West Hartford and Hartford have a full spectrum of pizza spanning from the brownest depths of shit pizza like Sergeant Pepperoni and Sisson Ave Pizza, to your Cornerstone standbys like Harry’s and Frank Pepe’s. There is more shit than good out there when it comes to Pizza. Today we will not be discussing New Haven Pizza, why you ask? Because I don’t live in fucking New Haven, I live in Hartford. We are not going to discuss the artisanal competition a few exits away, no, because we live in Hartford! This area was due for something good in the way of a wood-fired small plate pizza restaurant with a beautiful bar and vigorous nightlife. I haven’t ruffled any feathers in a while but I just may when I say that West Hartford Center has about a 50/50 good to shit dining ratio. I hate walking by a spot remembering the low caliber meal that I paid a high price for. I hate even more going to a place that has a few awesome items on the menu but a bad taste in your mouth keeps you from gracing the doors again. When a place like Savoy Pizza and Craft Bar opens up, it’s like chalk one up in the section for the good guys. I’m not here to rub anyone’s inner thigh or feed egos but sometimes good work goes unheralded and that’s not right. People that are staying true to their food craft and making people drool should be put on a pedestal and showcased, just like the shit food mongering trolls should be called out and shamed; this is my calling and my job. Dante Cistulli has an inner thigh that needs some definite rubbing, heavy petting even, short-short style. The fucking guy is a pizza pro and I’m SO glad there is this style pizza in WeHa now. In between my Baltimore and San Francisco trips I had one night back in CT and I took full advantage of that opening. I went to dinner at Savoy and it was everything that I had hoped for. In the weeks leading up to the opening, Savoy was doing pop-ups in the parking lot of Max Burger on the late night tip. Since I’m an old, lame piece of almost 40 year old garbage, I was probably in bed watching re-runs of Antiques Road Show or just already asleep.
The evening I dined at Savoy I was joined by my girlfriend Meghan. We got a little bit of everything and you could bet your sweet pickle we got dessert, shall we?
So we sit down and over the glass partition extends an arm, in that arm is a plate with a piece of grilled bread, farmer’s cheese, mission fig and honey. The arm belonged to Dante himself as he was messing around with some scrumptious bites in the kitchen. After I downed that I ordered the meatballs and the slow roasted tomato burrata. Savoy offers 3 kinds of burrata, slow roasted tomato, black mission fig and roasted beet. This particular burrata was served with what looked to be three different tomatoes, plum, green cherry heirloom and a larger variety, damn near perfect. I lean toward sweeter stuff, I would have gotten the fig one, but this was Meg’s choice =(. The Meatballs were also on point, not something I would want to rave about but it’s a standard in any pizza restaurant and I needed to see what was up, 10/10.
Next were a couple of pies, now mind you, I had been dreaming about this Calabrian pie for close to a month. I LOVE nduja, it’s still not widely used but people who know what’s up are a step ahead. For the laymen readers I will explain what nduja is. Nduja is a particularly spicy, spreadable pork salumi. It is typically made with parts of the pig such as the shoulder and belly, as well as tripe, roasted peppers and a mixture of spices. It is a Calabrian variation of salumi, loosely based on the French andouille introduced in the 13th century. This is my favorite pizza right now and I can’t wait to return and eat a whole one. The second pie was the Joey Ravita with prosciutto, fig, asiago, parmesan and hot honey drizzle. Gimme honey or chili oil on a pizza any day, its fucking genius. We got two white pies, I realized this when we were done eating and this is not like me. When I return I will be having two reds, mark my words.
I had been eating like crazy for a week and was trying to show some semblance of self-control but I was not leaving without dessert. I ordered two scoops of gelato, one salted caramel, one pistachio, with an order of biscotti to boot! All were excellent and I am pretty sure desserts will change with the seasons along with the rest of the menu. I’m glad there is a place like Savoy close to home, I look forward to ordering the whole menu and drinking many mocktails throughout the years.
So to Savoy Pizzeria and Craft Bar, I hereby bestow upon you…
Keep doing what you’re doing and no one can say shit! You are the Pizza Kings of LaSalle Road!!!
Join me next time when I walk you all around San Francisco and give a thorough of some of my favorite sucka free spots! Thanks for reading, this has been yet another addition of Benn Breaks Bread.