"You're here to eat?!" This is not the most promising of an opening line for any restaurant and should probably have been a warning of things to come. "It's just that a lot of people stop by only to look at the menu." Then, I assume, they leave? This is probably not the optimal chit chat you'd expect from a maître d'.
Showing us our table she promptly informed that we had arrived between the lunch and dinner shift, and that we only could order from the lounge menu. This, to me, is a bit ridiculous. 2:30pm might not be the height of the lunch rush, but you should expect to order from the regular menu at least. Particularly on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Savory, of course, has had problems from the get-go. Chef/co-owner Steve Hermann left less than a month before opening, leaving a sous chef to get the restaurant up and running. This is not a good position for anyone to be in, and does in all likelihood explain the rocky start.
The food, frankly, was not very good. From the limited options on the lounge menu, I went with the pork taquitos. Here we had dry as sand pork packed in a crumbling tortilla with a chipotle crema reminiscent of sour cream mixed with pre-packaged taco seasoning. The guacamole, while bland, was at least fairly fresh tasting, though the cole slaw felt a bit stale.
The Mason Jar didn't fare much better. The bread was burnt, and didn't show much promise as far as flavors go. On the upside the olives were pretty good as was the goat cheese.
To cap it off we tried the butternut squash soup, which lacked any flavor whatsoever.
There were things to like about Savory. The interiors were nice in a PF Chang's meets Twigs type of style. Plus the men's room had a nice outlook onto the street through a one-way window. That was kinda fun.
But really, I question if the place should have opened without a chef in place. I'm sure the interim choice could do just fine, but he needs more than a month to properly take over the kitchen. Should management have waited then? In terms of quality of the food, yes, probably, but I assume they needed revenue to pay the bills.
And even wit sub-Twigs standard food there seems to be some excitement around Savory. The question is if people will come back for a second meal. We will, in the hopes that things will improve over the next few months.
As it stands right now, though, I don't care all that much about Savory's claims of a farm-to-table business model. The food just doesn't hold up, and as long as you're paying good money to eat there, it doesn't matter if the restaurant has been open for a week or a year. You should expect good food, and Savory, in its current form, just doesn't deliver on that.
Vote for Savory Restaurant & Lounge (Closed): It’s your civic duty!