After saying we should do it for way too long, some fellow food bloggers and myself finally got together for some shared noshing Thursday night at the Savant Project in Mission Hill. My partners in crime were MTFM (Mike, The Food Monkey, POCC (Pam of Cave Cibum and LVS (Lily Von Schtoop of Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen). It was a fun night and great to finally meet these infamous Boston Bloggers.
We talked food, we talked restaurants, we talked local chefs, we talked neuroscience and we talked about Internet stalkers (you all know who you are). What more could you ask for in a night out with friends???
We chose the Savant Project because it was one of the few places that none of us had been to yet (not an easy feat) and because it was participating in Boston’s first annual Cocktail Week. For this special tasting event, the Savant Project was offering a Prix Fix menu for $20.08, which included a signature cocktail, your choice of (one of four) tapas and a pre-selected dessert (infused with alcohol). Keeping with the theme of our backgrounds, we all chose the tasting and each selected one of the four tapas so we could share.
The cocktails arrived first… Wildberry Mojitos made from house-infused wildberry rum and the standard ingredients. In fact, infusions are their shtick… the menu is riddled with various herb and fruit concoctions. We all liked them and seemed to have no issues with throwing them back, though a few of us thought the drink was a tad too sweet (a common thread through out the rest of the evening).
Next, the four tapas arrived. The first one we tried was the Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls — there were four pieces, so it was easy to split! The these were crunchy and had a nicely flavored filling. Probably cabbage, carrots and maybe onions?
Next, MTFM carefully split the the Scallop and Shrimp Ceviche on Crostini Spoons (normally $9) for us. Two of us got the shrimp, two of us got the scallops. To be honest, at the time I didn’t notice which one I got! I think the shrimp… In any case, I liked this. It wasn’t to die for, but the ingredients were fresh and acidity of the dressing wasn’t overpowering.
Since he did such a good job with the crostini, we had MTFM divvy up the Spicy, Grilled, Tamarind Gulf Shrimp (normally $8.50) as well. This dish was okay… nothing great. The presentation was nice (you can see an even better picture on POCC’s website), but the overall flavor of the dish was lacking. The tamarind was not a stand-out in the dish, which was a disappointment. Note, you can see the Wildberry Mojito in this picture as well.
Last was the Tuna Sashimi in a Lime, Sesame and Soy Marinade (normally $9.50). It was at this point that both LVS and POCC told us they don’t eat sushi! What’s up with that girls? But they were very good sports and had a little taste.
Unfortunately, this dish wasn’t very good at all, so I felt bad that they were rewarded for their bravery with a very bad example of what raw tuna actually tastes like. The dish was overpowered by the way-too-strong soy sauce-based marinade. I’m not sure there were any other ingredients in this aside from just the soy. Yuck. The tuna itself was okay, but definitely not a great cut. Several of the pieces were riddled with sinew and were not as tender as they could be. Even the presentations didn’t leave much to be desired.
Needless to say, our appetites weren’t overly satisfied after these dishes. They were very light and I’m not so sure the prix fix menu was worth the cost. We decided to grab another menu and order a few more things.
POCC and I split the House Made Veggie Burger ($12.50) served with house made red pepper hummus, goat cheese and and spicy onion rings. The burger was quite good. I didn’t eat the bun (damn weight watchers), but the flavors in the burger were very satisfying — having an almost slight Indian spice to them. Both dishes we ordered were served with a side of seasoned fries. The fries were a mix of both regular and sweet potatoes, covered in an almost gritty, Parmesan cheese and spicy mixture. The fries were okay… they were very soggy and the seasoning had the texture of Cheetos dust and the flavor of BBQ chips or something similar.
LVS and MTFM split the Great Hill Blue Cheese Stuffed Angus Burger, served with spicy onion rings with applewood smoked bacon ($13). They seemed to enjoy it.
Throughout dinner, we all got second rounds of drinks — trying some of the other cocktail options. POCC got the Master Splinter — gin infused with lychee and dried cherries, MTFM got the Cougar Martini — a concoction of pear and St. Germain (which was a little too sweet for his liking), LVS got the Pama Punch (I think), a martini-like drink made with pomegranate juice and I got the Sakito — a mojito made with sake and Midori. I like my drink, though the fluorescent green color was a bit off-putting.
Since MTFM wasn’t a huge fan of his drink, he decided to try the Weildin‘ Pistols – tequila infused with pineapple and lavender. Unfortunately, that drink proved to be a bit to “soapy” for him (it’s tough to pull off a good-tasting lavender drink). POCC and I had no problem finishing it for him though. Our server finally satisfied him with the final drink she brought to the table…. but unfortunately I have no idea what it was!
Our night ended with dessert — the Sake drunken berry cup, served with a fresh lime whip cream and topped with a fried mint leaf (normally $7). It wasn’t bad… but nothing special. The whip cream had a nice flavor to it and the berries were fresh and saturated in sake. The fried mint leaf was not even reminiscent of mint — the frying process must remove all flavor.
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by the overall meal. The company was great and the outdoor patio was cute… but the food was only mediocre at best and the drinks were okay. I didn’t see a ton of additional items on the menu that interested me, so I doubt I will be going back. That said, the place is probably a fun night for drinks and to catch some live music… be forewarned though, the inside was HOT AS HELL and it was much cooler on the patio (despite the 90 degree weather outside).
Okay… where shall we go next foodies?