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He Said: Salut is the anti-college bar spot you’ve wanted in Tempe

The Gammage Broadway Series in Tempe is a great excuse to find new restaurants.

A preshow dinner with whoever you are going to the show with is a great start to the cultural evening. This trip led us to Salut Kitchen Bar.

After being warmly greeted, we were led to a table by the window and warned that it would be a little warm until the sun went down behind the building across the parking lot. It may have been a bit warm, but we were too busy checking out the aesthetics and design to let it bother us.

The space is inviting and relaxing. In good weather, you can sit outside on the good-sized patio. There is a garage door that opens up to the outside and, on nice days, would be a very fun space. Inside, they have reused and recycled almost everything. From the tables, which use reclaimed wood, to the light fixtures, which are old fan cages, they have created a chic and relaxed environment that reminded me a bit like a pottery barn catalog but without the chain feel. Salut is unique and a nice change of pace for the often too college student-driven restaurants in Tempe.

The service was very friendly and we were checked on pretty continuously without being overbearing. We did have to rush things because our meals came out a bit slow, but I chalked it up to them working out a few kinks and our group being focused on making it in time for the show. My fellow theater-goers and I started out with the chef’s butcher board, which had the usual meats and cheeses, olives, nuts and hummus with pita bread. It is a great option for enjoying your wine and noshing if you just want to take things slow.

As a second starter option, we went for the Peppy Dew Peppers, which are small peppers (sweet, not hot) filled with a goat cheese. They were wonderful, crisp and juicy peppers with a smooth and creamy goat cheese. I could eat the full order myself next time.

For the main meal, I partook in the Brie Hive Panini with brie, prosciutto, apples, honey butter and arugula and opted for the Salut Fries. The sandwich was not too large and with our appetizer was the perfect size. The fries are worth every bit of the up charge — covered in feta and with a citrus vinaigrette dressing, they are what truffle fries did for the fry movement a few years ago.

My counterpart had the Rustic Cobb Salad with chicken and it had pretty much everything you would put in a cobb salad. It definitely looked fantastic and was enjoyed by my friend. Both meals were a very good size and we all walked away very content without feeling like we over did it.

Salut has a very good menu with lots of options for just about everyone. The best part I saved until last: Their daily happy hour is from 3-6:30 p.m. and a reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close, Sunday through Thursday. It includes wine, beer, wells, those Salut fries and other appetizers.