Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Stop everything: Savoy
I do not necessarily want this to become a blog centered restaurant reviews, and yet I have to say it: stop what you are doing and make plans to dine at Savoy. Just do it. Find a date and make a reservation using opentable.com. If you are looking to be set up, I'd be happy to oblige, just let me know in the comments. Or better yet, take me! I promise to be scintillating company and laugh at all your jokes.
Vronsky and I ate here last Thursday night after reading about Savoy in The Clean Plate Club and in New York Magazine's article about sustainable food. I think it's wonderful that more and more people are jumping aboard the Organic/Locovore bandwagon and want to eat foods that have a minimum impact on our environment and society. For example, I never really understood the brouhaha about grass-fed vs. corn-fed beef until learning that corn-fed cows produce obscene amounts of methane (aka cow farts) and are one of the leading causes of green house gas emissions. Grass-fed cows not only fart less but taste better, and are much more likely to be organic and raised in humane conditions to boot.
That said, I know that it is tough (not to mention expensive) to follow an organic/locovore diet all the time, but when possible, I like to eat places that follow these principles, and any chef will tell you that organic, locally grown, seasonal produce is the best to cook and to eat, politics and health-reasons aside.
Savoy is one of the top restaurants in NYC representing this movement alongside Blue Hill. Located in SoHo on Prince and Crosby, Savoy is a charming little haunt with large windows that give it an airy feel despite the relatively small space. There is also an upstairs, but watching the melange of people cruise down Prince St. via those lovely large windows while drinking wine and waiting for your food is great fun in and of itself, so try and get a window seat.
Since Savoy's chef, Peter Hoffman, has a seasonally based menu, what Vronsky and I ate may not be available when you go, but I am confident that whatever you do eat will be equally fantastic.
To start, V had the wild striped bass tartare with cucumbers, radish, and aleppo pepper and carrot oil. The presentation was perfect, each little morsel of bass set upon slices of radish and cucumber and drizzled over with the tangy pepper and carrot concoction.
I had the Savoy Charcuterie Plate, a selection of house cured meats with whole grain mustard and pickled veggies. The selection du jour was duck prosciutto, chorizo, salami with fennel, pork sausage, and a standard salami. It was all delicious and has spoiled me so that I can never eat a plain old salami sandwich with the same palate again. Vronsky contemplated canceling his entree and just getting a second Plate.
I'm glad he resisted, however, as he ordered the salt crust baked duck with mashed turnips, blueberry gastrique (ah, those blueberries!) shaved carrots and bush basil. Served medium rare, each bite was rich with flavor and complemented perfectly by the gastrique, accompanying vegetables and salty skin.
I ordered the olive oil poached Alaskan halibut with smoked eggplant puree, cauliflower caponata, and golden raisin vinaigrette. The fish was light and airy and the vinaigrette so delicious I was literally licking the plate at the end, lest I waste a single drop.
For desert, we ordered the special, a peach tart, with a lovely warm and flaky crust and perfectly baked fruit filling. I am a huge fan of fruity deserts, and was glad I convinced V to partake, as he is usually partial to deserts of the "chocolate cake" variety.
This is one of my new favorite restaurants in the entire City, and cannot wait to go back in the fall, as I can only image the delicious autumnal cuisine Hoffman will whip up, and there is a working fireplace inside too, which can only add to the experience.
Savoy is open Monday through Saturday for lunch, Monday through Sunday for dinner, located at 70 Prince Street near Crosby. www.savoynyc.com