As no-jacket weather approaches, many look to dine outside in the fresh air- especially during brunch time. With limited space in the city, places tend to fill up rather quickly. At Savann, not only do you have the chance to dine al fresco but you get to do it with Turkish-style.
After 15 years of Savann being established, Chef Galip Ozbek decided to mix things up and began to cook traditional food from his country by request of his devout customers. Getting rid of the French cuisine Savann was once known for, Ozbek changed his concept by adding cozy colors to create a warm, quixotic ambiance and a new Turkish menu to set the mood.
Ozbek redesigned his restaurant space by adding wooden wine racks and a full bar against an exposed brick wall to add a rustic feel. In the new design, he also added comfortable booths next to the large front windows with candlelit Turkish lamps hanging from the walls and ceiling. Ozbek painted a golden yellow shade on the regular walls and hung black and white paintings of Turkish village scenes. The tables were recovered from the old Wilson Bar and they now have brass-framed black place mats built into them.
Ozbek grew up on a farm in Turkey and he has held many jobs in order to put food on the table for his family. His grandma and mother taught him all about baking bread from barley and wheat that they grew on the farm. He was also taught how to make cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk. This opportunity of changing the concept of his restaurant was the perfect chance for Ozbek to get back in touch with his culture.
It’s still a good deal for us, the customer. Today, the same affordable prices are found here like before the switch and even though the interior decoration and menu is different, it’s still a great deal and an experience filled with love for his Turkish heritage.
Savann is located on the Upper West Side at 414 Amsterdam between 79th and 80th streets. It is open Monday through Friday from 12pm to 11pm for lunch and dinner, and Saturday through Sunday 11am to 4pm for brunch and dinner.