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Restaurants & Bars 2

[PDX] Savoy Tavern & Bistro

Sir Loins | Jan 30, 200611:49 AM

Although I've met friends at the Savoy for drinks numerous times in the past few months, I'd never had a meal there. So, after catching a matinee with two friends on stormy Sunday evening, we were hungry, and the Savoy is where we went.

After plopping our wet and wind-blown selves into a comfy booth in the bar, we realized that none of us had dined there before. All the better to have three clean slates for local C-hounds.

The short and sweet of it is this: Savoy makes hearty, well-seasoned, thoughtfully prepared, delicious comfort food.

Fried chicked served "picnic style"(at room temperature)was the supper special, served with a choice of 2 sides. My pals ordered that, each choosing a side of mac & cheese and a green salad. $10 each, I think.

I got the mac & cheese supper; my side choices were greens and roasted root vegetables. $11.

We split a starter of fried cheese curds, which were crispy outside, chewy inside, and not greasy or heavy at all -- like cheese masquerading as popcorn. A delicious, decadent beginning.

The mac & cheese was excellent. A bowl of cheesy, creamy, and chewy goodness cooked and seasoned just right, and not thin/milky or hard/crusty, like so many other versions in town. The sauce was thick and tangy, and clung to the macaroni. A few shakes of hot sauce improved on perfection.

Roasted root veggies were turnips, potatoes, carrots, and beets. Very colorful on the plate. All were crispy outside, soft inside, with flavorful bits of char on the outside. I don't much like beets (though I'll eat them if they're part of a dish like this one), but these were alright. I was pleased that they didn't impart their flavor to the other veggies.

Greens were fresh spinach leaves sauteed with small bits of bacon. The bacon removed the bitterness of the spinach leaves, and the spinach was bright green and soft, with leaves intact and not wilted.

The picnic-style fried chicken was super fine. When brought to the table, we were told it had finished cooking about 30 minutues ago. Its crust was crunchy, with a thin layer of salt-and-pepper batter; the meat (thighs and legs, I think one plate had a breast) was moist and tender. I had a bite of thigh and leg. My pals dug their chicken and mac & cheese.

Their salads were a healthy serving of the usual fresh mixed greens, except Savoy wisely doesn't include the usual mealy winter tomatoes. These I didn't sample, but it all looked very fresh.

The portions weren't as massive as I'd expected, but they turned out to be just right. Only one piece of nibbled-on chicked was boxed up to go home. Everything else was eaten. Including drinks, the bill came to just over $60.

Savoy's food, value, and atmosphere rocked. We will be back.

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