Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peach-infused Rum & Polenta at The Savant Project

It's not everyday you find a restaurant that understands the importance of combining bacon with chocolate.

Thankfully, The Savant Project is one such restaurant that recognizes this importance. I had dinner there last week, and I have to say - the menu at this place is genius. It's quirky and creative (hence the names of two of their cocktails: Frenching an Asian and A Screw in the Alley), and the quality of the food and drink lives up to the quality menu writing - for the most part (more on that later). Plus, they have a drink called Dark and Slightly Overcast, which is basically a Dark & Stormy, but made with their very own peach-infused rum. Upon seeing this, I was instantly sold on the place.

As you may or may not know, I love Dark & Stormies - but made with peach rum, the drink instantly turns into an extra refreshing summer cocktail. The fresh peach flavor added a welcomed sweetness that plain old dark rum cannot provide.

I must mention that on the night Z and I went to The Savant Project, it was comedy night. To avoid the piercing decibels of aspiring comedian's jokes, we asked to sit outside, which the staff was quick to accommodate. However, we ended up waiting to put in our drink orders for a good 20 minutes (or more), until the waitress finally came out and admitted she forgot about us. Even though I was sober and cold, I'll always accept honesty. 

Moving on: For an appetizer, Z and I split the Truffled Parmesan Polenta Logs with Parmesan Aioli ($8.50).

These puppies were outstanding. They were ideally warm and comforting for sitting outside on a chilly night, and the parmesan aioli provided a necessary kick to the polenta, which would have been fairly bland without the accompanying sauce. 

As a meal, I opted for the House Made Veggie Burger with House Made Red Pepper Hummus, feta cheese, and fries ($12.50). 

The Savant Project normally serves their burgers and sandwiches on Iggy's bread, but at this point in the night, they had run out. Despite the bread disappointment, the burger itself was flavorful and delicious, but it was nothing special, and the house made hummus was next to nonexistent. Plus, the $12.50 burger was the cheapest dinner item on the menu - and really wasn't worth paying more than $10 for.

Z took a smarter route and ordered one of the tapas for his meal: Tempura Veggies with Mustard Peanut Sauce ($8).

I really liked the batter that these veggies were coated in, because it was crispy and light, without being overly greasy or filling. The peanut sauce was a perfect complement to the veggies, too, but if you don't like peanut butter, you won't like this sauce - it's very heavy on the peanut flavor. 

By this point in the evening, we had already relocated to the inside of the restaurant, as comedy night was over and we were getting colder. Our waitress was extremely accommodating the entire night, which made me quick to forgive her for forgetting us originally. 

To end the night, Z and I both enjoyed a new cocktail that The Savant Project concocted. I did not write down the name of the cocktail, but on the menu, you'll recognize it as the gingerbread something-or-other (specific, right?). I know it doesn't sound very tempting for springtime, but trust me when I say as a liquid dessert, it's satisfying - and heavy on the booze, without tasting like it.

Oh, and yes - The Savant Project serves a drink called the Cocoa-Cochon, made with bacon vodka and chocolate. I didn't try it on this night, as I don't think my vegetarian boyfriend would be a fan of his girlfriend drinking bacon - but I am intrigued. 

All in all, I love The Savant Project's creativity and enthusiastic approach to food, as well as their friendly and accommodating staff. I'd love it if the prices were lower, but I'd go back for a special occasion, or even to split a few tapas with friends. No matter how pricey the restaurant is, there's always a way to eat well and inexpensively.

What local restaurant makes your favorite burger? Would you pay more than $10 for it?


  1. My favorite burger is the Station Burger at Kingston Station. It is pricey at $15 but with the fried egg and tasty fries, I think it is worth it!

  2. You know, I have yet to check out Kingston Station - as well as a burger with fried egg on it. Sounds like I'm missing out!