65 High Street, Codicote, Hitchin , Welwyn, SG4 8XD


SquareMeal Review of Saveur

Tacked onto the side of the Bell Motel, Saveur is a useful drop-in for locals and travellers looking for unchallenging Anglo-French cooking of the old school. The kitchen cares about sourcing and spells out its provenance on the menu – snails from Kent, foie gras from the village of Tusson Charente, rare-breed meats and so on. The 28-day aged beef is reckoned to be ‘seriously exceptional’, but the kitchen also rolls out ample portions of herb-crusted rack of lamb with a mini Irish stew and bordelaise jus, roast poussin with garlicky sautéed potatoes, and a raft of sustainable fish specials. To start, you might fancy moules marinière or wild mushrooms on grilled onion bread with Cashel Blue cheese and grated black truffle, while desserts are in the classic mould of tarte Tatin with homemade ice cream. Handy for the A1(M).

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Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 6.0

Value: 10.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Ginola14 bronze reviewer 24 February 2011

The Saveur is a restaurant “added onto the side” of the Rustic Pub Company at 65 High Street Codicote, which I THINK used to be the Bell Inn. We have lived in the area for 6 years. In our opinion this is the best combination of excellent food and value for money that we have experienced in that time. And we are spoilt for choice with Reed, Datchworth, Welwyn and Hitchin all within 20 minutes. We were one of only 2 tables occupied at 845pm on a Friday evening. A total of 6 covers that we could see – and maybe that is to credit for the sublime personal service received, including a lengthy discussion with the chef/patron Liam. Nevertheless complimentary cava with cassis on arrival and an amuse bouche of deep fried frogs legs in a light tempura style batter with mayonnaise and micro corriander (from Kent) were very well received, the latter herb proving somewhat amazing in its depth of flavour. We both started with foie gras on a caramelised onion bread topped with a poached duck egg. A fricasse of wild mushrooms competed with these ingredients in a non-supporting role. Only issue i would have was the mushrooms not being quite “woody” enough for my liking – although this may be a personal idiosyncracy. At £6.50 we are already well ahead in the game. Moving on, my 28 day aged beef with Guinness jus cooked “bleu”, was perfect. The fondant potatoes a prefect accompaniment. Hazel advised that her rose veal with wild mushrooms and cashew blue sauce way exceeded her expectations. Indeed the “best veal since the chop served at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas on our honeymoon in 2005”. For me the accompanying basket of baby carrots, green beans and other vegetables was a distraction – and not needed. But for the “portion hunters” of Hertfordhire out there, this will go down very well. Hazel who had, bizarrely, eaten before she came out, could go no further and surrendered to coffee. I went “all in” with a delicoius, individual apple tarte tartin whose sweetness and flavours beautifully assisted the accompanying double espresso's alongside's downwards passage. Homemade icecream a prefect final flourish and companion. The meat was seriously exceptional – and for the above we were charged £70 and i felt like we had robbed the place – although i did check “l'addition” twice. Simply put – an undiscovered gem ; when proper, decent food seekers find this place and start frequenting it – the decor can be suitably corrected. Then we will have close to prefection on our doorstep. Tho I fear if that be the case, the pricing will correct in true obedience to the economic law of supply and demand.