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Savi Urban Market has been open for about a year and a half in Inman Park. This upscale market is part grocer, part fresh foods, part specialty wine and beer market. Basically, Savi Urban Market caters to those folks who are looking for an tasty and healthy gourmet meal that they can heat up at home instead of going out to a fancy restaurant. And perhaps pick up a bottle of wine or craft beer to compliment said dinner. Savi Urban Market sources seasonal ingredients from Dillwood Farms in Loganville, Georgia. Besides having house-roasted and cured meats and an on-site cheesemonger, Savi also cooks their food using the sous vide method of cooking.
The Sous Vide method of cooking involves cooking food in vacuum sealed packages at very low temperatures for long periods of time. Made popular in the 1970s, the idea is that dishes, whether meat, seafood or vegetables are more flavorful, tender and delicious when cooked with the sous vide method.
And what would a yummy dinner be without some tasty wine to go with it? Savi is one of the only markets in the area to have an Enomatic Wine Machine (pictured below right). It allows patrons to sample up to 16 wines for a small fee. You can get a taste, a half a glass or a full glass – just insert your prepaid card into the machine and choose your wine.
After perfecting his menu for over a month, Executive Chef Don Trimble prepared a lovely meal for a select few of us lucky enough to be invited to preview his sous vide cooking technique. I have to admit, I knew nothing of Savi Urban Market before this dinner and went into it with zero expectations. Sometimes that’s when you have the best experience, right?
I’m fortunate in that I get invited to a bevy of menu previews and tastings, but this often leaves me pretty hard to impress. But the creative and adventurous menu blew my mind. Loved that the presentation and thoughtfulness of the sides were not neglected either. It was hands down one of the best meals I’ve had in quite a long time.
Scallop, Lardo, Rhubarb
Octopus, Squid ink Gnocchi
Veal Cheeks, Ramps
Black Bass, Sapelo Island Clams
Piedmontese Strip Loin, Sweetbreads
Pork Belly, Szechuan Pepper Ice Cream
I’d never had Bone Marrow before, but was eager to try it, and the sweet and creamy fritter was so yummy, I’d have easily eaten ten of them if they were put in front of me. And the perfectly prepared scallop just about melted in my mouth.
The third course, Octopus, prepared sous vide style, was tender and full of flavor, not at all rubbery as Octopus can be if not prepared correctly. Fourth course was the Veal Cheek also prepared sous vide – so tasty and soft, I could have easily spread it on a slice of bread. My pictures of these two items didn’t turn out the best or I’d have posted them. But believe me when I tell you pictures and words cannot describe how sensational this meal was.
As if we all weren’t thoroughly impressed with the meal so far, there was more loveliness to come. That was in form of Black Bass with Sapelo Island Clams and Strip Loin (both pictured above) – again both prepared using the sous vide cooking method. If I had any doubts as to the sous vide cooking method locking in the rich flavor of foods, this rid of them.
Dessert: Pork belly and bacon has been done to death in recent years. But this unique technique with pork belly pairing with ice cream and spicy szechuan peppercorns was a definite departure from more of the ho-hum pork belly preparations.
Savi Urban Market offers pre-packaged sous vide entrees which are $6.99 for a protein or $9.99 for a protein plus two sides. Two could easily be fed a superb meal for under $20. Thanks to Savi Urban Market and owner Paul Nair for hosting me for this tasting. Look for Savi Market to host more sous vide dinners in the future. You won’t want to miss them.
Savi Urban Market
287 Elizabeth Street
Atlanta, GA 30307
404 523 3131