Here’s why I have become a fan of Savor Gastropub, the marquee restaurant of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-17899″ src=”” alt=”savor-gastropub-summer-2016-copyright-michael-hiller” width=”1500″ height=”748″/> savor-gastropub-summer-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-2You’d be forgiven for dismissing Savor Gastropub, the glass-walled restaurant in downtown’s Klyde Warren Park, as little more than a pretty box serving pretty average food, as I did when the restaurant first opened in 2012. Now, it’s a finely tuned boîte where the overall experience adds up to way more then the sum of its parts. That’s thanks in large part to the way GM Taylor Jones runs the shop.

Wild caught shrimp and grits, with its spicy andouille sausage, cheesy grits and heady tomato broth, was among one recent evening’s standouts. But then so was a filet of chef John Coleman’s blackened Gulf red snapper, sauced with lemon butter and propped upon some of those cheddar grits he’d spiked with jalapenos. I was also impressed with his pork “brisket” (pictured above), thick dominoes of roasted pork shoulder rubbed in espresso then roasted forever until they’re as tender and juicy as Travis Heim’s brisket.

I’m also crazy about a new cocktail making its way to Savor’s bar this fall, a smokey concoction of aged bourbon, pecan-infused simple syrup, walnut bitters and a twist of orange over a block of ice — it’s late summer, early fall, Halloween and the State Fair, all swirled into a highball glass.

You know you’re going to want a midnight snack, so order a plate of Savor’s fried pies, three tiny, flaky, crimped-edged beauties served with a dollop of tart lemon curd and a scoop of housemade pistachio gelato, which you should order on the side so you can eat it while the valet loads your car with your to-go stash. (Hmmm…yes, order the salted caramel banana pudding with toasted marshmallows to-go, too.)
On a recent evening on Savor’s patio, surrounded by a cool breeze and the neon glow of the city skyline, I was struck by the number of tourists populating the tables. Where were the locals? 
“Probably at the Fair,” my server said. “But to be honest, we always seem to have more visitors than locals.” 
What a shame, I thought, that more of us locals don’t explore the nooks and crannies of this menu, which changes with the seasons and is due for a makeover in the next couple of weeks.
I’ll admit that I didn’t care much for Savor when it first opened, or on a subsequent visit a few months later. But the restaurant’s PR spokesman insisted that Savor had found its footing, that I should give it another try. She’d even buy me dinner to get me there.
She was right.
Sometimes a restaurant takes a long time to gel. I sure like it now. I think you will, too, so I’m adding Savor to our Hatch Recommended list.