After more than a decade in operation, Savoy Bar & Grill has established itself as the place in the Northeast Heights to mark special occasions. It’s where you go to celebrate birthdays, graduations and anniversaries, a high-end setting where the wine helps the food go down and takes the edge off the anxiety you feel upon opening the check at the end of the meal.
Set just feet from the traffic speeding down Montgomery, Savoy’s dining room is a serene space stretched across two levels and decked out in pale yellow with dark wood trim. Despite the high price tag of its entrees, it’s hardly a stuffy atmosphere. The kitchen is open, the staff is youthful, the dress casual.
Savoy has survived through some lean years in the local economy since it opened in 2006 by relying on the quality of its ingredients and the composition of its plates. At its best, it delivers multi-faceted dishes whose elements complement each other, making the whole greater than a sum of its parts.
Exhibit A: The togarashi seared tuna appetizer ($13), four thick slices of yellowfin tuna arranged over a seaweed salad and coated in a chile-based spice blend popular in Japan. Small piles of pickled ginger and wasabi on the side of the plate amplify the togarashi’s heat, while the soy-mirin glaze and strips of fried wontons bring tang and crunch. Nothing is extraneous: Each element on the plate adds something to the dish.
The same goes for a strawberry salad ($8/$11) that pairs sliced fruit with peppery baby arugula, toasted almonds and feta cheese made in Tucumcari. Tossed in an ideal amount of citrus vinaigrette, it has the bright, refreshing taste of a great summer salad, although the strawberries’ dull appearance suggested they had been frozen.