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Sweets and Savories-- A Nice Neighborhood Restaurant (TM)

Sweets and Savories-- A Nice Neighborhood Restaurant (TM)
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  • Post #91 - December 26th, 2008, 11:42 am
    Post #91 - December 26th, 2008, 11:42 am Post #91 - December 26th, 2008, 11:42 am
    We were also at Sweets and Savories for the Christmas Eve dinner, and would like to heartily endorse everything that Lynn B has written. They offered us a sparkling Blanc de Blancs from Burgundy as an aperitif, an excellent alternative to Champagne. All of the courses were excellent: the Vichyssoise subtly flavored and with a very generous quenelle of foie gras in the middle; the seafood stew was exceptionally lavish and abundant. As for the sweet potato gratin, Catherine, who generally does not like sweet potato, found them totally delicious. We have come to expect this kind of quality from Dave, and, as usual, we were not disappointed. Thanks, Dave!
  • Post #92 - December 28th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    Post #92 - December 28th, 2008, 3:35 pm Post #92 - December 28th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    We're going for the tasting menu, any recommendations on wines to byo with?

    Thanks,
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #93 - December 29th, 2008, 12:35 am
    Post #93 - December 29th, 2008, 12:35 am Post #93 - December 29th, 2008, 12:35 am
    leek wrote:We're going for the tasting menu, any recommendations on wines to byo with?


    I'll be there today for the tasting menu as well, with my wife and two nephews. I'm not sure that what I'm bringing will align perfectly with the tasting menu, but here's the list of the wine I'll be bringing:

    N.V. Mumm Carte Classique champagne to start.
    1997 Byron Chardonnay from Napa
    2001 Clos du Marquis from Bordeaux (the second wine from Chateau Leoville Las Cases)
    2005 German Eiswein (sorry, don't have the name at hand)

    Maybe I'll see you there?

    John Danza
    John Danza
  • Post #94 - December 29th, 2008, 8:54 am
    Post #94 - December 29th, 2008, 8:54 am Post #94 - December 29th, 2008, 8:54 am
    John -

    I've sent you a PM - maybe we can coordinate wines and swap some glasses. There are only 2 of us...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #95 - December 30th, 2008, 8:42 am
    Post #95 - December 30th, 2008, 8:42 am Post #95 - December 30th, 2008, 8:42 am
    Last night's dinner was great. Service was excellent, food was amazing, we had a really good time sharing wines with the Danza family.

    The dining room was not even half full. People, go to this place!

    The tasting menu was 8 courses (the chef decides that day what to offer, how many courses, etc). Some of the items were from the regular menu, some were variations, some were complete one-offs. I have an issue eating wild mushrooms, but the waiter checked that it would be no problem with the kitchen and we proceeded.

    roasted sweet potato bisque
    creme fraiche mousseline

    seared oregon salmon
    french forest mushroom risotto - lobster cream

    braised beef shortrib and sea scallop
    mashed potatoes - horseradish

    cassoulet
    duck - amish hen - ham - sausage - braised heirloom beans

    arugala salad
    lemon - white truffle oil - pecorino

    goat bucheron
    roasted anjou pear

    espresso granite
    anisette - soft cream

    belgium dark chocolate fondant cake
    chocolate sorbet - chocolate ganache - cocoa nibs

    My favorite was the short ribs - they marinate and cook overnight, making very tender and succulent meat infused with flavor. The contrast with the scallop was quite nice (and I don't like scallops very much). I also really liked the sorbet on the fondant cake. There was so much food that by the time we got to the shortrib I could only eat 1/2 of it. I had only a taste of the cassoulet (which had a duck leg, a palm-sized chunk of hen, and more meat below that) - we took that home, along with most of the cheese course, and we even skipped the espresso course (I would have been up all night) ;) and took about 1/3 of the fondant cakes home as well.

    That would be my only complaint - it was a very heavy meal with huge servings. No doubt others might be fine with that much food (didn't look like Danza's nephew's were complaining) :) but it was definitely too much for me. But boy, was it good!

