SAVIN ROCK ROASTING CO.
120 New Canaan Ave
Norwalk, CT 06850
On a recent trip back to Connecticut I wanted to take my aunt out somewhere new for lunch. We hopped in the car and headed south down New Canaan Ave. (RT 123) towards Norwalk. Out of curiosity we turned into the Tower Shopping Center a few miles past the New Canaan/Norwalk border. Tucked in the corner sat the Savin Rock Roasting Company. We decided to try it out and in the process I discovered one of my new favorite spots in the area. My aunt had the Black Magic Roast Beef Sandwich ($10.00) and I tried the Chicken Monte ($9.00). Don’t let the high side of the price tag scare you away as each sandwich packed both meat and flavor to motivate me to come back the next day with my camera.
The restaurant is named after the beachfront Savin Rock section of West Haven. Paying homage to the area, sixteen specialty sandwiches on the menu bear the names of rides from the Savin Rock Amusement park which was a mainstay int he area from 1870 until 1966. I was a little skeptical when I first looked over the menu because its sheer size made me feel that it would fall prey to many places with a large menu, too many items to make anything great. Although, I have not tasted everything on the menu, from what I have tried so far I get the feeling the chef is fully capable of keeping up with the menu.
In addition to the specialty subs mentioned above, Savin Rock prides itself on an additional 24 sandwiches highlighted by meats that are spiced and roasted in house for 12 hours.
WHAT I ATE:
ARTICHOKE HEAVEN ($9.00) – Artichoke hearts stuffed with toasted garlic, pancetta, fontina and parmigiana. These things are an explosion of flavor and with five artichokes on the plate I hope you are sharing or this may nearly fill you up.
CHICKEN MONTE ($9.00) – A large and tasty sandwich with a grilled chicken breast (blackened is also an option) with a layer of ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, honey mustard, griddled on country white bread. I really like this take on the monte cristo, foregoing the egg battered dipped bread and adding chicken. The sandwich comes with homemade slaw, a pickle and for an extra $1.50 a healthy serving of fries.
NONNIE’S CHICKEN ($17.00) – Chicken breast sautéed with sausage, onions, garlic, hot and sweet peppers in a creamy pinot grigio sauce. To call this dish amazing would be a gross understatement. I may be bias because it married some of my favorite things into one plate, pork, garlic, chicken and hot peppers. The creamy pinot grigio sauce tied all the flavors together and the heat was potent but not overwhelming (but I do recommend having a glass of water on deck). This dish came with a side of rice pilaf and sliced carrots. Under normal circumstances, I am not a fan of cooked carrots on their own but Savin Rock again added their own variation having cooked the carrots with brown sugar giving them a sweet glaze that made then tasty and interesting.
WARM APPLE CRISP ($4.00) – Cinnamon apples baked under crumb topping, ice cream scoup added for $1.00.
Cinnamon apples baked under crumb topping
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for only
ON MY RADAR:
GARLIC BREAD FONDUE ($7.00) – a roasted garlic fondue dip served with griddled garlic bread for dipping.
SKY BLAZER ($9.00) – a sub or wrap chicken philly cheese steak, grilled chicken topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms, smothered in cheddar cheese.
IPSWICH STYLE FRIED SEAFOOD (SEE MENU) – locally harvested, fresh seafood dredged in a 60 year old malted flour recipe. Served with slaw, fries, tartar and cocktail sauces.
GARLIC CHICKEN ($16.00) – Fresh breast with cloves of garlic, fresh parsley and basil in a pinot grigio reduction
DELMONICO CUT RIB EYE STEAK ($22.00) – 14oz Delmonico cut Rib Eye, hand trimmed of excess fat then tied back together with twine to get a tenderloin style cut with rich marbling and flavor. All steaks are Certified Midwest beef that is branded at 1100 degrees then seared to capture the natural juices for plating.
After my meal I had a chance to talk with Savin Rock investors Tony and Sue Dinello. Although these high school sweethearts graduated West Haven High School at the turn of the millennium, between the two of them they have what seems like a lifetime of experience in the culinary world working their way from washing dishes to operators/investors. The Dinello’s jumped at the opportunity to become investors in the growing southwestern chain that currently has locations in Stratford, Harford and West Haven with plans for more locations in the works (this location opened in August 2010). Tony (who also stands in as chef at times) beams with pride when talking about the menu that boast slow roasted meats, classic American comfort food with a twist and plenty of fresh seafood. Tony even spoke of the possibility of narrowing down the menu a bit which can be a somewhat daunting for an undecided diner because so many things on the menu look and sound mouthwatering.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the imagination and quality of the food at Savin Rock. I walked in simply looking for some place for a quick lunch but found a hidden gem and think it will do well if it can overcome being slightly hidden from view in the midst of a busy thoroughfare like New Canaan Avenue. Savin Rock is a great option for diners from New Canaan wanting to breach the town border without making the trip all the way to South Norwalk. With free delivery to all of New Canaan and Norwalk, Savin Rock is also a solid option for a family on the go wanting a quality meal.
*** Sunday brunch begins on Dec ember19th at 9:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.***
*** Free delivery to New Canaan and Norwalk ($15.00min)***