16 May 2011

A Final Visit to Savoy

My wife is an art critic. So, when we first started dating in the early '90s, we spent a lot of time in SoHo, which was then the heart of the New York art world. A lot of the galleries and bars and restaurants we frequented back then are long gone. But Savoy was there then, and it's there now. But it's days are numbered. Savoy will close for good June 18. Chef Peter Hoffman, who founded it as one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in the city, has decided to renovate and reopen as a more casual eatery.

I decided to enjoy one more dinner there before it faded into memory. I've always considered its location—in one of the older buildings in SoHo, at the atmospheric cobblestone corner of Crosby and Prince—to be one of the more lovely settings in the City. The working fireplace, alas, was not ablaze, as the weather was too hot.

I was early for dinner and was a single, but the staff couldn't have been more kind. I had the "Savoy Dips" appetizer—Beet & Goat Cheese, Ricotta & Watercress, Potato & Almond, with accompanying bread. It's a delightfully simple and satisfying dish, a nice embodiment of Hoffman's culinary philosophy. I followed this up with the Savoy burger with New  York white cheddar and in-house cured bacon. Yummy.

My waiter told me the new Hoffman restaurant does not yet have a name, but that it will draft off Hoffman's other place, Back Forty. The horseshoe shaped bar will sadly be removed, and be replaced with a long straight bar that will stretch the length of the room. (That would mean the fireplace would be behind the bar.) Nice to know that the building will still be in the same good hands.

No comments: