Restaurants & Bars

devino bar & bistro - Hazlet

mfp79 | Feb 20, 200804:20 PM

My husband and I tried devino for dinner tonight. All in all, it was a nice experience, but not spectacular. The space is small, but beautiful, in my opinion. There's a nice bar with a few high-tops and then a small dining room with close seating. The walls are decorated with black and white photos of the owner's family from the 1950s or so. Our waiter was great -- attentive, articulate and polite.
For starters I had a pear and walnut salad- spring mix, blue cheese, sugared walnuts and pears. It was pretty good - I didn't love the pears, the way they were roasted or something. My husband had the seafood chowder, which was presented beautifully with crostini floating on top, was good but not great - could have been richer. They served crusty rolls- which weren't warm, as I'd hoped- but were good quality, with butter.
For entrees I had scallops - served with mushrooms, hericot verts, and cauliflower puree. The puree and green beans made the meal...the puree especially was awesome. The scallops were cooked nicely but the whole meal was a little oily for me. My husband had a giant pork chop served with sweet potato fries and fennel with applewood bacon. He didn't like the chop -- it had a lot of fat (he's a little obsessive about removing fat from meat...) and not much flavor. The sweet potato fries were tasty, but the fennel was over-cooked in my opinion.
For dessert, I asked which of the choices were made on premises-- they offer a molten chocolate cake, creme brulee (excuse spelling), chocolate fondue with biscotti and fruit, and an apple crumble. The crumble and creme brulee are the only "homemade" choices so we tried the crumble. It was presented beautifully with cinnamon gelatto (spelling again...), but wasn't great.
I loved the space and the service. The menu offers a lot of delicious looking choices and variety. For the money ($80 before tip - with a beer, glass of wine and 2 coffees), the food wasn't quite up to par, but they've only been open for a month. I really want to love this place so we'll go back for angus burgers and brick-oven pizza that they offer. Their website www.devinobarbistro.com is finally up but there's no menu yet....

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