There is something powerful about simply stopping and intentionally savoring a dish to the last bite. The connection evoked by each of our senses when we allow ourselves to take in not just the food but also the atmosphere that surrounds us can really affect our overall dining experience.
San Antonio has become a foodie metropolis over the last few years, increasingly offering more than just the taste of your abuela’s cocina or backyard BBQ. (Although that never gets old.) Eclectic and quaint dining options are quickly emerging around the Alamo City, providing the perfect spot for community and cuisine.
If you are looking for a great place to unwind after a long day at the office, or to start an evening of fun on a date night, then Savor at the Pearl is a must-try. While they went on a brief hiatus, it seems that Savor’s second coming may just be here to stay for a while.
This may not be the largest space in the Pearl district but it’s probably some of the best-utilized I’ve seen. Here, folks can enjoy luxury and modern dining but still be relaxed and casual. Wherever you choose to sit, including at the bar, you’ll enjoy the openness of the space. The warm lighting inside meeting the natural lighting just sets the mood perfectly for dinner. The minimalist meets industrialist design really complements the overall atmosphere; it doesn’t distract patrons from people watching, engaging with one another or feasting their eyes on the young chefs pursuing their craft.
On my recent visit, even with the room filled with a chattering crowd of 50, and low level mood music, the acoustics still meant no one talked over anyone. At Savor, you can still have a great conversation—which is perfect for a night out with your friends or your partner, and something that can often be hard to find. For me, it was the best of both worlds: still feeling all the hustle and bustle of the city, but having that down-home feel of rocking on my front porch of peacefulness.
There is nothing like walking into a place and getting hints that evoke fond memories which just can’t help but make you smile. I love to be pleasantly surprised when I am trying a new restaurant. I don’t want to be able to know what I am getting as soon as I step in the door. The hints of spices and whatnots at Savor draws you in before you even decide what you are going to try.
Let me tell you, based on just presentation of the plating and cocktails that were being served and sampled, you would not think that these were made by “rookie” chefs. The CIA ( Culinary Institute of San Antonio) has really made Savor more than just a laboratory for their students to create and craft. If you were walking in without knowing the background of Savor, you wouldn’t think for a minute that these were mere culinary students, still perfecting their craft, and not seasoned chefs.
Even with though I arrived fashionably late to my event, I was quickly welcomed with fresh fixings and libations that seemed like they were made to order on the spot. “Fresh with a kick” is the best way to describe the feel from the menu bites. I love spicy-to-the-core and well-seasoned food. However, that’s not everyone’s taste. And, one of the pros of this menu is that it is perfectly seasoned, with hints of spices that marry both palates.
Take for instances the Brisket Meatballs, which hit the spot for me. I mean, Italian meets BBQ paired with a fresh margarita—bliss. Well cooked and seasoned, with hints of oregano and the perfect combo of pecorino and arrabbiata, they are the perfect appetizer or light meal for either a singleton or couple. Wash them down with a perfectly crafted margarita on the rocks with a salted rim. Other offerings included Irish Pointe Oysters and Orange Chili Wings. For that sweet tooth, try the Pistachio Olive Cake; or the Peaches and Cream, a twist on an American ice cream float.
For those looking just to wind down at the bar the offerings are slim but quality, from wine to bourbon. I am not much for mixed cocktails, but I do have to say that the samplings of margaritas and sangria were like non-other and complement all the dishes and desserts on the menu.
Savor is the perfect spot to get away from the city but not have to leave the city limits, whether you are flying solo or not. This unexpected gem allows you to unwind in the minimalist yet modern luxuries of casual fine dining. It encompasses a Texas feel with a worldly twist that will satisfy all your senses, one bite and sip at a time.
Cover photo Julia Keim
San Antonio-based Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a veteran SEC sports journalist and lifestyle columnist. A Brown University graduate, she loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011