Correction: There ARE 239 dishes. (Whew!) Some new friends tipped me off that Marc Vetri included the Spanish Octopus and Spicy Potatoes at Amada in the same breath, and that these were really two, not one. Game on!
Dish Fifteen: Dover Sole at Savona, 100 Old Gulph Road, Gulph Mills, http://www.savonarestaurant.com/
Today was four stars all the way. I picked up Colleen and we headed to Savona, where, to my undying amusement, the valet merrily took care of my 20-year-old coupe, the hostess took care of our coats (giggle giggle) and a be-suited Keanu Reeves led us to our seats where he catered on us hand and foot, and when I just didn’t feel like having Chardonnay, he consulted the sommelier about what to choose for me (BWA HA HA HA HA).
We chose the casual dining option (my blazer is at the cleaners and I just never know what tie to wear) and were seated upstairs. It reminded me strongly of the upstairs of Harvest, where I hostessed in North Jersey; Harvest had a striking fireplace that was the centerpiece of the dining room, and branches that reached to the ceiling, but the upstairs was underwhelmingly carpeted a dull beige, and had sofa-y seats against the walls, and small square tables with dark stone tops to attempt to dress them up.
The sole was not on the casual dining menu, so I asked Keanu, and he said it was on the formal menu, which he presented to me and Colleen with a little ribbon on it. (Cute.) First course, no sole; second course, no sole- we’re starting to get a little pricy now, into the 40’s, where’s the sole? And there it is. Under the signature title. Fifty-five dollars. And Colleen’s already gotten a glass of wine. There’s no escape.
What do we do- we can’t leave– I’m going to have to have it sooner or later- and there it is, staring me in the face. Fifty-five dollars. I shut the menu and hide it under the wine list.
Colleen suggests we split it. The two business majors run the numbers. Having something else now means coming back later. Run up $40 or $50 each now and then do it again later. Or just do it now.
We’re doing it now.
It was amazing.
We began with the arugula salad, which was fresh, tart, foreign- hints of basil in the tomatoes, clean lemon flavor, sharp slices of cheese; the mood was lifted and our palates were prepared for the glory ahead. Keanu arrived with the fish, ever so ordinary, and spooned the butter-English pea-artichoke-pignoli sauce onto our plates. We took our funny shaped knives –“Oh, we used these at finishing school!” “Uh, Coll, what side do I use?”—and cut off pieces of perfectly crisped sole and doused them in the sauce. I wish I could drink that sauce, and put it on my toast, and eggs, and cereal, and granola bars, and yogurt and apples. Oh my God. I get it.
You know why doctors and dentists and lawyers earn the money they do? It’s because of their higher education. That is why this fish was so expensive. Because somewhere behind those doors, a man with lots of culinary education is making the most delicious sauce for fish, so tasty that I ate an artichoke and asked for more! And in five months, armed with my higher education, hopefully I can demand the kind of salary that will fill my belly with many more bits of this fish.