    The kitchen accidentally sent out the salad instead of the cassoulet, but recovered nicely. When we skipped the espresso granite, apparently the chef joked that he had been trying to help us out earlier by skipping the cassoulet course. He sent us a glass of Tokay with the cheese as an apology - totally unnecessary, but we appreciated the gesture very much.

    We brought Tarlant Rose champagne, 2001 Chateau Mongravey (Margaux) and Alvear Solera 1927 Pedro Ximenez.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #96 - December 30th, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #96 - December 30th, 2008, 9:13 am Post #96 - December 30th, 2008, 9:13 am
    It was great to meet Lee and David last night. Thanks so much for sharing some of your wine with us!

    My nephews were in from Atlanta for a few days. We have them every year at this time, as they're on college break. We try to get them to at least one very nice dinner to give them experience in fine dining and wine pairing so they'll know how to do it when out on dates. Somebody's got to teach the next generation. :D

    I concur with Lee's comments on the food last night. All the courses were excellent. We had two wines (Byron Chardonnay, Clos du Marquis Bordeaux) going at the time that the shortrib and scallop course was served, which was good because we could drink the Chard when eating the scallop and the Bordeaux when eating the rest of the dish.

    I have to complement the chef on cooking the salmon perfectly. It was crusty on the outside from a high heat sear in a dry pan, yet rare on the inside. Excellent.

    I agree with Lee that the courses were pretty large. It was a great value, considering that the tasting menu is reduced by $10 on Mondays, making this a $50 dinner. I have a big appetite but couldn't come close to finishing some of the dishes. My wife was full after the second course (very small appetite). The boys are typical early 20s, which means they nail everything in front of them, so no problem there! This was the younger one's first experience with high end food and he ate everything, so no worries about his palate.

    I have two small nits to pick, which are pretty minor. First, the bus boy would remove the plates from the people who were finished with a course before others at the table were done. This is something that I hate, but is far too common in the U.S. I asked him to wait until my wife was finished (usually the last one, slow eater) and he was fine after that.

    The second nit was the size of the table. We were in one of the four-tops in the front window, which are about 30 inches square. This size table combined with the chef's use of plates that are at least 12 inches in diameter made for the table being overly crowded. It didn't help that most of the evening we had two wine glasses per person, plus the water glass, on the table. Fortunately I could use the shelf by the front windown for overflow. The other four-tops in the restaurant are larger and rectangular and wouldn't have been a problem. Just something to keep in mind if you sit up front.

    Jan and I will definitely return.

    Image
    John Danza
  • Post #97 - December 30th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Post #97 - December 30th, 2008, 9:46 am Post #97 - December 30th, 2008, 9:46 am
    leek wrote:The dining room was not even half full. People, go to this place!


    Could not agree more. The food has been really special at Sweets & Savories lately and it deserves some serious love. We're very much looking forward to celebrating New Year's there tomorrow night.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #98 - December 30th, 2008, 10:05 am
    Post #98 - December 30th, 2008, 10:05 am Post #98 - December 30th, 2008, 10:05 am
    leek wrote:The dining room was not even half full. People, go to this place!


    I had a slightly different take on this. I actually thought they had a good turnout for a Monday night between Christmas and New Year. I've had a lot of chefs complain to me that they have a huge drop off in patronage in the week between the holidays, to the point some of them thought about just closing the restaurant during that time. However, this being the first time I've visited S&S, I don't know if this turnout is just a holiday week issue or if they always have this level of turnout on a Monday night.
    John Danza
  • Post #99 - December 30th, 2008, 10:23 am
    Post #99 - December 30th, 2008, 10:23 am Post #99 - December 30th, 2008, 10:23 am
    My wife and I were also there last night. This is the first time I’ve been back since I swore off the place a year ago after 3 horrendous service experiences in a row. I always thought the food was outstanding but the service experiences I had trumped the vittles. However, the siren call of the food has been whispering to me. I must say that last night was great food as usual and very good service.

    I won’t replay the food since it’s been well documented. I will say that the portions were HUGE and I think that’s a bit of a miss-step. I think the portion size should be reduced so one can enjoy each dish in its entirety so as to appreciate all the flavor components as designed by the chef. Just eating half or part of a course seems like a waste to me.

