Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Savoy

I have heard many great things about The Savoy - a relatively new seafood focused absinthe bar in Wicker Park. I like the unique positioning and creative differentiation. It also fits into the neighborhood very well. As for the absinthe part? It was favorite pastime in college to see if all the rumors and myths about hallucinating were true. Obviously there are not otherwise restaurants would not be able to serve it - but it is a VERY strong spirit and can actually taste good if done right. And there's a nice little show with the water dispenser and everything. So yea, go here for some absinthe and have a good time. Oh. They have food too. Let me get to that.

We didn't really love the food program, and our service was very strange and awkward at times. There was a lot of food to try so it wasn't as if we selectively ordered poorly. And the fact that I can't even remember some of the things we ordered even after looking at my pictures says it wasn't that memorable. But I shouldn't be so critical because some items were tasty and good but my overall impression was disappointed and mediocre food.

We started with some oysters - and those were very nice - as well as the tuna tartare. I thought the tuna was ok, it had a very nice and spicy green sauce on the side that made the tuna pop and tasty but the crispy chips didn't add anything and the tuna by itself was just ok. We tried two salads - their version of tomato and burrata, and the autumn vegetable salad with roasted squash, shaved celery root and brussels sprouts, haricot verts, ricotta salata and brown butter vinaigrette. I thought the burrata salad was very good, with large tomatoes, a healthy does of pesto and fun little tomato ginger gelee. High recommended. The autumn salad had a lot of potential to me, a lot of great fall vegetables together but it just didn't come together with any meaningful flavor. Finally we had the hamachi crudo with grilled pineapple, red onion marmalade, sesame

chili oil and a pineapple-miso emulsion. It was by far the best thing we ate to start and probably all night. Little bites of hamachi wrapped around everything else with a nice sauce drizzled on top. Delicious. 

Our main course dishes included the applewood smoked amish chicken (with crispy polenta, shaved brussels sprouts, pickled red onion, lolla rosa, lemon tru e vinaigrette), maple mustard glazed salmon (with root vegetables, crispy brussels sprout leaves, lemon, parsley), and a pasta special (I think since it's not on the menu). I honestly don't remember which was my favorite or if any of them really stood out. Since Raw Bar and Seafood are in the tagline for the restaurant maybe it is wise to stick with those items at the top of the menu and go straight for the absinthe during or afterward. The salmon was fine I think but really simple. The pasta was equally bland and uninspiring but a good size portion. And I have no idea about the chicken. Oh well. 

The Savoy was a fine time with good friends and great end with our water contraption and cocktail and such. A few of the raw bar items were nice but everything else seemed to lack interest or flavor or attention from the kitchen. Our service was equally strange at times, even asking us if we had indeed made a reservation for our table. At least the value seems appropriate for a Wicker Park lounge/bar.

The Savoy on Urbanspoon


  1. I remembered the best club in olongapo having generous cocktail servings that I really enjoyed. There were some gorgeous places for fine dining, too.

  2. You sir, are a moron. Thank God none of the cooks at the Savoy are as bad at their job as you are at yours. How you managed to publish this article, let alone find work as a food critic is beyond me. The Savoy has great food.

  3. you have a very excellent weblog here! do you wish to earn some invite posts on my own weblog?



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