The Salt Exchange
245 Commerical St.
Portland, ME 04101Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $31 to $50
The Salt Exchange
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.thesaltexchangerestaurant.com/
- Phone: 2073475687x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30pm - 4:00pm
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, American, Comfort Food
- Executive Chef: Adam White
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Catering: The Salt Exchange offers on-site catering Monday-Sunday for parties of 20-30 people (sit down) and up to 100 for passed hors d'oeuvres/appetizers. We design each party to our guests/clients specific needs and vision, please call for details and associated costs.
- Entertainment: Various live acts performing original jazz and contemporary folk music. Please visit our calendar at www.thesaltexchangerestaurant.com. Thank you.
- Special Events: Please contact owner Charles Bryon or chef Adam White at email@example.com. You may also contact KDB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cross Street: Union Street
- Public Transit: Portland has an excellent public transit system. There are several ways to reach us via train, bus, taxi, and even by plane. Please visit http://www.visitportland.com/visiting-maine.aspx for the many options as well as maps and a list of sights, entertainment, and shopping. We and Portland welcome you, Thanks for visiting!
- Parking: Private Lot
- Parking Details: During lunch hours, street parking available in front of the restaurant on Commercial St. as well as on Cross St. During dinner hours, parking is available in the MEMIC lot at the end of our block.
A word from The Salt Exchange
Come take part in a new approach to traditional dining. Using local ingredients, Chef Adam White and his culinary team offer an innovative approach to Contemporary American Comfort Foods. Emphasizing multi-course dining, the restaurant showcases a variety of different local, seasonal ingredients prepared with simple, honest, and traditional technique. The Salt Exchange also hosts the largest Bourbon selection in Portland, a great sampling of Maine microbrews, and a menu friendly wine list. Owner Charles Bryon works with a local curator (KDB) to maintain an working Art Gallery inside the restaurant, with shows changing every two months. Enjoy fine art, fine food, and good company everyday with us...Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
The Salt Exchange - Best Restaurants in Portland ›
The Salt Exchange reviews from OpenTable diners
48 reviews since April 25, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (27)special occasion (14)neighborhood gem (11)romantic (9)great for lunch (9)vibrant bar scene (6)good for groups (5)hot spot (2)great for brunch (2)late-night find (1)notable wine list (1)scenic view (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Poor serviceChuckDined on 8/19/2014There was only one waiter for the dining room the bartender had to help get the drinks out hostess had nothing to do since they were plenty of open tables yet she did not help my wife and I received different menus with different prices and different items the waiter had to go back to the kitchen to see which menu was correct he should have known. Had to ask for bread more than once waited almost 15 minutes for a check after asking for it. We were there almost 2 hours. Had it been an enjoyable experience two hours would not have been so bad. But the food was delicious it is unfortunate they apparently don't have their act togetherSpecial Features:
- DisappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/15/2014Dinner for two, anniversary #11. Nothing dazzled food-wise, thought the atmosphere was lovely. The drink special (bourbon white sangria) was watery and sent back for wine. Fortunately, waiter was sympathetic and happy to do so and it's possible he comp'd the wine because of it (didn't check this detail, and he didn't say). Wine pours rather short. The "spicy nuts" on the beet salad, hardly dressed, tasted like plain walnuts. The sliced baguette (to be eaten with the fancy salt and butter) was stale, like it had been sliced many hours before and or maybe even re-used from a previous table. The entrees were completely mediocre: pork loin cooked too long, etc. We were really surprised, had expected so much more.Special Features:
- Will not returnnyc25VIPDined on 8/13/2014I rarely write reviews but will make an exception here since we had been looking forward to dining at this restaurant on our next trip to Portland. There were four of us and all felt that while the food was average to OK it was rather bland. The only salt on the table consisted of two pinches on the bread and butter plate; bread and butter are served unsalted. Service was poor and they might consider adding another server to the dining room staff when they are busy. Ordered a second bottle of wine but the server did not bring it during the meal so we ended up canceling that and dessert as well.. We will not return as there are a lot of very good to excellent restaurants in Portland where we know we can get a great meal.
