Savona is one of the most beloved spots in downtown Bel Air and is known for its fine foods and wine selection. This Italian Deli has everything you could want from imported specialty goods like pastas from Philadelphia’s famous Talluto’s to perfectly paired Charcuterie boards. Since the doors officially opened on June 7th, 2005, owner Maria Boeri, has made it a point to not just feed people’s hunger, but feed their soul.
Growing up on Long Island, there were delis everywhere: Italian delis, Jewish delis, German delis and more. Families would go to delis to get fresh mozzarella, bratwurst, and other delicatessens. When Maria moved to Maryland at the age of 17, she was shocked to find that there were no delis. “I would drive an hour, round trip, to Mastellone’s just to get a ball of fresh mozzarella.” Maria recognized the need for something like this in her community, and from that, Savona was born.
The feeling that envelops you when you walk through the doors of Savona is a warm, welcoming and wholesome sensation. “One of the most important things is to make people feel welcome, the customer comes first. We want people to feel good when they come in here,” Boeri says. Her inspiration comes from lots of research and experience. Since she has been going to delis her whole life she was able to tweak her favorite dishes and made them her own. There were also many creative nights spent with friends; armed with a Panini grill, they taste tested and created the dishes served today. And its all in the details. She wanted classic touches for Savona, like the use of butcher paper to wrap sandwiches. Everything is based on the best ingredients: choice roast beef, pan seared over-roasted turkey, and prosciutto from Parma. Maria’s favorite menu item changes depending on the day but her go-to is the Cheesy BLT or the Tuna Salad. Savona is one of the only restaurants in the state that gets solid white albacore tuna for their tuna salad. And quality doesn’t stop with the food; Savona boasts 15 loyal employees. “I’ve been very blessed to have really amazing people help me. I couldn’t do this by myself. I love my employees!”
So if you crave good food, good wine and good company, look no further than Savona. “We wanted to be on Main Street because we wanted the small town feel and I think we have that. People come in here who didn’t know each other and leave friends. A lot of the customers I would also consider my good friends. It’s a feeling of community.”
Savona has been a member of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance for many years. Maria remains involved with the Alliance and often participates in all that’s going on in Downtown Bel Air.