On the Menu: Comfort with class awaits diners at the Savory table
By Kelley Carlson
Savory is more than just a neighborhood restaurant.
It’s home away from home, according to chef and owner Pascal Vignau.
“We like having everyone feel comfortable,” he said. “It’s not too flashy, it’s comfortable, and it’s not loud.”
The establishment has a “warm” feeling, stemming from the gold and green tones of the cushioned seats and various other accents, to the polished wooden floors. Some of the walls are inlaid with brick; others are covered in earthy tones. An unusual feature: a burnt orange-hued hood over the door to the wine room, which was an oven in the days when the site was a bakery.
Vignau intended to keep the decor simple.
“I want to see my table,” Vignau said.
Comfort food “with a twist” is truly the restaurant’s centerpiece. Start the meal with the daily vegan soup or a colorful salad consisting of roasted beet, crumbled blue cheese, croutons and field greens. For something a little heavier, try the “Savory” Mac-n-Cheese with black forest ham, or a dish featuring bacon grits, crawfish, andouille sausage and gumbo sauce. Among the “rustic/classic” entrees are Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast, breaded with croutons and pretzels and served with mashed potato, haricot vert and mushroom gravy; and the Crab Crusted Pacific Sea Bass with spinach, mushroom and beurre blanc sauce. Wrap up the meal with the Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Cake and Cherry Compote or the Pain Perdu — brioche French toast, Vignau’s homemade jam and vanilla bean ice cream.
Savory offers a two-course Sunset Supper from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; and 1/2 Bottle, 1/2 Price on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Afternoon Tea — a reservation-only event held from noon to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday — features finger sandwiches, pastries and scones with Savory’s homemade jams.
Guitarist Anthony Cutietta performs easy listening and jazz numbers in the bar from 5 to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Further adding to Savory’s warmth is the friendliness and consistency of the staff. Vignau often becomes acquainted with customers, 50 percent of them regulars. Among his repeat guests are Bob and June, an elderly couple who have been dining at the restaurant a few times a week for several years. Vignau checks in on them to ensure they’re OK if they don’t stop by. He takes time to listen to menu suggestions, and has even been known to drive home an inebriated customer or two.
Customers tend to visit Savory the most on Tuesdays and weekends; winter is the busiest season, Vignau said.
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