Sunday, April 14, 2013

Enjoy Savoy

Hey 'burghers! Have you missed me? I've been out doing all sorts of wedding-y things. Checking out venues, photographers, DJs, florists and, of course, CATERERS. The good part? There are SO many fabulous and amazing caterers to choose from in the city of Pittsburgh. The bad part? There are SO many fabulous and amazing caterers to choose from in the city of Pittsburgh! It's making our job really, REALLY tough. Talk about stressful!

Today, we actually went in an ever so slightly different direction and had our very first tasting at the one and only SAVOY in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

Though PID and I had both tried Savoy's tasty dishes at events around the city, but we'd never eaten here, so we were very excited! As soon as we walked in, rumors of the city-lounge feel were immediately confirmed. The place was impeccably decorated.

I'll tell you something right off the bat: if you're a fan of "down home" restaurants conceptualized from a mom-and-pop mindset, you just plain won't feel comfortable here. We spoke to Chef Watson for quite sometime and he explained that Savoy was designed to be an "experience" for Pittsburghers - one we really haven't had in our city to date.

When we sat down to meet with Chef to talk about catering our wedding, he was a complete delight. He talks about food with such passion that it became instantly contagious. I wanted my wedding to be TOMORROW! Our first tasting was a current menu item, Beef Two Ways.

Beef, Two Ways (typically served with larger portion sizes with haricot vert for $30)
The beef on the left is a cube of sous vide brisket on cauliflower silk, and the right is sliced filet served over a bed of compressed (local!) mushrooms. On the menu, its served with haricot vert for $30. We each took one bite and were in heaven. The brisket was so tender and moist and we didn't even need a knife to cut it. It simply fell apart in the best possible way. The mushrooms and bistro steak were also incredible.

We also tried a sampling of the Chicken Marsala (also made with local mushrooms) and were equally floored - especially for such a common meal.

When it came time to eat our official meal, we asked Chef what he would recommend. He told us a story of how he personally travels to the local farms where he gets his ingredients. One of his favorite experiences was traveling to Elysian Fields Farms where he sources his lamb. He hauled bails of hay and did his fair share of the farm-work for the day so he could experience, first-hand, the how the sheep feed and live and trust that he's getting the best quality product.

Lamb Chops served with Spinach Risotto - $38
So, of course, I ordered the lamb chops. The meat was cooked phenomenally. Some of the best lamb I've had. The mint demi glaze really helped make the dish. The mint was subtle enough that it didn't overpower the rest of the ingredients, but strong enough that it perfectly complemented the gameyness of the lamb. Shockingly enough, though, I was equally as excited about the flawlessly-executed spinach risotto and glazed carrots on the plate. All-in-all, it was an outstanding meal.

PID has been dreaming about Savoy's ribs since last year's Savor Pittsburgh, so - although he toyed briefly with the idea of getting one of the more unique dishes on the menu - he ultimately went with the ribs and mac & cheese as his meal. The ribs fell of the bone as they should and PID was pleased that they were just how he remembered them. Deliciously messy and full of flavor. The mac & cheese were gooey and delectible, too.
BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mac & Cheese - $28

Restaurant Information:   Savoy
Address: 2623 Penn Ave in the Strip District
Phone: 412-281-0660
Reservations: Taken and encouraged

Sunday Brunch: 11am–3pm
Monday Dining Room: 5pm–9pm
Live Jazz: 6pm–10pm
Limited a la cart menu available
Tuesday Available for special events.
Wednesday & Thursday Dining Room: 5pm–10pm
Lounge & Patio: 5pm-2am
Friday & Saturday Dining Room: 5pm–11pm
Lounge & Patio: 5pm-2am

Overall Opinion:
Overall, we had a great tasting experience AND dinner experience, all rolled into one. Chef Watson is an incredible man who deserves every ounce of the growing respect Savoy has been seeing over the past two years in business. Just as he'd hoped, its a unique - and needed - Pittsburgh experience that just happens to also serve seriously kick-ass food. It's comfort food, elevated to an entirely new level. We still have a lot more tastings to do, but we're certainly happy we started here! We'll be back for dinner (possibly many, many times...) and we'll definitely consider it for privately hosted parties, as their upstairs and outdoor space were gorgeous. If you're looking for that little something extra that you feel like you can find in cities OTHER than Pittsburgh, Savoy is your place. But, appropriately so, it adds in its Pittsburgh charm by using local ingredients. We love this place. Give it a try.

QUICK WARNING: They do have a dress code. I felt slightly under-dressed in jeans and a cardigan. They wouldn't make you leave for that, but make sure those toes aren't exposed!

Savoy Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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