I had two “must go-tos” on my dining list. One was the Loveless Café and the other was a small neighborhood Italian restaurant where they made their own pasta—not by machine, but by rolling by hand with a rolling pin. A restaurant where they make gelato and—in season—cantaloupe water ice. A restaurant where they make all of their breads and also bake for other Nashville restaurants.
But the most recent reviews of this restaurant at tripadvisor.com and urbanspoon.com were all over the board. Some reviewers claimed that the pasta wasn’t always house-made. Some reviewers complained about the slow service. And others stated that the experience wasn’t what they expected after seeing the restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Since we were staying in the most eastern part of Nashville, did we want to drive to southwest Nashville? But as our stay was coming to an end, we decided to take a chance and visit Savarino’s Cucina.
An article at nashvillecitypaper.com seems to support my thesis: “A testament to the quality of his food is the Music Square A-listers seated around the bakery/restaurant's plain tables.
“Don't make the mistake of calling Corrado Savarino a chef. ‘I am a baker,’ Savarino said. ‘A chef just cooks. A baker has to do everything. Can a chef make pastries? Never. Can a baker make lasagna? With his eyes closed.’ The 45-year-old Sicily native admits he sounds arrogant, but he's got the chops to back up what he says” (nashvillecitypaper.com).
So Chuck goes to the counter to place our order and returns to wait for our food. And wait. And wait. And wait at a time when there were still only two customers in the house. And we waited some more. Finally!
Chuck’s choice of sandwich was the Doug Shaugnesso (named for a local health care executive and regular Savarino’s patron)
Now you won’t see any sides with either of our meals. To Chuck’s dismay they served neither fries nor potato chips. The closest thing Savarino’s comes to a side is a roasted vegetable medly with zucchini, squash, eggplant, and peppers tossed with balsamic vinegar.
But that’s OK. That leaves more room for gelato or the cantaloupe water ice. What? The machine is broken? Che è orribile! So instead we settled for two cannolis which were good but certainly not the best we have eaten.
It’s hard to evaluate Savarino’s. The overall experience was a bit strange but our sandwiches were well above average. I guess I’ll give the café 3.5 Addies as a default rating.