I met the Predicate for brunch last weekend. We had intended to go to Buttermilk Channel, the new place on Court St. that has been getting a lot of attention, but it turns out they don’t serve brunch (I hope there are plans to do so–that end of Court St. needs more brunch options).Â We then attempted to go to Frankies 457 Spuntino for their fantastic brunch, but they were really busy, and with a movie to go see later, we didn’t have the time to wait the half hour. We then walked through the blustery cold over to Smith Street, where we checked in at Patois, one of the very first restaurant-settlers of the wild east that was Smith Street in the late 1990′s. I have heard they do a great brunch, but have never experienced it myself as there are always interminable waits there. On this day, there was “only” a 20 minute wait, but again, because of the movie, we didn’t take the hostess up on the offer to wait for a table.
We finally ended up Savoia, a place I have always overlooked, in favor of any number of the other eateries in the area, for some reason. The joint was almost empty, which I think must be due just to the fact of its proximity to Patois, of the all-you-can-drink mimosa brunch, and not due to poor quality of the food, which was basically pretty good. It wasn’t the best brunch I have ever had, but I have certainly had much worse.
The meal didn’t begin totally promisingly. With our beverages came a basket of bread that contained some focaccia that, oddly, tasted faintly of fish, and some crusty bread (pugliese?) that might have been good when it was just out of the oven, but now was clearly a day old. Pulling at that tough crust was straining my neck muscles, so I finally gave up on eating it. I was now worried about that was to come…
Luckily, my concerns turned out to be unwarranted. The eggs in purgatory were delicious: two medium-well poached eggs were nestled in thick and hearty (but maybe a tad too salty) marinara sauce. The eggs were served with a healthy portion of gnocchi, which I have never seen on a brunch menu before. I wish I would see it more often as it made a tasty and filling addition to the eggs—perfect for a late brunch. The Predicate ordered what was labeled on the menu as a “Monte Cristo” sandwich, but it actually ended up being an Italian version of a croque madame: toast (plain, not battered) topped with prosciutto, cheese, and sunny side-up eggs, served with salad. While it was no Monte Cristo, it was delicious. The Predicate was big enough to forgive Savoia for calling this dish a Monte Cristo, as, she admitted, her paradigm of the classic sandwich was Denny’s rendition, so who was she to judge (she added that if Savoia had tried to do a “Moons Over MyHammy” sandwich, that was a meal she could justly andÂ authoritativelyÂ compare to Denny’s).
In the end it was a hearty and satisfying meal–I would go back, and maybe try it for dinner some time (I have heard their pizza is great). For brunch, if you are ready for a long wait to be seated, and looking to get drunk mid-day, then by all means go to Patois, but if you want some hearty morning-after food, and want it quickly, then Savoia is a good bet.