New Kid on the Block: Savida

There’s nary a soul in Tribeca who isn’t somehow attached to the old Blaue Gans, nee Zinc Bar, space on Duane, so I’ve been circling it daily to observe the progress there. It opened on Monday as Savida with a simple, clean décor and a menu of (very) fresh fish and homemade Mediterranean mezze. The concept: an open air middle Eastern market, with lights strung overhead and – to come – fish in a stall in the corner, waiting for customers to hand select them for their meal. (I can’t help but think of the restaurant in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but in this case the fish will not be live.)

The owner, Noam Langleib, is an Israeli who owned a chain of Thai restaurants in Tel Aviv and who also sold fish to Kurt Gutenbrunner as well as managed restaurants during his seven years here in the city. He’s been at Savida circling the tables or installed at the bar every time I’ve popped in, so say hello when you go. His general manager made much of the décor, including the rope-wrapped drum lamps. The chef is Jose Paulo Cortes, whose last stop was TLV on the Upper West Side.

The menu is designed for sharing and for customizing: there are a dozen mezzes for $9 each that are all homemade. (After the hummus, you won’t be buying Sabra any time soon. The gelato is homemade too.) The menu requires some explanation, but once you get it, it’s a smart way to order: pick your fish, pick your side, pick your sauce (which comes on the side). Every course is plated with shallow oblong bowls, which make for easy sharing.

Most of the fish on the menu are served whole to filet yourself; you can ask for help if your ego can survive it. Something to discover: the Jerusalem artichoke soup, which was a revelation. And the ceviche was pretty special. Order the cauliflower tabbouleh sprinkled with pomegranate seeds for sure.

Open for dinner starting at 5; lunch and brunch hours to come soon.

139 Duane St.



  1. I left a comment on here hours ago… what’s with the policing?

  2. “simple, clean décor?” are you joking? they demolished the posters! and for what? an ugly white blandness with potted plants – on the walls? It’s gross.

    the interior of le zinc and blaue gans reflected the history of the neighborhood. the people that opened this restaurant are ignorant fish peddlers. Again, gross.

  3. I will like to apply for a waitress/ server/ host job

  4. I had an excellent experience at Savida. I can’t wait to go back again. The various appetizer spreads (baba ganoush, tatziki, etc) were mouth watering. Out of 13 people in my group, not one complaint. The staff was very hospitable. I highly recommend it to my neighbors… and my husband who hasn’t yet tried it!

  5. Amazing food. Excellent service.freshest fish