At Sava’s, the question has never been “can I find something that I like?”; it’s “OMG what do I choose?” A few of my go-to items have been the Mediterranean trio (consisting of hummus, tabbouleh and tzatziki with buttery grilled pita) and the grilled cheese for grown ups (because anything that has multiple cheeses–and not goat cheese–I’m sold on).
But now, with the new menu, these items are gone.
Sava’s has taken a lot off their menu, especially under their small plates list. And every single thing that was delicious has been replaced by goat cheese.
Okay, not literally every dish has goat cheese, but at least double that of the previous menu. There even is a goat cheese tart. It’s just a little much—especially at a restaurant that is known for variety. My stance on goat cheese is neutral, but it’s sort of known as something you either love or hate.
I decided to put the new menu to the test and try it out for myself.
I went to Sava’s around lunchtime, and in Ann Arbor, that’s technically still breakfast time, so we tried the new bacon and cheddar omelette with avocado. Obviously it was delicious—but it’s arguably harder to make a bad omelette than a good one. The ingredients guaranteed its success.
I clearly had to try something with goat cheese (I barely had a choice given the menu), so I went for the goat cheese tart. Aesthetically, it was very pleasing. The colors, the piped-in goat cheese and the drizzle of balsamic really added to the dish. The flavor profile actually reminded me a lot of Sava’s old halloumi cheese over arugula appetizer. There was the tartness from the goat cheese, the acidity from the balsamic vinaigrette, the mildness from the buttery, flakey crust, the peppery bite from the arugula and the sweetness from the caramelized onions as well as the fig compote. I enjoyed it more than I expected. However, I still wouldn’t call it a must-try like my beloved grilled cheese for grown ups.
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While there are some disappointing elements of the menu at Sava’s, there is one redeeming factor: dessert. Try to make it through this list without salivating: peanut butter cheesecake, cookie & cream brownie sundae, open-face s’mores and pumpkin cheesecake. I only had the opportunity to try three of these desserts, but I’m coming back for you, peanut butter cheesecake.
The open-face s’mores were elevated childhood, camping and fall all in a blender. More specifically, they were rich chocolate fudge and toasted marshmallow cream, served on a graham cracker along side a small shot of hot apple cider. Probably, one of the most inventive desserts I’ve had. You need to try this. I’m not kidding.
Following that masterpiece, the cookies and cream sundae was good, but not as good. I thought the menu description was a little misleading. It says “cookies and cream brownie,” so I was expecting some sort of Hershey’s-esque cookies and cream chocolate, but in brownie form. In reality, the brownie was just a regular brownie with nuts. The waiter told me that the brownie, the whipped cream and even the oreo cookie were made from scratch. I was most excited about the oreo cookie to see how it compared to the original. My dining companions were not wowed, but I thought the flavors were spot on, with the only difference being that the cream filling was softer than the stiff frosting that we are used to in packaged oreos.
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Last I tried the new pumpkin cheesecake. I thought this would be exceptional. Maybe it was that I was getting really full or that it doesn’t quite feel like fall yet to me, but I felt that this was too gingerbread/gingersnap-y-tasting. I could barely taste the pumpkin or the cream cheese. The best components (in my opinion) were the pepita brittle and the eggnog sauce. Perhaps if I ate this in November, I would be in love.
So that’s just a peek at the new menu. There are certain dishes that will sorely be missed, while others that will be happily welcomed into my list of favorites (I’m talking about you, open-face s’mores).
Location: 216 South State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104
Hours of operation: Mon-Sun: 8 am – 12 am