Nothing could make me happier than to have visited Savio Volpe in its first few weeks and see them hit it out of the park the way that only an elite few can. What a knockout. Even with so many heavy hitters on board, any restaurant is a complex machine with so many moving parts that getting one open is a victory in and of itself. Throw some knives, booze, hot temperatures and fiery egos into the mix and success can seem downright miraculous.
It is a foregone conclusion what the best new restaurant of the year in Canada will be. Number two will be news though, so don’t fret news folk. But before the hardware starts filling in the gaps on the beautiful bookcase decor designed by partner Craig Stanghetta, you should go. Now.
A great restaurant is like a poem; You revisit it time and again for different reasons and find new depth and meaning in the simplest turn of phrase. Anything inside Savio rewards closer inspection, even the exterior turns heads on Kingsway in the Fraserhood, and the food is no different. Chef Mark Perrier, formerly of Cin Cin, is no stranger to success and his execution shows the confidence of someone comfortable with it.
One of the universal appeals of Italian cuisine is also inherent in its other famous export: great design. And Savio delves deeply into both. The menu showcases the familiar, the flair and the casual ease that makes a good menu great. If anyone has ever fallen in love with any Italian dish and then sadly tried to reproduce the results at home to mixed results, you’ll appreciate things like really, really good extra virgin olive oil and fresh bread. Not to mention hand-made Cappelletti with squash, amaretti and sage.
If it seems I’m dancing around what I actually had, I am. I want you to go and sit at the bar and watch and eat. If you work in the business, bring a notepad, because this is how it’s done. With charcuterie sliced à la minute in front of you and action in every corner, its like being backstage at a broadway show. Which I actually know something about, and also had its share of drama.
One of my favourite people of all time happens to be a co-owner here and you may know Paul Grunberg as well from his other business L’Abattoir. I’ve known Paul for awhile and you can see everything in his vast experience come together here. The way the room feels alive and how everyone wants to be there is electric. And rare.
Sly fox indeed.