MIXED RESTAURANT REVIEWS: SAVOURY AND PRIME BURGER

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A chicken dish at Savoury.

A couple of new Upper West Side restaurants were visited by food reviewers in the past week or so, and the results were quite mixed.

Savoury, a new Indian restaurant from Lala Sharma, just opened on Columbus Avenue near West 83rd Street. The restaurant serves Western and Southern Indian food.

Gothamist’s Neil Casey was particularly impressed after attending a press tasting:

“[W]e started with the Lasuni Gobi ($7), described on the menu as “crispy cauliflower tossed in a tangy garlic tomato sauce.” Sounds tame, but what arrives instead are chunks of perfectly fried cauliflower coated in a fiery, bright red sauce with enough sweet tomato to balance out the bite. My dining partner best described the dish as resembling “boneless buffalo wings,” an apt comparison given the cauliflower’s firm but creamy texture and the heat from the sticky sauce…

Another hit: Baby Lamb Chops ($12), which come adorned with delightful aluminum foil fringe like some kind of turkey leg of generation’s past. The chops are trimmed and cooked perfectly, with just enough fat to keep the lamb from drying out.”

Robert Sietsema at Eater also tried Savoury out, and wrote that Upper West Side Indian food is decidedly underrated: “[T]he most-overlooked hotbed of Indian cuisine is the Upper West Side. There, sprinkled along its bustling avenues and right on Broadway are at least 20 slightly upscale spots, with formal service, white napery, and lots of plate-polishing going on.”

Sietsema was a big fan of Sharma’s previous West Village restaurant Surya but he’s not as impressed by Savoury. In fact, he said he wants more heat and inventive cuisine:

“We ate several decent breads and desserts that evening, but, really, at this point there’s little to distinguish Savoury from any of the other Punjabi places on the Upper West Side. That is what denizens of the neighborhood want — or so the restaurateurs think. But until the menu adds a few more interesting things, and trusts the gringos with chiles, the potential of this place lies in being a favorite in the immediate neighborhood, since there’s virtually nothing about it that would lure you in from a remote location.”

Prime Burger, the new burger joint attached to Kosher Japanese steakhouse Prime KO on 85th street between Broadway and Amsterdam, got a weak review from Michael Kaminer at The Forward’s food blog, The Jew and the Carrot.

“Our grassfed burger ($13.50), the most basic offering on Prime Burger’s menu, translated as a charred puck of gamy meat that lacked depth, dimension, or character. Ordered medium rare, it arrived dark brown with a hint of pink. Its bun was too large for the eight-ounce patty, which made the meat seem diminutive. Soft and warm, the house-made bread looked and tasted like store-bought product. Two leaves of lettuce, a flavorless tomato slice, and a lone pickle sliver didn’t help.”

Kaminer also called the fries “flaccid.” The spiced lamb burger was only slightly better.

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