A Hop Skip and Boat Ride Away, The Saltry


Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
 ― Anthony Bourdain

Tucked away in a small quarter of Halibut Cove Alaska, is a restaurant called the Saltry.  Constructed from a restored boat, with a cozy outside dining area, every piece of the Saltry has a bit of story and whimsy.  

Open for a select number of months out of the year, and nestled on the boardwalk, charter boats and commercial water taxis are prohibited from entering the cove, so you have to reserve a seat on the restaurant's boat (The Danny J).

There were a number of people dining that evening that we were visiting, so luck would have it that we actually got to ride on a separate boat with the Saltry's owner and artist Marian Beck.

Over the next half hour we would talk about everything from seafood to art, to how her restaurant started and how her family built everything from the boardwalk, to every part of the restaurant by hand. 

She hand crafted and painted all of the dishware, the mosaic tables are built from pieces of broken dishes, the paintings are by her and even the pickled salmon was caught and cured by her husband.


Once we began entering the cove, she slowed her boat and for the longest moment, I just stared in awe speechless at the scenery.  The water was so still, the only movement from the ripples of our boat, and you could see the vast mountain ranges framing the landscape. 

Marian then explained that the peaceful environment is one of the reasons they don't allow for commercial charter boats to come into the cove and why the boardwalk is only open from 1-9pm.  "You're our guest here, not just a visiting tourist." 

Once we docked, before settling into the restaurant, she gave us a tour of the boardwalk, where we got to see her horses, where she makes her art and shared a few anecdotes about friends and event pastimes that have taken place in the cove.  

As she walked us back to the restaurant, I thanked her for sharing and said "you've created something so unique and beautiful here..."  

The remaining dining experience was just like the beginning, everyone of the staff was friendly, and you didn't just place an order, eat and leave, there were conversations and stories exchanged and you learned a little bit about each person you encountered.  

We even learned that evening that the gal who was serving our table was actually an American Pro Skier, who is an avid food lover and followed her Chef friend to the cove for the summer. 

About the food! Hands down, Alaska has the best raw oysters I've ever had.  There aren't enough adjectives in my diction to encapsulate how amazing they are.  

The seafood was so fresh (the pickled salmon was a favorite of mine), the greens (grown there) delectable and although the breaded halibut was a bit salty, everything else was enjoyably yummy. 

The entire experience at the Saltry reminded me about all the reasons I fell in love with food and started this blog.  

Sharing plates, new dialogues of conversations, experiencing different flavors and meeting new faces along the way. 

Thank you Marian and the Saltry for sharing, I truly hope to see you again sometime (maybe even in Hawaii during the winter months ;) )  

For more about the Saltry visit

to see Marian's art visit

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