El Pasoans looking for a unique, wine-centric culinary experience should look no further than Salt Box Pours & Provisions (204 Boston Ave.) Owned by Certified Sommelier, Manny Jemente, and Chef Norbert Portillo of Tabla and Ode, Salt Box pays homage to the warmth and hospitality of home and offers carefully sourced wines that are not currently seen or served in El Paso.
These unique wines are complimented by a menu featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, artisanal cheese selection that is flown in on a weekly basis and pastas made from scratch.
The Chef and the Sommelier first joined forces when they’d host quarterly wine dinners at Chef Norbert’s Tabla restaurant, “It’s important how wine and food come together, and for us, creating a dining experience at Salt Box is about trust. We are asking our patrons to trust that I will select wines that are interesting to the palate and that Chef Norbert is creating meals that enhance the diner’s experience,” said Manny Jemente, El Paso’s only restaurant-based Certified Sommelier.
Salt Box received its name for two reasons. First, salt is the basic ingredient in almost every recipe and is vital to any chef. Second, the name refers to the wood boxes historically used to store salt in homes.
Salt Box enlisted the expertise of co-owner and artist Marie Rohde when developing the interior design, “We want our guests to feel at home when they’re here, everything about this place is intended to make you feel warm and welcome.”
“As Manny works hard to develop an evolving wine list, I’ve been working with my kitchen staff to develop a menu that takes our guests on a culinary journey,” said Chef Norbert. All pastas are made in house and the menu features items such as scotch quail eggs, rabbit sacchettini, and braised oxtail.
The owners make it a point to use as much locally sourced ingredients as possible for their meals and hired an experienced staff to tend to guests needs.
Salt Box is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with plans to begin serving breakfast on weekdays soon. Salt Box also has a cool and cozy outdoor patio for those who prefer to dine alfresco.
It is open Tuesday–Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information, visit saltboxpp.com