Salt and Lime Cabo Grill has opened in North Ridge Shopping Center, in the space formerly occupied by Amedeo’s North. The restaurant is the first venture for the husband-and-wife team of Ken and Katie Smith, though both are veterans of the corporate restaurant world.
The couple’s experience at national chains (including California Pizza Kitchen, where Ken was a general manager for a decade, and Cheesecake Factory, where Katie worked for eight years) is evident in the relaxed but polished feel of their restaurant’s decor. It isn’t hard to imagine Salt and Lime’s contemporary breezy tropical look being cloned for future locations (not that the Smiths have announced plans to that effect).
Clearly, a little corporate marketing savvy has rubbed off, too. Salt and Lime’s concept - contemporary Mexican with a Baja California accent - aims squarely at one of our favorite cuisines, but with a twist that sets it apart from the crowd.
On the menu, that translates to an offering with a tempting variety of seafood options, including chile-spiced fried calamari, grilled mahi Napoleon, chipotle cedar salmon, and the batter-fried fish tacos that the Baja region is famous for. Landlubbers and vegetarians are well-served, too, with options ranging from braised short rib tacos to fire-roasted chile relleno stuffed with quinoa, peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese.
An outstanding tequila selection, specialty tropical cocktails and fruit-infused margaritas are the feature attractions at a full service bar that also offers a modest selection of wines and draft and bottled beers.
Salt and Lime Cabo Grill (6006 Falls of Neuse Road; 919-872-2230; saltandlimecabo.com) serves lunch Tuesday-Sunday and dinner nightly.
Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, reports restaurant news. Tune in at 11 a.m. Saturdays to hear his radio show on WPTF. He can be reached at email@example.com.