    Also, I thought the specific courses were a bit much in a pairing: A creamy, almost dessert-like soup, then a salmon with risotto, then a short rib/scallop/mashed potato dish then a confit duck cassoulet …wow! That’s a Murderers Row of winter eating!

    I tried to eat everything. I had to excuse myself mid meal to change belt settings.

    My wife HATES salmon. HATES SALMON! She would go back tonight to order THAT salmon.

    She also was concerned that she wouldn’t be full as she thinks most tasting menus skimp on the portion size so she ordered the Black Truffle Mac and Cheese to nosh on between courses. It was barely touched but what was consumed was excellent.

    Overall, I’m glad we gave S & S a 4th chance. The 5th will be sooner than later.
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #100 - January 1st, 2009, 3:50 pm
    Post #100 - January 1st, 2009, 3:50 pm Post #100 - January 1st, 2009, 3:50 pm
    We had a really lovely, laid back dinner at Sweets and Savories last night.

    They were serving a five course menu for $75. Along with the food, there was a nice sized wine list (reds, whites, sparkling) where each bottle was priced at $29.

    For me, the highlight of last night's dinner was the butter poached lobster risotto. I've had lobster risotto about a million times at Sweets & Savories, but last night's version was made extra special with the addition of a small dollop of caviar on top of a perfectly poached lobster claw. The potato and pear soup with foie gras quenelle was also fantastic, and a lovely way to start the meal.

    We counted down to midnight with the FOH staff and the one other table still lingering over champagne. All in all an excellent way to ring in the new year, and quite the value to boot all things considered (our bill for 6 people after tax but before tip was $600).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #101 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am
    Post #101 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am Post #101 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:01 am
    DMChicago wrote:I had to excuse myself mid meal to change belt settings.


    I guess I have no shame because I usually take care of that right at the table. :oops:
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #102 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:34 am
    Post #102 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:34 am Post #102 - January 2nd, 2009, 8:34 am
    Sweetbread wrote:
    DMChicago wrote:I had to excuse myself mid meal to change belt settings.


    I guess I have no shame because I usually take care of that right at the table. :oops:



    I attempted to but was directed to 'take it elsewhere" by my companion.
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #103 - January 2nd, 2009, 11:51 am
    Post #103 - January 2nd, 2009, 11:51 am Post #103 - January 2nd, 2009, 11:51 am
    jesteinf wrote:For me, the highlight of last night's dinner was the butter poached lobster risotto.


    New Year's Eve was my first meal at Sweets and Savories, and I definitely agree with this. Everything else was quite good, but I thought the lobster was outstanding. Unfortunately, I found the service somewhat lacking. It was probably 10 minutes before he even approached our table after we sat down, after which he noticed that we hadn't been given a wine list. He was also somewhat spotty for drink service the rest of the evening, but he was otherwise very friendly. Overall, the food was excellent enough to overcome the minor issues.
  • Post #104 - September 7th, 2009, 9:18 pm
    Post #104 - September 7th, 2009, 9:18 pm Post #104 - September 7th, 2009, 9:18 pm
    We attempted to go to Sweets and Savories for brunch last weekend. We walked in around 10:30am to an empty restaurant, with the exception of one table of 6. The host greeted us with a "How can I help you?". We replied with "Table for 2, please". He then scowled and said "I can't". No further explanation. We looked puzzled and said "Sorry, can you seat us for brunch?". He replied with "You don't have reservations, do you?". We replied "No", and then inquired as to whether we could sit at the bar. He said "Sorry, we don't do that". I then asked whether the patio had a free table. "No" was the only reply. We then were recipients of the most disgusted/surly/"please leave" looks ever. Words cannot do justice -- its one of those "you had to be there" moments. We said "Alright, we'll come back another time" and the host offered no verbal reply, but simply shrugged.

