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Salt & Steel
Eating to remember

Who: Bobby Will, chef and restaurant owner

Will’s impressive track record includes receiving a prestigious “excellent” rating from The New York Times for his Port Chester, New York, oyster bar, Saltaire, and being recognized as one of a dozen millennial chefs changing the face of the industry by Thrillest.

What: Salt & Steel, Bar Harbor’s new fine-dining, farm-to-table experience with an emphasis on hyper-local sourcing (opened 2019)

“The name Salt & Steel embodies my view on cooking. Salt being the basis of flavor, used to enhance a dish, and steel being the tools—the chef’s knives, tongs, and stainless-steel tables—that we use to craft the food,” says Will.

He credits his Sous Chef, Brandon Sanders, and his “amazingly wonderful team at Salt & Steel” (including his fiancé and co-owner, Kimberly Kraus) for making it all possible.

Salt & Steel’s menu includes comfort foods that we’re all familiar with, but with an added upscale twist, like Will’s pastrami spiced pork tenderloin (see recipe on page x), made to remind people of a pastrami sandwich.

Why: “I want diners to leave Salt & Steel having experienced a flurry of memories and emotions.”

Will also wants to remind people that, “Maine cuisine is more than just lobster rolls and blueberry pie.”

Pastrami Spiced Pork Tenderloin

For the pork spice rub

1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon juniper berry

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablesoon Kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

4 pieces pork tenderloin, 7 ounces each

Combine the pepper, coriander, juniper, and red pepper flakes in a spice grinder, and grind finely. Mix together the ground spices with the salt and sugar. Generously coat the pork in the spice mixture. Reserve any left-over spices in a tightly sealed container for future dishes. 

For the cabbage purée

1 head red cabbage

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup red wine

½ cup red wine vinegar (aged French preferred)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Remove the core from the cabbage, and julienne. In a pot, sauté the cabbage in olive oil over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Lightly season with salt. Add the red wine and cook off the alcohol, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next add the vinegar and simmer on a low heat until the cabbage is very tender. Transfer the mix to a blender, purée until smooth, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. 

For the apple mostarda

½ yellow onion, finely julienned

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced 

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

½ cup white wine

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 green apples, diced

3 tablespoons scallions, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a pot, sweat the onions on low heat with olive oil, cooking until they begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook until tender and translucent. Add the mustard seeds to toast lightly. 

Add the wine to cook off alcohol (3 to 4 minutes). Add the vinegar, sugar, and Dijon, and simmer on a very low heat until sugar dissolves. 

Transfer the diced apples to the pot, and simmer until they turn fork tender, but still have a little bite to them. Remove apples from the heat, and cool to room temperature. Once the mixture is cooled, add the scallions, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. 

For the rye topping

4 slices rye bread, crusts removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Grind bread into crumbs. Toss the crumbs in olive oil and bake in a sheet pan until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and lightly season with salt. Reserve at room temperature. 

To plate

Roast the pork tenderloin in a cast iron pan until the temperature reaches 135° internally. Make sure to sear all sides of the tenderloin. Line a plate with paper towels and rest the seared tenderloin there. 

Warm the cabbage purée. When you are ready to plate, swipe the purée across the plate with a spoon. Slice the pork into 3 pieces and spread out along the purée. Lightly spoon the mostarda onto each piece of tenderloin. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of rye crumbs on top of each piece of pork. 


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