Back in the late 1800’s, Queen Margherita of Savoy had tasted 3 pizzas made by a local chef in Naples, Italy and her favorite was one that represented the colors of the Italian flag; Red for the fresh tomatoes, white for the mozzarella cheese and green for the basil. And from this, the Margherita Pizza was born and this story became the inspiration behind the naming of Savoy Pizzeria and Craft Bar located on Lasalle Road in West Hartford Center.
Savoy finally opened it’s doors this past week and the WH2 crew was there to see if the wait was worth it. Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the front of the location, when you walk inside, it is a vast, open space that makes all the use of the length of the building. The bar area on the right extends about 3/4 of the way down and makes use of the high, exposed brick wall. At the front, a collage painting of the queen herself overlooks the area next to the bar.
Two dome pizza ovens anchor the very rear of the location where all of the magic happens and surrounding this, another bar with additional seating so you can actually watch the pizza crafting in action while sipping a cocktail, Italian wine or any of the beers they have on tap. Our table opened up right at the front window and Chris, our server was there there and ready to roll. The menu goes about as deep as the restaurant itself with meat and cheese plates and a number of appetizers to start. For an appetizer, Chris suggested the veal pancetta meatballs and that’s all I needed to hear. Very shortly thereafter, they arrived. 3 good-sized meatballs swimming in a bright red marinara sauce covered with basil and parmesan cheese served in a piping hot cast iron dish.
How was it? Delish!!! I asked my kidsif they wanted to try and they declined…… (more for me). Five minutes later, 3 meatballs no longer existed and the left over marinara sauce was soaked up by the fresh bread and consumed. I made sure NOTHING went to waste.
Chris checked in and asked if we wanted him to “fire up” the pizzas. He said we can take our time since it only takes 90 second to cook. Wait, what??? 90 seconds? He proceeded to tell me because the ovens get as hot as 900 degreees, it is almost an instantaneous cook. Sure enough, after placing our order of a margherita pizza (of course) and the sopressata picante, thin-sliced sopressata, mystic cheese, ev00, chili flakes, oregano, honey drizzle (drooling just writing), the pizzas arrived literally minutes later with another app in tow, the polpo (baby octopus, peppers, green olives and white bean). Let the feast begin!!
Let’s start simple, the margherita. Perfect for the kids (and adults). A crispy crust, slightly bubbled and charred in certain places. The kids devoured it and whatever was left over the adults finished off. The sopressata picante looked so good I didn’t even want to touch it… but I did. The thin-sliced meat was slightly crispy at the edges and curled up to give the pie texture and a salty taste. Then we had a little kick in the middle provided by the chili flakes and then a hint of sweetness brought on by the honey. This thing was flavor country!! I only had enough room for a couple bites of the polpo but WOW! This had as much flavor going on as the pizza, if not more. The baby octopus was cooked perfectly with also a nice char to add a little smokiness to the dish.
So to round it all up, Max Restaurant Group, you’ve done it again. Another great experience, another great product and excellent service provided by our server, Chris. Definitely check out Savoy Pizza and Craft Bar sooner rather than later, you WON’T be disappointed. Buon Appetito!!