Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Savor and Relish, Klyde Warren Park’s restaurants, open in September
Indoor/outdoor restaurant Savor aims to bring "polished casual" dining to the Dallas park.
Dallas chef and entrepreneur John Coleman knows first-hand of the uncommon circumstances that go along with planting roots here. Coleman is opening an 11,000-square-foot dining complex in Klyde Warren Park that will house two restaurants called Savor Gastropub and Relish. They are the only two restaurants located directly in the park.
“You think about what’s below us — it’s a highway,” Coleman, acting executive chef, said Wednesday during a hardhat tour of the site. “It’s a game of millimeters.”
Three years in the making, Coleman’s vision is a sleek, minimalist approach that blends the boundaries of the park and restaurants. Crews are currently working toward a soft opening on September 23.
Savor is the complex’s “polished casual” sit-down restaurant that includes indoor and outdoor seating for more than 300 people. Glass walls standing about 12 feet tall encase the restaurant, giving it a refined, modern feel. The ceiling contains a series of hole-punctured metal slats, patterned to resemble the underside of a tree canopy. Once finished, Coleman said there will be 60 skylights through which the sun will shine and naturally backlight the slats.
An open kitchen and a “keg wall” separate the dining room and bar/lounge area at Savor. Coleman plans to have large group and communal seating in the lounge surrounding the kidney-shaped island bar in the middle of the 1,500-square-foot space.
“There will be couches and chairs and have a living room feel,” he said.
The keg wall, perhaps the restaurant’s most intriguing feature, will house barrels for 16 wines (eight red and eight white) and 12 different beers, both local and not. Lines from the kegs run under the floor to taps behind the bar, where they will be served. Coleman said kegged wine will cost $8-11 a glass. Beers will rotate frequently.
“I’ve been asked if kegged wine is the cheaper stuff, and I think you’ll find the quality is fantastic,” Coleman said.
Savor will also offer 20 red wines and 20 white wines by the bottle, as well as 10 bottled beers. There will also be a house “reserved” list of wines that Coleman personally has a connection or heartfelt memory with, he added.
Cocktails, too, will not be lost at Savor. Coleman is working with mixologist Brian McCullough of The Standard Pour to develop a menu of artisan beverages.
In terms of the menu, Coleman said it is still being finalized, though he alluded to an appetizer-heavy offering meant for sharing, in addition to flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and steaks. Savor will have a separate kids menu with usuals like chicken fingers, but also will offer some healthier options.
Savor appetizers will range from $9 to $17 and entrees will cost between $19 and $27, Coleman said.
As part of this project, Coleman is building a separate permanent residence for his food truck Relish, which launched in October 2012. The tight, 800 square feet dedicated to Relish will act as a grab-and-go kiosk for patrons who can eat on the outdoor patio or peruse the park. Relish will serve beer and wine, too, for those meandering Klyde Warren. Coleman plans to expand his menu to include more burgers (including veggie), plus items like ice cream and breakfast.
Relish will also house two public restrooms.
Though Coleman has opened 18 hotels worldwide and a slew of restaurants, he considers development of Savor and Relish to be his most personal project and a “culmination of my life’s work,” he said. It’s evident in his attention to detail.
Coleman created a large valet lane to ease the woes of downtown parking. He situated several patios overlooking the park where children can play while their parents eat. And he designed the restaurants in tune with the Klyde Warren’s attempt to appeal to the masses.
“The environment speaks for itself,” he said. “We’re hoping this really finishes out the park.”
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