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Savoy Tavern in Merrick: First bites

Crabcakes served at The Savoy Tavern in Merrick.

Crabcakes served at The Savoy Tavern in Merrick. (Jan.26, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti

Hoist one for The Savoy Tavern, the spirited, full-flavored establishment that has taken over the handsome Merrick spot vacated by Brooks & Porter steak house.

Visit for the crabcakes and the fish-and-chips, the house-baked pretzels and the prime rib. Maybe a burger or a croque monsieur, meatloaf or a pot of mussels. And there are some family-style plates, including spaghetti and meatballs and veal Parm.

The pubby and the not-so mix easily here, all washed down with very good brews on draught and in bottle, plus lively cocktails and dependable wines.

Savoy already is packed on weekend nights. The noise could kill conversation and the service sometimes lags. But you'll be willing to put up with all of it.

The Savoy Tavern, 16 Merrick Ave., Merrick; 516-506-7717.

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