Just as Dallas begins to see a peak into our beloved “patio season,” Klyde Warren Park debuts its hyped restaurant, Savor. The gastropub opened last night with share plates for dinner (lunch will follow shortly), and its sister concept, Relish, opened for lunch. Eventually Relish will serve as a permanent kiosk in the park, but is rolling along as food truck in the meantime.
Chef John Coleman left his longtime post as the executive chef and director of food and beverage with the Ritz-Carlton to open the coveted space further connecting downtown and uptown Dallas. And speaking of connecting spaces, Savor’s fully exposed glass walls provide guests with a connection to the park like no other. Whether you prefer inside or outside seating, and there’s plenty of both, the seamless design allows a full view of what’s happening in the park. The kitchen is the only piece that breaks up the space and even it is designed with large windows peering into the dining room.
The open space carries through the bar, which is situated in the center of the front room, allowing for guests to sit around it while liquor bottles perch above their heads. The classic cocktails offer familiar flavors and names, including a Moscow Mule, French 75 and Old Fashion, to name a few. I started with the Blackberry Sage Rickey, a balance of gin, blackberry sage syrup, lime juice and soda; while Alex (of Eat | Style | Dallas) began with the Pink Flamingo, consisting of tequila, aperol, grapefruit, St. Germain and rose. Both were well executed and full of refreshing flavor.
Shareable plates are the focus of the menu, while some selections are presented to be consumed as an entrée, if you choose. We opted for a sampling of each section of the menu, beginning with the Lobster Puffs, and Butternut and Fontina Flat Bread. These two were my favorite and were bursting with unique flavor. The Lobster Puffs had a fantastic crunch outside, with a savory middle of lobster and mild cheese. Duck confit and Brussel sprout leaves stole the show on the flatbread, situated on pillow-like dough that was perfectly cut into bite-size pieces.
Next we tried the Tomato Burrata Salad that offered up an unusual combination of heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and mole verde with the burrata. I applaud the adventuresome mix, but it wasn’t my favorite presentation of my beloved burrata. However, taste is personal and I thought the heirlooms, watermelon and mole sauce mixed beautifully. We split one entrée, the Housemade Gnocchi, and enjoyed its classic flavors of tomatoes and wilted greens with a sweet crunch of pine nut.
Finally, we got to the best part – desserts. Emphasis on the ‘s,’ as in plural. The beauty of the dessert menu is that it offers 10 different mini desserts, big enough for a bite or two between two people, but small enough to enjoy personally without guilt. Even better, they are reasonably priced in a way to encourage sharing and tasting, with a declining tag when you order more. We did as any food lover trying a new restaurant would do – and ordered the whole menu – at a reasonable $24 (they also come priced as $3/each, 3 for $8, or 6 for $16).
All were excellent, but my personal favorites were the Ice Cream Sandwich (chocolate shortbread cookie and dulce de leche ice cream) and the Spiced Pumpkin Trifle (pumpkin mousse, spice cake cream cheese icing and pepita brittle).
In all, Savor adds a sophisticated dining experience at a reasonable price (did I mention the wine is very well priced too?) while incorporating the beauty of the park inside and out. Based on last night, I expect an equally taste bud tantalizing lunch from Relish in the near future!