- Very enjoyable mealWildRoseMEDined on 8/2/2014We had a very enjoyable dinner on a Saturday night recently. The food was well prepared and presented. I would definitely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Meh .... Go ElsewhereEllgeeDined on 7/31/2014Have dined here before & thought it was a sleeper -- great food but under-marketed. But after my recent meal, I'm reading restaurant in distress. 1 inexperienced waitress for the entire floor, didn't really know the menu. Restaurant hypes its bourbon & cocktails, yet the bourbon sangria ordered seemed to be missing the bourbon & wine. Wine offering was small, pedestrian & pricey. Service? Needs lotsa improvement ... People seated after us were already eating before we got our wine. Food: while I thought the kitchen was stingy on the portion, the salmon was cooked perfectly & tasty; pork tenderloin with peach salsa was moist & delicious as well. App of crab quesadilla was forgettable -- gummy, underseasoned. FYI:Portland has better.
- We will recommend and returnT2TsDined on 7/26/2014We came here based on a recommendation. Interesting and different scene offering a bourbon bar versus a wine bar. We enjoyed the two bourbon based drinks that we ordered and then went on to wine with dinner. Dinner started with soup and the cheese plate and the entrees were salmon and pork. Everything was nicely prepared and presented. From the host to bartender to waitress, they were friendly and attentive thus making for an enjoyable evening. We will recommend and return.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique creations in all food groupsHLPBDined on 7/16/2014Fish, meat, chicken, vegetarian dishes all prepared with a unique blend of fresh ingredients. The truffle and black pepper homemade potato chips are unbelievable as a starter. Lovely, spacious, quiet ambience. Have been several times and will continue to go here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Salt Exchange - underratedOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/14/2014I always have good food here, and the service is great. It's never super busy, which I appreciate. The bartender is friendly and creative. I know I can count on it to be reliability B+ in all respects, and occasionally even great. It's a hard town to compete in, but it's a place I would go again and do. I appreciate their support of local artists too - always have many works on the walls and notes about the artists.Special Features:
- MAdinersDined on 7/4/2014The menu was small, but the food was good. We especially enjoyed Maine Crab & Brie Quesadilla starter. The waitress was nice and friendly but we felt she rushed us, and it wasn't busy. We should have been able to stay more then an hour for three courses. If they have the lemon curd for dessert get it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous FoodjjpensfanDined on 7/3/2014The lobster risotto was delicious. The homemade potato chips are a must have.Special Features:
- PerfectionpoohbearshunypotDined on 7/2/2014Arrived on a rainy night and found the place virtually empty. First thought - bad sign. Turns out the food was perfect, service perfect, staff friendly, whole experience - perfect. The lobster risotto was a little bit of heaven. Could not have been more pleased with this place.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/21/2014I brought my husband here for his Birthday. The staff was great, highly attentive. Are server, in particular was fantastic! Unfortunately, the meal was mediocre. We started with the mussels, which were bland. Next, I had the skirt steak, which came out grey. It looked unappetizing and was very chewy despite ordering medium rare. They must have marinated it, which completely ruined the taste for me. My husband ordered the duck, again, pretty tasteless. For the pricepoint you expect to be wowed. Completely disappointed.
- Excellent, as always!GinnyGailVIPDined on 6/20/2014We shared the wonderful cheeseboard, a great bottle of nicely priced wine, and both had the salmon....it was cooked perfectly. We couldn't have asked for better service! Stopped at the bar for a glass of bourbon....quite a selection if you're a bourbon fan! The last time we dined here I had the scallops on parsnip puree....I'm still dreaming of it!Special Features:
- First and last visit...CoolDaddyDined on 6/6/2014Great idea, great location, but aloof and discourteous bartender plain ruined my visit. Perhaps he simply did not want to be there last Friday night; but by shutting down my request for a drink (GF option like cider) and food (hard stop on those BBQ fries at 6pm), without ever offering an alternative option for either, he quickly convinced me I did not.
