Arlington locals are spoiled.
In just a few square blocks, the tiny corner of Poughkeepsie packs enough eateries for community members to dine somewhere new every night for a week…if not two. On the sidewalk stretching away from Vassar College, passersby can tuck into Billy Bob’s, The Tomato Café, Pizzeria Bacio, Fresco Tortillas, BurgerFi, and the list goes on. Around the corner onto Raymond Avenue, there’s Twisted Soul, Julie’s Restaurant, The Crafted Kup, and All Shook Up, to name only a few.
Yet for more than a year, one very prominent chunk of restaurant real estate remained vacant in the region. Formerly home to BC Kitchen + Bar, the grounds of 1-3 Collegeview Avenue lacked a tenant to feed hungry Vassar College students, employees, and visitors to the area since the aforementioned restaurant closed at the end of October 2018.
And then Savona’s claimed it.
An Italian-inspired eatery, Savona’s Trattoria has made a name in the Hudson Valley for its old-world fare made with Hudson Valley ingredients. Its original location is in Kingston, with the newer Red Hook location added to the family in 2017. Locals love Savona’s so much that they voted it the Best Italian Restaurant and the Best New Restaurant East of the Hudson (for its Red Hook location) in our Best of Hudson Valley Awards for 2018. It’s easy to see why, too.
With dishes like from-scratch baked manicotti and truffle mushroom pizza with truffle oil and goat cheese, the restaurant is a one-and-done hit for lovers of authentic Italian flavor in the region.
In 2020, Savona’s brings that Mediterranean flair to Poughkeepsie.
“Poughkeepsie’s always been on my radar,” says owner Stephen Savona. After BC Kitchen + Bar closed operations, he began to pursue the property. He had already heard praise for the location from former staff members who used to work in the area, and he appreciated its proximity to Vassar College and Main Street.
After receiving the OK from Vassar, Savona signed a lease on the space in July. Two months later, he began an overhaul on the interior. The renovation required more work than he originally anticipated — the entire sewer line needed to be replaced — but everything is happily on track to an opening in January 2020.
Inside, the restaurant will be a change from both BC Kitchen + Bar and the other Savona’s locations. Savona and his team redid the entire kitchen, built the bar from scratch, and replaced the floors. As for the aesthetic, the eatery embraces a more industrial atmosphere, with sleek grays and a concrete bar imparting a fresh, elegant look.
The food, however, will be the same — much to the joy of Hudson Valleyites who have experienced Savona’s homemade pastas and pizzas firsthand. As with its other locations, the eatery will utilize a mix of Hudson Valley ingredients, like vegetables from Migliorelli Farm, and imported Italian products. To deliver a taste of Italy in the Hudson Valley, the restaurant orders everything from burrata and mozzarella to olive oil and marinated peppers straight from la madrepatria.
So how will Savona’s fit into the Arlington dining scene?
Perfectly, as Savona sees it.
“I feel like there’s an opportunity for us to fit in well,” he says. “What we do, I don’t feel like it’s being done. I feel like we can add to the community and create our own niche.”
As with other restaurants in the area, Savona’s will accept Vassar College VCard payments. In the future, Savona hopes to collaborate with the college on internships and educational programming as well.
“We’re going to create a synergy with students and factulty,” he enthuses. “It’s a nice feeling to have an institution like Vassar want us to be part of their family.”
1-3 Collegeview Ave, Poughkeepsie