Savory Tastes Cafe
Last evening, I went to Savory Tastes Cafe in Reading to sample some of the items from their new fall menu. I had seen the menu online and was intrigued by a number of the new dishes.
As I decided what to eat, I began with a glass of wine, Trinitas Mataro Old Vines, Contra Costa County, California ($8 a glass). This was a new wine for the restaurant, and Doug, their wine guy, recommended it to me. Mataro is another word for the varietal also known as Mourvedre or Monastrell. It is one of my favorite varietals so I was excited to try this new wine. And I was quite pleased with its taste. It was complex, with dark cherries, and maybe even a bit of chocolate. It was not too heavy or tannic so it would go well with many different foods. I had several glasses over the evening, and it continued to please me. And went well with all of the different dishes I ordered. I will definitely look around to try to buy some of this wine.
I decided on ordering several appetizers, to better sample the diverse new dishes on the menu.
I began with the Peeky Toe Crab Martini ($13), which consists of Peeky Toe Crabmeat from Desert Island, Maine tossed in a Light Lime Vinaigrette. It comes in a martini glass. This was a superb dish, with chucnks of sweet crab and a light vinegarette that did not distract from the taste of the crab. There was an ample portion of crab though I could have easily eaten three more of these. I highly recommend this appetizer.
I then ordered the Hawaiian Tuna Poke ($11) which consists of square chunks of Sushi Grade Yellow Fin Tuna combined with Soy, Ginger, Sesame Oil Seasonings sitting atop a lettuce leaf, and with a drizzle of Chili Sauce Mayonnaise around the edges of the plate. The tuna was delightful, with a silky smooth texture and obviously quite fresh. Personally, I felt the tuna was perfect without the need for the mayonnaise. The soy and ginger added just the right amount of flavor. Those though who want more of a spicy tang would enjoy the mayonnaise.
I moved on to a cup of Fish and Sweet Potato Soup ($4), which consists of a pureee of Sweet Potatoes, Cod, Haddock and a hint of Oregano. This soup was almost bisque-like and was very flavorful, with the sweetness of the potato standing out. I might have preferred it better if it had at least a few chunks of fish in it. But, it definitely is a good choice for a cold night.
After that, I chose the Veal Involtini with Grilled Peppers ($12) which consisted of three Veal Scaloppines, rolled with Prosciutto, Sage and Provolone, seared and accompanied by Grilled Peppers and Veal Au Jus. This was another superb dish! The veal was very tender, the prosciutto and provolone were very flavorful. With three rolls, you get an ample dish of food. I savored every mouthful of this. Another highly recommended appetizer!
I finished the evening with the Seared Long Island Duck Breast ($12), which consists of slices of duck breast served over a Jerk-seasoned, infused toasted, Israeli Cous Cous and splashed with a spicy Mango sauce. There was more duck on this dish than I have seen on many duck entrees elsewhere. The slices were thick, meaty and tender, with only a small bit of fat on each piece. The mango sauce is mild on the mango but makes for an intriguing addition. The Cous Cous look like tiny peas but are very tasty and plentiful. This is another highly recommended appetizer!
At this point, I was well stuffed so did not order dessert. But, I was immensely pleased with my meal, and will definitely return to sample some of their new entrees, as well as to have some of those appetizers again too.
rich, thank you so much for your excellent report. i'll hope to try it soon. i keep NOT seeing exactly where it is when I drive Mass Ave. Is it where the french place was and Heights Cuisine before that?
because you chose and so liked the tuna poke and duck, you might also enjoy the tuna poke and duck at Gargoyles in Davis Square; two of our fav dishes there...
Great description - and just one question: how was the service/overall experience? We tried Savory Tastes with friends a few months ago, and enjoyed the food immensely. This is just a quibble, but because the place is so small, the server was unable to move between our table and those adjacent, so every time she brought something, refilled water, etc., our conversations were interrupted by the need to pass her a glass, pass a DC a plate, etc. I wish I were able to make a suggestion for rearranging the room, but that's not one of my talents!
The service and overall experience was excellent. I sat at the bar area, overlooking the kitchen. I have eaten here numerous times and have always had good service. There are better tables than others in the restaurant so it might be advised to ask for those tables if possible. They are usually very accomodating.