Last week, I joined John Coleman and Joe Scigliano of F2M Hospitality for a hard hat tour of the construction site that will soon become two restaurants–Savor and Relish–under one 10,963-square-foot roof.
Coleman and Scigliano joined the project about a year and a half ago. Coleman was the executive chef and director of food and beverage at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas where Scigliano was the sous chef. Today, they are project managers and chefs and tour directors. Here are some of the highlights of our tour.
Savor is the largest restaurant. There are approximately 175 seats inside and another 150 outside. The kitchen and back of the house are in the middle of the restaurant and divides the space into two areas. In the front, you’ll find a kidney-shaped bar which overlooks a large patio covered by a 30-foot roof. The back area features a chef’s table which sits in front of the exhibition kitchen. All of the walls are floor-to-ceiling glass. A smaller patio in back is open to the sky which is a good thing for the three river birch trees that will be planted there. The rectangular glass house of a building will be surrounded on three sides by outdoor seating. Just beyond the back patio of Savor is Relish, a casual walk-up restaurant with a stainless steel facade.
Jump for the details.
“Relish is basically our former food truck without wheels,” Coleman says. “We will feature café au lait, beignets, Greek yogurt parfait, and jazz like Cafe du Monde.” Lunch and early dinner will include ingredient-stuffed burgers. Relish may be small but it will be a cash cow: they will serve draft beer and wine and patrons can drink them anywhere in the park. Currently, the Thursday night concerts at Klyde Warren Park draw 800 to 1,000 thirsty people. The outside tables at Savor are next to the Pavilion and will be prime real estate once the concert series expands.
“Savor will have a gastropub sense of community like those in England and Ireland where the locals all come together,” Coleman says. I got a sneak peek at the working menu which is heavy on communal food (shared plates). “I guess it’s America Social Food,” Coleman says. “I’m trying to balance artisanal with commercial appeal. I will do fun things with deviled eggs, sliders, meatballs, and shrimp, and calamari.” The kitchen also has a pizza oven for making flatbreads. The prices aren’t finalized but the most expensive entree I spied was $21.
The interior walls of Savor will be white oak; the floors are dark gray concrete with a little texture to prevent slippage. The pass through windows are white Carrara marble. The bar top is almost clear and backlit with soft white lighting; the edges are wrapped in leather. Behind the bar you’ll find a wall of kegs: one side will hold 16 wines on tap; the other will host 12 beers on tap. “We kind of joke by saying come join us for a glass of wine and help us save 46,000 wine bottles,” Coleman says. “But we will offer some by-the-bottle. Probably 20 red and 20 white with a heavy American influence. And we’re going to keep the price point around $10 a glass.”
Coleman and Scigliano’s background in hotel F&B will be put to good use. The design of the restaurant makes it easy to host private functions in several different areas and keep the restaurant open at the same time. One section of the kitchen is designed to plate and serve up to 80 people. They’ve installed power, water, and gas hookups to the side of the building facing the park. This will make it easy to pop up a tent and run lines to satellite kitchens to serve special events or extra bars for outdoor functions. It’s nice to see a hometown caterer cut into Wolfgang Puck’s stronghold on the Arts District. Nothing personal, Wolfie.