- Great food in a relaxed atmosphereJimPDined on 5/24/2014This was our second visit to the Salt Exchange, and we were equally pleased the second time around. The menu is small, but provides a good variety, and all of the food was well prepared, with the exception of the angus burger my son ordered. The meat was not well seasoned, and was a bit dry, even though not overcooked. Perhaps they used very lean ground beef, which lacked the satisfying fattiness one looks for in a burger. It could've used a good mayonnaise or aioli to add back some of that fat. Burger aside, everything else was delicious. The staff was attentive, but not doting, the room was quiet enough to talk, and the bill was very reasonable compared to other Portland restaurants of similar quality. We'll go back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect DinnerPFWJRVIPDined on 5/24/2014We had a perfect dinner. The service was excellent. We enjoyed a lovely white wine and delicious entrees. We will be back to Portland to dine at The Salt Exchange. Peter WellsSpecial Features:
- Small batch bourbon barTommyVIPDined on 5/21/2014Very good old fashions and Manhattans, and I had their steak entree that night and rarely order any meat outside a true steak house. It was grilled very well, and I got my medium rate. This is a pretty good restaurant surrounded by a few others in a growing City turning foodie.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mother's Day brunchOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 5/11/2014Seated quickly. Service was good. Food was amazing. Perfect Mother's Day!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not impressed2cool2burnDined on 5/11/2014I have to be honest, I wanted to like this but I would have happily exchanged this experience for a handful of salt. Waitress was lovely but food was just adequate and small portions for how expensive it was. The owner seemed frazzled even though it was practically empty. Nice art on the walls and the bar is pretty to look at but I will not be returning. Portland, Maine has too many brilliant restaurants to waste it on this pretentious little eatery which clearly made more effort to be in a prime spot than be a prime dining experience.
- Good time casual atmosphereAshesDined on 5/10/2014We tried this as first time diners and we all had a great time. The food was good, the service was prompt and courteous and it is a nice comfortable space. We are anticipating trying it again for their lunch menu.Special Features:
- The following 84 reviews are from the The Salt Exchange reviews archive.
- Monday scarcityfoodloverDined on 4/7/2014While the food was good, they were out of 2 items on the menu, most notably the oysters.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent from Starters to Coffee!borofoodieDined on 4/4/2014Relaxed atmosphere and excellent food! Steve allowed us plenty of time between courses to chat and relax. He was there when we needed him. We each had the specials- cooked to perfection. Highly recommend!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Odd start, but great meal!MaineMom2Dined on 3/15/2014We had made a reservation on OpenTable and arrived a few minutes early. The hostess greeted us and said, "You'll be sitting at our Chef's Pass." We had no idea what this was, and she referenced 4 bar stools looking overlooking the kitchen. While some enjoy the view of the kitchen, my husband and I wanted to dine at a table without the distraction of the kitchen. When we told her this, she referenced a couple tables near the door and across from the bar which were undesirable. Then after leaving for a bit, she let us pick a table for four further back in the lounge. It was an uncomfortable situation given the fact we had reservations. Other than that we had a fantastic meal and great service.Special Features:
- ParkingJoyceDined on 3/15/2014On the web site of The Salt Exchange it states 'on street parking'. We could not find a spot within three blocks so had to pay to park in a lot. After we were seated and mentioned it to the waitress she said there is free parking right next to the restaurant if you are dining in the evening. That should be on the web site. We were dining with friends we had not seen for four months and the waitress was very kind to let us have time to catch up. We all had a wonderful meal and my husband, who is a very fussy eater, said the pork dish was excellent. I would definitely go back again.Special Features:
- Delicious food. Small portions.ITSearsDined on 3/14/2014Overall the experience was a good one. My wife's meal, the hake, was exceptional. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with my meal. The strip steak tasted great, but it was fairly tough, and when the menu says roasted brussel sprouts, I expected more than six leaves. Maybe one actual brussel sprout would have been nice.Special Features:
- Business GemSVENDined on 3/12/2014Great atmosphere, great bar selection, and excellent food. I would not hestiate to recommend this place to anyone looking for a quality bite in Portland :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great evening with friends and foodEatingWellDined on 3/8/2014We happened to be in Portland, Maine for restaurant week. Our small party enjoyed the restaurant week special menu. Options were provided for every course to meet the pallets requests of all. The food was perfect and the service was even better. If you enjoy bourbon, the Salt Exchange is the place for you. An extensive variety of bourbon libations were available for all to enjoy. I highly recommend you request the owner’s menu as it offers some rare, small batch bourbons that will complete your meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Restaurant WeekFoodieJimDined on 3/8/2014My goal was to dine at 5 places I'd never been. I look forward to going back and ordering off the regular menu to continue playing food critic. I don't normally drink bourbon but the drinks I had here could change all that. The Old Fashioned was superb,as was the whole evening looking backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AMAZING!PWMFoodieDined on 3/8/2014The food was top notch as well as the service. The meal was to die for, and we will definately be going back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good not greattabrDined on 3/8/2014Too expensive for a kitchen that served inconsistent food. Our main entrees were undercooked and not hot. Our apps were under under seasoned.
