choice!

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