Founded by husband and wife team, Christopher and Jennifer McBride as an online restaurant guide, Savory New York launched in April 2006. Since then, under the Savory Cities network, the guide has grown to include culinary epicenters Chicago and San Francisco.
Christopher and Jennifer transitioned to gastronomical coverage after more than a decade in the entertainment industry, where she worked as a television producer and he in the internet music field.
What sets Savory Cities apart is their use of streaming video to give the viewer a three-dimensional sense of a restaurant. Video profiles are each under two minutes and feature an interview with either a restaurant chef or owner. In the case of The Spotted Pig, an upscale gastropub in Greenwich Village, New York, co-owner Ken Friedman is interviewed on what makes his resturant unique. We are shown hunger-inducing close-ups of gourmet cheeseburgers intercut with the dining atmosphere, kitchen and signature dishes.
Not every restaurant profiled has a video but there are more than enough to keep one occupied. The site focuses on more expensive epicuneries, where meals can be the singular event of the evening, such as The French Laundry in San Francisco and Vie in Chicago.
The site also offers the basics of any restaurant guide, including hours, location, cusine, reservation info, prices and food and drink specialties. The site is not so much for reviews as it is a guide for the uninitiated chowhound. Although for each restaurant there are links to magazine and blog reviews.
For the three cities, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, restaurants are broken down into neighborhoods and cusine types for easy reference. There are also special sections for Late Night Dining, Cheaper Eats and Weekend Brunch.
The video profiles distinquish Savory Cities and give it a great leg up on the competition. For a glimpse into the high-priced and exclusive New York Restaurants check out The Russian Tea Room, Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Café and get a sense of where you best want to drop in for dinner.