- Absolutely Delicious!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/7/2014I went with a friend during restaurant week. We selected from that menu. For $45 I had some of the most delicious food I've had up there and I had 4 courses! There was a jazz band playing great music. The drink selection was amazing too!Special Features:
- I'd go againpjd717171Dined on 3/7/2014We went during Art Walk Friday during restaurant week. . It was very crowded at the bar & the restaurant was busy. We were seated immediately (had reservations) & the waiter came over soon after. We sent him away while we talked & chose our drink selections. Our waiter was very attentive & patient, the food was delicious. I saw on some other reviews that people thought the servings were small. Between the 4 of us we had 3 different meals, all of them were well presented & delicious and none of us were complaining about small servings. It was a very nice evening out & we'll be back.Special Features:
- JazzyOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 3/7/2014Visited Salt Exchange on Friday night during restaraunt week. Live jazz combo playing in the bar was a nice touch. The food was inventive and delicious. The service was friendly and efficient. We will surely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful, interesting food.OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 3/7/2014Wonderful, interesting food. We've only been to this restaurant for lunch and we have gone back on several occasions to enjoy fabulous.Special Features:
- No worries...wjp0VIPDined on 3/6/2014Had a pleasant midweek evening at the Salt Exchange. The bartender was friendly and engaging, the staff were courteous and attentive. We only has a lite meal but it was tasty and nicely presented. The veggies were delicious and the risotto was just right. Would enjoy going there again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, service but tiny 'tiniDebowhitDined on 2/21/2014We had a lovely dinner even though my husband was served a tiny martini. The glass was not filled anywhere near the brim. Usually a martini is filled so close to the brim that we wonder if it might slosh out. No chance of that happening here. The drink was skimpy and it was over $11. Our meal was delicious. The restaurant was happy to accommodate my request for no white potatoes and happily served a substitution. The portions are on the small side but very nicely prepared. The restaurant is a bit pricey for the size of the servings. Our bill for two meals, two glasses of wine, two salads, and a skimpy martini came to $103.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Some of the food was bland.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/17/2014Some of the food was bland. My vegetarian sandwich and my husband's fish taco. Mussels were also bland. Maybe dinner is better than lunch?Special Features:
- Expensive, Small portionsMegDonchakDined on 2/15/2014I wish that, for the price we paid for the food, we were able to get larger portions on the meals.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dined on Valentine's Day andBirgsVIPDined on 2/14/2014Dined on Valentine's Day and while the menu was limited to a 3-course special, the food was very good - sea scallops cooked just right, not over done, and steak offering also cooked to perfection. Looking forward to returning when the full menu is available.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Valentines dayGrazerVIPDined on 2/14/2014We had made a reservation a month in advance. They called the day of the reservation to confirm yet when we arrived, they couldn't find the reservation. After being treated like we were in the wrong, they sat us at a small table even though larger tables were empty and rushed us through our meal. They had a limited Three course meal for $55 per person. We both chose the asparagus salad which was good but a very small portion. For the second course I had the beef choice and my husband had the scallops. My beef was 3 small slices of tasteless, chewy beef. My husband enjoyed his 3 scallops. For the third course, my husband chose the cake and I chose the fruit. The cake was a small square of chocolate on a square of bread! Won't eat here again