Savinos Grill's traditional Italian and Mediterranean menu is being harmonized with favorite summer fruits for this seasons' Restaurant Week.
Tom Cutrone, chef and owner of the Common Street eatery located in Cushing Square, has created special dishes consisting of southern European-inspired cuisine while keeping the current season in mind for the event that draws food lovers for prix fix meals at an affordable price.
"We tried to keep a lighter fare," said Cutrone. "The menu is in tune with summer."
For the second week of the event, that began Sunday, Aug. 23, and ends on Friday, Aug. 27, sweet and cool fruits compose the soup of the day, chilled mango or watermelon soups are just some of the antipasto options that begin the three course dinner for $33.10.
Cutrone participates in the seasonal event because it draws in new customers, and "it's an inexpensive meal that allows patrons to try new things."
Now in its tenth year, Restaurant Week Boston occurs twice a year – in March and again in August – when area restaurants design special 3-course prix fixe menus to encourage the public to try out new restaurants and menus.
Keeping price and season in mind, bluefish is one of six main entrees that can be chosen for the Secondi. The bluefish, which Cutrone warned can be heavy if it is not prepared soon after it is caught, is delivered fresh daily to the restaurant.
He urged that those who may be timid to try the fish should eat it now because it is in season.
"This is the time of year to eat it. Its fresh just out of Cape Cod," he said.
The fillet is first marinated in olive oil, garlic and a blend of herbs and is grilled medium-rare for moistness. It is placed on a tomato and mozzarella salad made with native heirloom tomatoes, and large grain Israeli couscous dressed in a basil and cream sauce. Basil oil is drizzled on top to accent all of the dishes flavors.
The grilled bluefish was one of the three most popular dishes ordered in the first week of Restaurant Week. The other two were grilled hanger steak and pork tenderloin that is served with herbed risotto. The hanger steak, accompanied by roasted potatoes, mushrooms and broccolini, is also what the chef would choose for its "flavor."
Local and seasonal ingredients also accompany colorful recipes like Black Pepper Pappardelle that gracefully nestle slices of peaches, plums and apricots.
In order to provide options for those who may come in the restaurant without knowing the dinner menu is pre-selected, a special is offered every night. One special combined Italian with the Indian Saffron: Spinach Fettuccine, in a golden yellow turmeric cream sauce.
The only Belmont restaurant participating in Restaurant Week, Cutrone – who likes to introduce himself to customers – said he saw many new faces in the dining room during the first week of the promotion.