I won’t mince words: lunch at Savoy it was a delightful experience and a welcome departure from other uninspired local eateries. It was not just the simple yet delicious food, but the impeccable service from the first phone call to the end of our meal.

Heavenly creme brulee @ Savoy Bar & Grill.

Heavenly creme brulee @ Savoy Bar & Grill. Because you should always start with dessert.

When we learned that Savoy was included in the 2014 edition of Restaurant Week, we decided to make a reservation for a mid week lunch. An occasion not to be missed, Restaurant Week happens yearly for a week and it is a great opportunity to visit some of New Mexico’s finest restaurants.

The preliminary phone call to investigate gluten free menu options was placed with no great hope of favorable findings. Often times, gluten free is relegated to the obvious: green salads, meat and perhaps a sorry side of fries. Most appetizers are out, many entrees are laced with wheat in one way or another and desserts are the stuff of legends. If like me, you are celiac AND not a meat eater…well, you might as well press your nose against the window and sadly look in from the street.

Surprisingly, I  found a very receptive audience. They were attentive and assured me that they could modify the dishes at no extra cost (practically unheard of). The lunch menu during Restaurant Week has a few choices, but it is pretty much set and that made their flexibility so much more appreciated. Upon arriving, they remembered that I was gluten free and from the start the server was careful to verify in the kitchen that my food was up to standards. She even  asked the chef about the sauces with no prompting from me at all.

Instead of salmon cakes, I was served a deliciously tender poached salmon fillet accompanied by a salad of watercress, arugula and fennel. No heavy, gooey dressing drenching the greens here, rather a light, understated vinaigrette that enhanced them perfectly. Even though I had a salad as a starter (organic baby fields, green apple, fresh goat cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, sherry walnut vinaigrette), I devoured my whole plate with gusto and it was most delicious. In between bites I had a glass of brut Spanish cava that complemented the fish beautifully.

When I thought I could not do better, she approached the table with their regular dessert menu and offered two options that were completely gluten free instead of the dessert that came with our meal. What a lovely gesture. I had a creme brulee that was not too sweet, yet golden and perfectly caramelized on top. With a great cup of coffee, I was a very happy camper indeed.

The atmosphere was, in addition, calm and lovely. Beautiful flowers and undivided attention. Mid week lunches are a treat that I recommend: the chefs are not hurried, the servers are particularly attentive and relaxed. I think I’ll do this again…