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“Wonderful Food, Small Space”

Savelli's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #191 of 1,165 Restaurants in Knoxville
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Food, Small Space”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2013

Savelli's food is jaw-droppingly delicious (Although I would rather keep my mouth closed to savor the flavor). The blackened ahi-tuna and the dessert calzones (taken off the menu when I last went, they still make them, just ask. Prepare to share- they are huge and rich) are my favourites. The garlic bread tastes like it was taken straight out of a sweet old Italian lady's kitchen. And of course being an Italian restaurant, the pasta is wonderful. Putting the food aside it is quite a sad little restaurant. Savelli's often puts out Groupons, but can barely support the influx of customers it has already. A reservation is required for Groupon users, and if you use the app they take the phone and do not return it promptly (might just be me, but I am not comfortable with that). Despite being a dine-in restaurant, the indoor dining area is less than 500 square feet! Because of this, it is always noisy and crowded. The outdoor dining area consists of two small picnic tables and is not 15 feet away from a noisy, busy road. Due to a loss of their alcohol license they no longer serve wine, but encourage you to bring your own (provided you pay a $4.00 fee). Good place for foodies, bad place for a conversation.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Tolliver2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Pay special attention to your check before paying the bill”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2013

It was not until the THIRD try that I was able to eat here and use my Groupon.
A reservation is required to use those, which seems like just another way for them to have an obstacle and hassle to someone wanting to use their voucher.
The first time I called to make a reservation I was told they would not be open the Sunday before Labor Day.
Two weeks later I had a confirmed reservation for Sunday the 15th of September, only to arrive and see a handwritten sign on the door saying they were closed for 2 days. (See photo)
I received no phone call and nothing to let me know that I shouldn't drive over and show up for my assigned reservation time.
I tried for the third time and finally was able to use my Groupon. To my surprise, once the bill came I saw where they had added a tip in excess of 20% to the bill.
It appears they add a tip to the total VALUE of the voucher.
Considering things I have since read about this restaurant, nothing surprises me about them.
Save your money and visit someplace that values customers and doesn't try to trick them into paying for things they shouldn't.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank D P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
297 reviews
159 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 751 helpful votes
“Good Food But Sad Surroundings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2013

Got another groupon and managed to get in before the long line of groupon holders begin their deluge on the place and overwhelm the cook. After all, it's been seen in the past how she handles stress, and it's not a pretty sight.

The food was good, and the service was shockingly good also. They've attempted to spruce up the place inside a bit, but the little building is just so tired and worn out that there's only so much sprucing up you can do without gutting the entire place.

There always seems to be a hitch of some sort or another at this place. I can't just come here and relax and dine because I know they're contemplating something behind the curtain to wrangle a few extra dollars from me. I've definitely learned to NEVER EVER mention the "S" word..."share". THe mere utterance will set you back an extra 2 or 3 dollars. We've learned that if we want to share we each just order all the individual parts of 1 meal. I order the salad, wife orders the calzone - that way we each have a plate we can call our own without having to pay the SHARE charge.

We did pretty well this past trip and even remembered to not utter the share word. However, when the bill came the tip was already included, and it wasn't just a 15% tip it was like a 17.75% tip. Go figure. The service was good that night (for a change) so I had already decided to tip...but where did the 17.75% come from?

When using a groupon here you MUST call in ahead of time and make a reservation for some reason. You can't use a groupon if you don't have a reservation. Makes little sense, but like I said you just have to know how this place operates. I always leave a tip when the service is good, but when you brazenly include it for me it just doesn't sit well. And you can be rest assured if service had been crappy I would have gone toe to toe to have that tip charge whittled down to an appropriate amount.

They don't have a bar, but you can bring your own wine which they highly highly have started encouraging. Probably because of the 3 or 4 dollar charge per wine glass they tack on if you bring your own bottle. I wouldn't mind a $1 per glass just for the use and the washing of it, but $3 or $4 is too much and just another way this place grabs the cash out of your pocket.

The food is usually good, the service is spotty and the owner can be dreadful. Other than that it's a wonderful place ;-)

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank tmynatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very disappointed!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

Some would call this restaurant intimate; I just called it crowded. My table was so close to the entrance to the kitchen that I was bumped several times as witstaff went in and out. The food was passable; not exceptional by any means. As a highlight the waitstaff was exceptional; service was great!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank William K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“Love this place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2013

I absolutely love this restaurant! I had the eggplant Parmesan and my husband had the grouper piccata and we have been raving about it and will continue to spread the word of this family restaurant! Also try the bruschetta! Best I have ever had! The service was amazing by the owners daughter Kathleen! Ask for her because she knows everything about the food and ingredients! My favorite restaurant in Knoxville now!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Drrobinson22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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