Since late last fall when construction started, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Savona’s in Poughkeepsie and now it’s open.
This is the third location in what is becoming a local chain, with restaurants in Kingston and Red Hook.
I met a friend for lunch there on a recent Saturday and was immediately attracted to one of that day’s specials — great fried artichokes in a very light tempura-like batter with a good remoulade sauce with plenty of capers. Even the side salad that was more for decoration had a lovely dressing and we ate every leaf. Maybe the artichokes will become a regular part of the menu—hint, hint.
My go-to (or to-go) sandwich for golf games has been the other half of an (always too big) Italian combo hero. Since the season is getting started early thanks to some bouts of good weather, I thought it would be good to continue the tradition. Savona’s sandwich is completely different from the usual cold cuts piled into a hero roll. Here you get beautiful slabs of fresh mozzarella on house-made semolina rolls with prosciutto, red peppers, basil and lettuce with Italian dressing. Delicious! Now we’ll have to see if it upgrades my golf game…
My friend had the skirt steak sandwich with grilled onions, also a Saturday special. The steak was cooked to order, sliced and placed on another house-made roll with lots of melted cheese. Another winner!
She decided to give dessert a try and soon a couple of cannoli were on the table. The shells were nice and crisp, and the filling was good. I only nibbled, but she enjoyed them and soon there was nothing but a clean plate.
For dinner a few nights ago, we shared some fried calamari with fra diavalo sauce for dipping. Like the artichokes, they were lightly battered and perfectly fried. The fra diavalo sauce was nicely spicy and it was a good way to start the evening.
I had been pining for a pizza since we left Nice and I knew Savona’s were done on a wood-fired oven (as are the breadsticks they bring to the table). Broccoli rabe has always been a favorite of mine, so it was the pizza with sausage and broccoli rabe for me. Along with the broccoli rabe and sausage, there were some lovely, sweet caramelized shallots, mozzarella and a good tomato sauce base. The crust was nicely blacked in spots and good and crunchy. One of the servers told me later that Steve Savona himself was responsible for my pizza. Good job, Steve!
Frank went completely classico and had Nonna’s Famous Sunday Sauce—a slow-cooked marinara with bucatini, Italian sausage and a giant meatball. It all tasted good, but he found the bucatini a little challenging to twirl and still manage a bite of sausage and/or meatball. Tough task but he managed it well.
Since the portions are generous, we had lunch for the next day, but sadly, no room for dessert.
Follow them on Facebook for daily specials and catch us there on Mondays when it’s dollar oyster night—I can’t wait!
Update: If you’re not able to dine out, all Savona’s restaurants are now offering curbside pick-ups and in some locations, delivery. http://www.savonas.com/curbside-delivery/. My Monday night oysters will have to wait.