    I get that they might have been full with reservations that were all starting at, say, 11. Which would then clarify that with an absolutely empty restaurant they could not accomodate us at 10:30. No problem. Maybe you could explain that? Or act even moderately friendly? I'd even take neutral. But the attitude we got was inexcusable. I would love to try this restaurant and trust that whoever was working the front of the house that morning is not representative of the overall restaurant staff attitude or quality. But it left a seriously bad taste. Fine, I'm an idiot and I didn't make a reservation... but you don't have to very blatantly treat me as such.
    Marno
  • Post #105 - September 7th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    Post #105 - September 7th, 2009, 9:23 pm Post #105 - September 7th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    What patio?
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #106 - September 8th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Post #106 - September 8th, 2009, 10:02 am Post #106 - September 8th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Marno,

    Every morsel of food I've eaten from S & S has been outstanding. However, I've never felt that the service was "warm". Most times, it’s been just OK. Several times, it's been downright horrific.

    I swore the place off several times but the remarks on this forum pulled me back in. From a food perspective, I'm glad for that. The food can be excellent!
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #107 - September 8th, 2009, 10:28 am
    Post #107 - September 8th, 2009, 10:28 am Post #107 - September 8th, 2009, 10:28 am
    Wow. I was getting kind of juiced to bring my parents, but if there's a better than average chance of service like that, I'm not willing to roll those dice. We have little enough quality time together as it is.
    It always amazes me when a really good restaurant is allowed to shoot itself in the foot like that.
    I used to have similar issues with Erwin.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #108 - September 8th, 2009, 10:41 am
    Post #108 - September 8th, 2009, 10:41 am Post #108 - September 8th, 2009, 10:41 am
    I wouldn't let one report sway you too much. We were there a couple of weeks ago for burgers and everything was great (food and service).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #109 - September 8th, 2009, 10:43 am
    Post #109 - September 8th, 2009, 10:43 am Post #109 - September 8th, 2009, 10:43 am
    I've consistently received good service at S&S, sadly, I cannot say the same for their food. We went for their 4th of July picnic and we were sorely disappointed. We've learned to stick to their regular menu and avoid special events.
  • Post #110 - September 8th, 2009, 10:46 am
    Post #110 - September 8th, 2009, 10:46 am Post #110 - September 8th, 2009, 10:46 am
    When I went to S&S recently on a Tuesday night, I had a similar experience with the host. (I don't know if it was the same guy or not.) There was an almost empty restaurant, but he snippily demanded (and I say "demand" because of his gruff tone) to know if I had reservations. When I replied no, I uncomfortably waited for several minutes while he agonized over the book only for him to ultimately seat us, albeit huffily. (The restaurant later did almost, but not entirely, fill up; I still don't understand why this guy acted like we were such a problem when there were always at least 2-3 empty tables the entire night.) Anyway, the server we had was so warm, friendly and attentive that it made up for the cold greeting by this host. Our meal was so good there on this half-price night, and we felt like we got so much good food for the amount we paid that, even though I had an a la card for S&S, it didn't feel right to use it.

    My sense is that, if you make a reservation, everything will be fine. :wink:
  • Post #111 - September 8th, 2009, 10:53 am
    Post #111 - September 8th, 2009, 10:53 am Post #111 - September 8th, 2009, 10:53 am
    Pucca wrote:I've consistently received good service at S&S, sadly, I cannot say the same for their food. We went for their 4th of July picnic and we were sorely disappointed. We've learned to stick to their regular menu and avoid special events.


    Might depend on the type of special event. I had a pretty lousy meal at S&S during restaurant week, but an astoundingly good meal at the special white truffle dinner.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #112 - September 8th, 2009, 8:26 pm
    Post #112 - September 8th, 2009, 8:26 pm Post #112 - September 8th, 2009, 8:26 pm
    Ring- Ring.
    (lots of background noise) "HELLO!,Sweets & Savories."
    Me:"Hi!- I'd like to check availability, for a party of 4- for tomorrow evening around 6."
    long pause....more background noise.
    "Well- I think so". "We have a $10.00 Hamburger Special".
    Me:-"OK- but one member of my Party's a Vegetarian...so........"
    "Will she eat fish?"
    Me: Yes, my father will eat fish- but........
    "....or Pork- we also serve Pork"
    Me:- I understand from lth forum that you all have a Prix Fixe menu.......
    "no- we dont do that any more."
    Me- OK- well, do you still offer a Chefs Tasting Menu?
    "No,"
    Me: "OK- well- um- do you have a current menu up online I can view?"
    "We have a menu- ........it's online- but.........I'm not sure if it's current"
    Me: Um- OK- uh- Thanks......I'll call ya back.
    Click.


