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At Assembly Row’s Salt + Stone, something for everyone, with a smile

A pizza concept gets a rebrand.

The Seafood Platter at Salt + Stone restaurant on Assembly Row.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Where to Salt + Stone in Somerville’s Assembly Row.

Why To grab a burger, salad, or pasta in between your trip to Legoland or Banana Republic. Committed al fresco diners will be happy with the expansive, covered outdoor pavilion (where, on a recent visit, several groups of colleagues in ID badges were whooping it up.). Inside, it’s buttery yellow and soothing deep blue, with a large bar made from reclaimed wood sourced from a New Bedford mill.

The exterior at Salt + Stone restaurant on Assembly Row. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The backstory This is a rebrand: Restaurateurs Sean and Sue Olson were partners in a branch of MidiCi, a national Neapolitan pizza chain, in the same space. For years, the Olsons also ran Uptown Gourmet & Catering in Wellesley; they later went on to franchise a few local Five Guys shops.


Owners Sean and Susan Olson at Salt + Stone restaurant.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

MidiCi never quite took off, and so the Olsons decided to launch their own independent restaurant here in March. Salt + Stone is a departure — an all-occasion restaurant with a broad menu. “This is American comfort food at a higher level,” Sean Olson says.

Devil’s Flatbread at Salt + Stone restaurant.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

As for the name? “Salt is the essence of flavor for all things, and stone is our resolve to get through COVID,” he explains. He comes from a restaurant family; his grandmother attended Le Cordon Bleu many years ago, and his parents were chefs. The new spot incorporates many family recipes, and everything is made from scratch.

What to eat The menu is broad, definitely designed for disparate groups of coworkers or picky families who can’t settle on a theme. It’s divvied into sections: Raw + Fresh (seafood platters, shellfish); Start + Share (a cheese and meat board, chicken wings, meatballs and ricotta); Foraged + Field (salads); Main + Seared (rare ahi tuna; ribeye steak); Wood + Fire (an assortment of flatbreads); Hold + Hearty (sandwiches and burgers); and Twirl + Taste (lobster ravioli, mac and cheese).


Salt + Stone Burger at Salt + Stone restaurant.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

I had a solid French onion soup, heavy on the Swiss and generous with the croutons. My kids enjoyed the flatbread — pizza without a thick rim, Olson explains — generously sized and bubbly. Sesame crusted ahi tuna is also tasty, with a nicely tangy cucumber salad on the side. The only mystery is a large smashed potato in the center of the plate, which adds an unnecessary heaviness to the proceedings.

Smashed Potatoes at Salt + Stone restaurant on Assembly Row. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

What to drink There’s a big cocktail list, ostensibly designed to make those colleagues seem even nicer: Try the Salt + Spice, a tart punch of Mezcal, spicy Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, and Cointreau, or the Talk Tiki to me, a rum, passionfruit, and pineapple concoction best not sipped around your boss.

Talk Tiki to Me cocktail at Salt + Stone restaurant.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The takeaway There’s something for everyone here. What really struck me, though, was the service: Our server was incredibly kind, patient with my preschooler, and seemed genuinely happy to be there, which in my mind outweighs an errant potato.

463 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-764-1541, www.saltandstoneboston.com

Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.