thali platter at black salt in chesterfield photo by carmen troesser

Best New Restaurants 2023 // No. 5 Black Salt

When it comes to Indian food, West County residents aren’t lacking for choice. Competition is fierce, with newcomers like The Curry Club and Red Chili facing up to stalwarts like Taj Palace. This year, Chesterfield’s Black Salt proved it has the chops to go toe-to-toe with the best, executing crowd-pleasing tandoori classics and serving up surprising fusion twists on staples (think garlic-truffle naan or black miso chicken tikka). Whatever you’re craving, Black Salt has something to match the mood, and enough on the menu to require return visits. These are a few of our favorite dishes.

Thali Platter
Think of a thali platter as a buffet that comes to you. A plate of perfect rice, buttered naan and an appalam – a crunchy chip made from lentil flour – anchor the plate. The rainbow-shaped platter is filled with side dishes in little bowls to eat with the rice or naan. The varied dishes can include aloo gobhi (roasted cauliflower and potato with spices), yellow dal tadka flavored with cumin, or raita, a cooling yogurt sauce with cucumber. It’s an efficient and exciting way to taste several dishes from the menu in one fell swoop.

Paneer Tikka Masala
The paneer tikka masala is a standout among the saucy, gravy-style dishes, with a creamy, tomato-based sauce and big chunks of paneer cheese.


black salt cocktail // photo by carmen troesser


Pani Puri
There are some less familiar favorites too, like the pani puri, an appetizer that is as fun to eat as it is delicious. Four puri, fried, hollow bite-sized puffs are filled with cooked potato, shallots and chickpeas and served on top of a bed of crispy puffed rice. Alongside is a tiny pitcher of pani, a tamarind- and mint-flavored water. Pour the pani into the puri, then immediately pick it up and finish it in one bite. It’s a symphony of textures, varying temperatures, and a lively way to start a meal.

Black Salt cocktail
Choose vodka or tequila as the base for this drink, which is flavored with lime – sour and sweet and fresh – and a confetti of chopped mint and a little dried chile. It’s herbal, spicy and refreshing.

Naan of any kind
Black Salt’s naan is pillowy and soft, strong enough to stand up to the saucy dishes and soft enough so that it pulls apart with ease. Whether the naan comes slathered in butter, topped with chile and garlic, or garlic and truffle for an East-meets-West twist, it is beautiful every time.

Tandoori meat
The tandoori chicken is juicy with a charred crust, a delicious version of a fan favorite. But it doesn’t end there: Minty lamb seekh and tender tandoori shrimp are cooked to perfection.

Gulab jamun for dessert
Gulab jamun is a kind of fried doughnut made with a milk powder dough, dunked in a sugar syrup flavored with saffron. Here, they’re served split and placed on a swipe of citrus-scented mascarpone cheese for a fresh take on a standard that took a beloved dessert to new heights. Enjoy them while they’re warm!