    When I was a Lettuce Entertain You rater- one of the components of the 8 page review form- included a mandatory call in- to observe the phone service component of a Lettuce Restaurant. All had certain standards that had to be met. Who ever answered the phone- made the opening impression for the Diner.
    The knucklehead I spoke to at Sweets and Savories insured- that I would never drop a dollar of my hard earned currency at this place.
    EVER!


    In this Economy- the one thing that gets me-really irks me- is a Vendors complete disregard for how "disposable"/transient consumers spending is/can be.
    Why would I want to eat at a place like this?
  • Post #113 - September 8th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Post #113 - September 8th, 2009, 9:03 pm Post #113 - September 8th, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Sweets and Savories is a small neighborhood restaurant with a pretty minimal staff. There is no dedicated host/hostess. If you call during service, the phone will be answered by the closest member of the waitstaff. Perhaps a call not in the middle of a loud dinner service would yield better results.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #114 - September 9th, 2009, 12:12 am
    Post #114 - September 9th, 2009, 12:12 am Post #114 - September 9th, 2009, 12:12 am
    Or perhaps they should realize that they need to train their staff a bit better as they're the public face of the restaurant.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #115 - September 9th, 2009, 4:40 am
    Post #115 - September 9th, 2009, 4:40 am Post #115 - September 9th, 2009, 4:40 am
    yes, Sweets and Savories should also:
    - Get the staff to wear at least 15 pieces of flair
    - Teach them to say "Welcome to Sweets and Savories. My name is Kenny. I will be your server today."
    - Invent a cute version of Happy Birthday to sing to celebrating patrons
    - Have a children's menu
    - Hire Bobby Flay to create some signature menu items
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #116 - September 9th, 2009, 6:59 am
    Post #116 - September 9th, 2009, 6:59 am Post #116 - September 9th, 2009, 6:59 am
    Kennyz wrote:- Teach them to say "Welcome to Sweets and Savories. My name is Kenny. I will be your server today."

    Kenny,

    If you have started working at S & S you really should mention it when you post about them.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #117 - September 9th, 2009, 7:14 am
    Post #117 - September 9th, 2009, 7:14 am Post #117 - September 9th, 2009, 7:14 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:- Teach them to say "Welcome to Sweets and Savories. My name is Kenny. I will be your server today."

    Kenny,

    If you have started working at S & S you really should mention it when you post about them.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    I have no financial incentive. I have offered the use of my name at no charge, and suggested that all servers (and, really, all people) be created in my likeness. :wink:
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #118 - September 9th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Post #118 - September 9th, 2009, 7:28 am Post #118 - September 9th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Kennyz wrote:- Get the staff to wear at least 15 pieces of flair

    "Look, we want you to express yourself, okay? If you think the bare minimum is enough, then okay. But some people choose to wear more and we encourage that, okay? You do want to express yourself, don't you?"
  • Post #119 - September 9th, 2009, 7:53 am
    Post #119 - September 9th, 2009, 7:53 am Post #119 - September 9th, 2009, 7:53 am
    jesteinf wrote:Sweets and Savories is a small neighborhood restaurant with a pretty minimal staff.


    Sweets and Savories will be a small neighborhood empty storefront if they can't even execute a simple phone inquiry.

    I would think that every potential dining dollar is important.
    "Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice"
  • Post #120 - September 9th, 2009, 7:56 am
    Post #120 - September 9th, 2009, 7:56 am Post #120 - September 9th, 2009, 7:56 am
    DMChicago wrote:I would think that every potential dining dollar is important.

    no, there are definitely some you'd rather do without.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food

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