Emile Salti is a scientist -- a food technologist who has traveled the world. He buys only the best local meat and produce for the homey Mediterranean restaurant he and his wife opened 18 years ago.
For other ingredients, he gets the best from faraway lands like Italy, Greece and Lebanon. But Reine is the heart of the operation, producing wonderful food while chatting amiably (often in French) with the regulars. In Emile's voice you can hear the love and admiration he holds for his French/Italian wife. "She's more than just a chef," he explains, turning philosophical. "She's an artist. Everybody cooks, but an artist goes beyond the physical to reveal something deeper. I don't want to say spiritual, but..." He struggles for the word, but it's not necessary. To understand, just taste her cooking.
CityBeat: Where'd you have your last great meal and what was it?
Reine Salti: We don't eat out very much, but when guests come, we take them. Sometimes to The Palace at the Cincinnatian Hotel. It's very good.
CB: What do you do that sets Floyd's apart?
RS: In France, every restaurant features its plates du jour, special selections that depend on what's available in the markets. I have customers calling me every day asking what the special is. Yesterday it was zucchini stuffed with pine nuts, lamb and onion. Fridays I usually make Sayadeh (sea bass).
Floyd's, 127 Calhoun St., Clifton Heights, 513-221-2434