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Three months after an errant car put Savona wine bar in Centerville out of commission, a new concept has arisen on the spot, and to be sure, it's back with a vengeance.
Savona chef and owner Keith Taylor has redecorated the interior of his restaurant and revamped the menu. Today, after weeks of wondering if the site would come back to life at all, I set foot in the new concept, renamed Twisted Root, and got a sampling of where Chef Taylor is taking his well-regarded operation.
Menu changes can be refreshing, and for Twisted Root, it's a different world on the menu. Where Savona was at times known for a menu dominated by such classy entrees as Oysters Rockefeller, Lane Snapper, and Lobster Fettuccini, the Twisted Root sports a greater mix of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. I sampled the Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine - a rich pasta topped with grilled jumbo shrimp and just a tad of heat detectable within the red onion and tomato cream sauce. Jessica pointed me to a German Sauvignon Blanc to balance the warm heat of the dish with a little bit of a sweeter white.
While it's good to see a strong showing of seafood remaining on the menu, the other dishes in Twisted Roots repertoire shouldn't be omitted, either. A dry-aged Prime Steak Burger served with garlic fries really hit the spot. It's got a very neat, savory spread to sharpen the white cheddar topping the giant burger - a jam made of caramelized onions and bacon. Jessica recommended a chardonnay with this one which added a little bit of contrasting flavor to the burger's natural savory taste. It's packed with taste to be sure, and it's a strong showing for red meat lovers.
The interior maintains much of the same low-lit, warm color evoking candle light, dominated by the round bar in the back of the restaurant, but the most notable difference is the now-boarded up window on the restaurant's northeast corner where on March 14 an out-of-control vehicle crashed into the restaurant, leaving a massive hole. Fortunately, though, the incident happened before dinner and only the driver was slightly injured.
Taylor has said he hired some help so he could be more visible in the front end of the 80-seat restaurant. It really brings home Taylor's desire for a more casual restaurant and a more informal menu.
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