// Written by Joy Cho //
I’m not going to lie; I made around ten reservations for Restaurant Week. To clarify, ten reservations for the same night. My friends and I just couldn’t make a decision, okay? I think that’s pretty understandable. Maybe.
After debating, perusing restaurant week menus as well as the regular menus, and looking up the restaurant locations, we finally decided on The Savoy, a seafood restaurant, in Wicker Park. The reviews looked promising, and the price of the regular menu hinted to us that the $33 three-course Restaurant Week special was worth it. Plus, Wicker Park is always a fun place to go for a night out.
Considering it was a Saturday night, I was surprised by how empty the restaurant was at 5:45 p.m. More people began to file in later on in the night, but the vibe never quite lived up to my expectations, although the décor and exposed brick was pleasantly rustic, modern, and artsy all at once.
I had practically memorized the menu via the Internet before I arrived. I ordered the salted cod croquette for the appetizer, the salmon with eggplant, chickpeas, and raisin puree for my entrée, and the Savoy s’more for dessert. I was more than excited; I was finally experiencing Chicago’s Restaurant Week.
The cod croquette arrived with a generous smear of horseradish cream, pickled cauliflower, and the housemade pickles. The croquette was crispy and plump with cod, which was nicely complemented by the spicy tang from the horseradish sauce. The pickles and cauliflower were far too acidic and salty for me, though; the flavor was overpowering. For an appetizer, the portions were almost too generous. I think I could have been comfortably full by eating half of the croquette (but of course, I ate the whole thing).
Before I go on, there is one bone I have to pick. Before I finished my appetizer, the server brought the entrees out, and as my friend was still working on her main dish, dessert was served. My friends and I agreed that service seemed strangely rushed, even though there was no wait to get a table. One waiter, too, constantly walked by our line of tables, eyeing our water cups to see if they needed to be filled. It got to the point where I felt a bit paranoid and nervous; I’ve never had that feeling at a restaurant before.
Returning to the entrée, I was very pleased with the salmon dish. The Norwegian salmon filet was tender and flaky, and put on top of a bed of soft chick peas, grilled eggplant, pine nuts, black garlic vinaigrette, and raisin puree. The raisin puree took the cake for me, as it added an impressive depth of richness and sweetness that heightened the delicate flavor of the salmon. The chick peas and eggplant, too, were unique touches that made the dish more flavorful and exciting.
At this point, I was feeling pretty full, as the portions were rather large (I’m not complaining, though!), but I still had room for the Savoy s’more. The presentation was quite unexpected, as a housemade marshmallow covered with dark chocolate mousse sat atop a chewy, honey oat cookie. Overall, it was an adequate dish. I particularly enjoyed the cookie, which was pleasantly chewy from the oats. The mousse, though, lacked the deep chocolate intensity I was looking for, and the marshmallow was not warm at all, although it was apparently “torched.” The s’more grew on me, though, and I finished the whole thing easily.
So, was the $33 three-course, Restaurant Week meal worth it? Overall, the food was good, and the portions were large, but I don’t think I would pay that much money to go back. But considering that their normal entrees are in the mid to upper $20s range, I would say that especially for the portion size, it was worth it. Again, service was a little weird for me, and I think this plays a significant role in my reflection of the experience.
There will always be hype over Restaurant Week, and I’m glad I got to experience it firsthand at The Savoy. But now that I’ve been there and done that, I’m satisfied. I’m ready to venture out into other foodie hotspots in Chicago, especially those without a prix-fixe menu.
|Address||1408 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622|
|Hours||Open daily for dinner at 5:00 PM Open for brunch (Fri – Sun) from 11:00 – 3:30|
|Price Range||$30 – $50|