Starting Fresh: Dinner And Jazz At Savoy

Achievement: #78. Savoy Jazz Monday

Toward the end of 2014, we fell off a bit on our posting (to put it mildly), so we’re going to go hard at the start of 2015, knocking off and documenting new achievements, but also writing up some choice prior-year activities that we think you’ll enjoy.

To get things rolling, here’s an account of our first achievement of 2015!

Jazz Night at Savoy
We’d heard good things about Savoy, both with regard to their food and the jazz night they hold every Monday, with a live band performing in the dining area.

Jazz Night at Savoy
So, on this first Monday of 2015, we braved the blistering cold and went down to Pittsburgh’s Strip District for some fancy food and live music.

Jazz Night at Savoy
When we arrived for our 7pm reservation, the band was in between sets, so amidst the subdued vibe we studied the menu and tucked in to a basket of assorted fresh breads with rosemary-infused olive oil and balsamic.

Jazz Night at Savoy
After much deliberation, we decided to kick dinner off with some buttery Chardonnay and an order of fried calamari and shrimp. One order could easily be split among three or four people as an appetizer, but it wasn’t too heavy; the breading was light and both the calamari and shrimp were notably meaty. The dish was served with a sun-dried tomato horseradish cream sauce, which again sounds super heavy, but its texture was more like an aioli. We were both very impressed.

Jazz Night at Savoy
As we waited for our entrees to come out, the band kicked off another set. The band tonight was Roger Humphries and the RH Factor, led by (as you might have guessed) the great Roger Humphries on drums (that’s him nestled into the corner, out of the lights). The band played a solid mix of classics and straight up funky goodness. My favorite tune they performed was probably “Song For My Father,” the Horace Silver standard for which Mr. Humphries played drums on the original Blue Note recording. If you like, listen here as you read on.

Then came the main course.

Jazz Night at Savoy
Fox, as is her wont, ordered the grilled pork chop. It came with sautéed baby kale and arugula, a mushroom ragout, sweet potato purée, and compressed apples. The flavors came together really well, with the sweet complementing the salty perfectly. It paired quite nicely with a glass of chianti. My only quibble would be that the pork chop was cooked to medium well (the restaurant’s standard preparation), whereas I prefer more of a medium rare tenderness. Still, that was very minor, and the portion was huge!

Jazz Night at Savoy
I went more the soul food route and opted to have the shrimp and grits. It was loaded with all sorts of tasty morsels — mixed into the grits along with the shrimp were andouille sausage, garlic, tomato concasse, mushrooms, scallions, Tillamook cheddar, and fresh lemon. Spicy, savory, and surprisingly balanced! Between ordering and receiving the dish I had grown a bit worried about all the acidic elements in the dish, but it really didn’t overwhelm at all. Paired with a crisp sauvignon blanc, it was totally scrumptious — the heat of the dish really opened up the fruit flavors of the wine.

Jazz Night at Savoy
We ended up boxing about half of each of our dinners, because after seeing a few desserts get walked by us to other tables, we had to have one! We decided to split an order of the apple pie cheesecake, which was a pretty unique twist on a standard dessert. It was actually a roasted Granny Smith apple, hollowed out and filled with whipped vanilla bean cheesecake. The base was a tender slab of graham cracker sable, and the “cake” was topped with apple cider ice cream and a Tennessee honey whiskey caramel. Fox enjoyed her half with a glass of tawny port, while I went for black coffee and a shot of Tres Leches. Both worked very well with the dessert, which we would definitely have again.

Jazz Night at Savoy
As we finished dessert, the band wrapped its set and our evening eased to a close. Our food and the music were both deliciously enjoyable, and the service was 5-star excellent. Dinner was definitely on the pricey side, and the cocktail menu, with its variety of fruity martinis and Cosmos, was a little too sweet for our palate, but we enjoyed every bite we ate. We wholeheartedly recommend checking the place out — especially on a Monday! (Check Savoy’s Jazz Monday event page to see who’s playing.)

5 Comments

Filed under #78, #78-15, dinner, jazz, live music, strip district, wine

5 Responses to Starting Fresh: Dinner And Jazz At Savoy

  1. Woubbie

    Yum! Sounds wonderful!

  2. Happy New Year guys! This is a great post. I love places with dinner, drinks, and live music–combining life’s great pleasures. The dessert looks phenomenal.

  3. Love Monday night dinner at Savoy! Glad you did, too.

  4. Conte

    Food looks delish! Loved listening to the music while reading the blog. Really captured the mood of the restaurant.

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