The restaurant Savona is tucked away in the shadowy hills along the Main Line — so off the beaten track that unless you know exactly where you’re heading, you may not find it.
But, its somewhat obscure location hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most popular and bustling, elegant Italian restaurants in the area.
It’s not difficult to figure out why.
From the moment they drop off their cars with the valet until the moment they take their leave pleasantly full, diners are taken care of and treated like cherished friends in an upscale setting.
On a recent evening, the yellow fin tuna crudo ($17) started the dining experience off in fine fashion. While elegant and rich, the tuna was also quite delicate on the palate. A bold and almost floral dish, it wasn’t overwhelmed with seasoning, allowing the bright freshness of the avocado and the cucumbers to appeal to the senses.
The golden fried artichokes ($14) were extremely fresh with a lightly fried crust that enhanced and didn’t dominate the flavors and textures of the dish.
The ricotta crostini ($14), while part of the antipasti menu, could easily qualify as a dessert. The wild-flower honey and the creaminess of the ricotta, when combined and spread on the toasted bread, had a light and irresistible cheesecake-like feel when all of the elements came together.
Savona’s pasta definitely lives up to its stellar reputation. And, the shrimp fra diavolo ($26) is perfection with (what else?) house-made pasta, steeped in a spicy red sauce and studded with plump steamed shrimp. It is pure excellence.
Save some room for dessert at Savona because even if their pastries don’t pique your interest, there is little chance you’ll be able to resist the house-spun gelato and sorbet. We fell under the spell of their Bailey’s Irish Cream flavored gelato and their blueberry apple sorbet. Both were immensely delicious, and in the case of the latter, bold and colorful, in its own right.
Someday you’ll want to rent out their impressive downstairs wine cellar and play high-stakes poker in it with your close-knit circle of friends, but until you hit the lottery, dinner there will have to suffice.
This is the time of the year when eating out and trying to impress family and friends with your tastes in restaurants is a must. So fire up your GPS, put on your nicest casual duds and seek out Savona.
If you go
100 Old Gulph Road
Mon-Fri.: 11:30-2:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10:30-2:30 p.m.
Sun-Thurs.: 5:30-9 p.m.
Fri-Sat.: 5:30-10 p.m.