I first read about Saluti’s when they posted a fictitious business name statement in the Amador Ledger Dispatch a couple of months ago. Saluti’s opened for business on May 11, so my mother and I decided to try them for our weekly dinner out on Wednesday, June 2.
Saluti’s has its menu posted on its Facebook profile, which is the only online presence the restaurant has as of this writing. My mother decided to order an apple walnut salad. I ordered spinach and mushroom ravioli with a side salad and tiramisu for dessert. (Since my mother can’t eat tiramisu because of her lactose sensitivity, I bought her Talenti chocolate sorbetto from Safeway for dessert.)
I called Saluti’s a little after 5:45 p.m. and the cheerful woman on the phone took my order and said it would be ready in 20 minutes. Since we live in the Peek Hill neighborhood and Saluti’s is in the Gold Country Center near Raley’s, it only took us about three minutes to get there. Saluti’s is in one of three spaces in the west end of a modern building that houses Excel Physical Therapy in the other two spots.
The space where Saluti’s resides has long been a restaurant space previously occupied by Starbucks, Quizno’s Subs, Wing Dingers, and Wing It on 49. It seemed a perfect spot for Saluti’s to establish itself. As we entered the restaurant, there was one couple in front of us waiting for their food and several couples sitting at tables. We walked to the register on the counter on the left side of the dining area.
Once I identified myself, the woman behind the counter grabbed our bag of food that was sitting on the counter and handed it to me. Though the card reader took longer than expected to work, the pause gave me a chance to talk with the employee, who said Saluti’s has been busy ever since it opened. After the machine finally accepted my mother’s card, we thanked the employee and left about four minutes after we entered.
Dinners in the Classics section of Saluti’s menu give you the option of ordering minestrone soup or salad on the side. Since June 2 was a hot day, I opted for the side salad. The salad came in a plastic container with a small lidded cup of creamy Italian dressing. The top of the salad had shredded parmesan cheese on top of two slices of salami, a red onion ring, shredded carrots, shredded peppers I couldn’t identify, and arugula.
With my first bite of the salad, I immediately recognized that the peppers were definitely pepperoncinis. The salami slices and cheese were good, but I realized that if I wanted an all-vegetarian meal then I wouldn’t appreciate having meat on my salad without the restaurant asking me if I wanted that. As it was, I didn’t mind and even if I did, I’d give the salami to my mother.
As I worked my way through the salad, I found all the vegetables fresh and crispy including the chopped tomatoes hiding under the lettuce. The creamy Italian dressing complemented and made the salad a satisfying first course.
The ravioli was in a circular metal tin with a paper lid, and the large ravioli pieces were topped with alfredo sauce, herbs, and mushrooms. A small chunk of French bread was wrapped in aluminum foil so I could enjoy it with my meal; Saluti’s gives you the option of ordering French bread or focaccia.
The ravioli came out of the tin easily and sat on my plate as they did in the tin. The French bread had garlic butter on top and was overtoasted to the point that most of the edges were burned. I don’t mind burned toast, though, and the bread was still easy to eat with a nice crunch and a soft interior.
There were about a dozen portions of ravioli, which was a pleasant surprise. Normally I would expect such a large portion at more established restaurants like Strings. I saw plenty of spinach and mushrooms within each ravioli pouch, and the alfredo sauce wasn’t too plentiful so there was a good balance of flavors in each bite.
The tiramisu looked somewhat like the tiramisu I’ve ordered at larger Italian places like Strings and Olive Garden, but there were a few differences. The powdered chocolate layer was a bit flakier and there was chocolate sauce around the bottom. The tiramisu itself was a bit creamier and milder than other tiramisu desserts I’ve eaten. The sauce wasn’t Hershey’s—it tasted more like dark chocolate and was a bit thicker—but it provided a nice little kick at the end of my dessert.
My mother’s apple walnut salad had plenty of green apple slices, walnuts, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, and blue cheese crumbles on top of a bed of arugula and romaine lettuce.
A small lidded cup was in one corner of the plastic container. This cup contained what the menu said is raspberry vinaigrette but my mother initially thought was strawberry. (Maybe that’s the taste you get when you combine raspberry and apples.)
She said the entire salad was fresh, and aside from that comment and the one about the dressing, my mother didn’t say much. That’s a telltale sign that she liked her salad. She kept some of it for the following day’s lunch. The next day, she said the salad was just as fresh.
My only quibble is that I didn’t get more French bread with my ravioli, because if I had I would have shared it with my mother, who didn’t get any bread on the side. But my mother had her favorite crackers with her salad, so she was happy.
Otherwise, Saluti’s clearly worked to ensure that they offered high-quality food from the start. They had to, because if they couldn’t hold their own with the likes of established Italian restaurants including Strings and Giannini’s.
We think they’ve succeeded and are a quality addition to the group of Italian restaurants in the county. Saluti’s gets our green light. The price for our meal was a little less than $36.
Want to Try Them?
Saluti’s is open from Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays. They’re open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for lunch and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for dinner. Saluti’s accepts cash and credit cards, and they allow you to dine in or take out.
Saluti’s is located at 719 South Highway 49 in Jackson in the Gold Country Center on the northwest corner of Highway 49 and Clinton Road. You can view Saluti’s menu and pictures of some of their dishes on their Facebook page. When you’re ready to order and/or have questions, call them at 209-217-8163.
Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.