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Manhattan Valentine's Day Dinner

Memorable Valentine's Day dinner at Devi - (long review)

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Memorable Valentine's Day dinner at Devi - (long review)

bklynfoodie | Feb 22, 2006 12:01 AM

I was the one who was looking for a low-key, non-pretensious (meaning really, non-expensive) place to take my girlfriend for our first Valentine's Day together.

So we went to Devi. Love 1, Common Sense 0. :-)

Had a 5:45 reservation on the Saturday before Valentine's Day. It's a two-floor dining room, we sat on the ground floor - dimly lit, but in a warm way.

We started out with an amuse-bouche of what the waitress described as a cashew and potato pattie. Whatever it was, it was tasty and whetted our appetites.

We looked long and hard at the tasting menus - and boy, did they look good - but with my girlfriend being a vegetarian and me being a meat-eater, we decided to go the a la carte route.

For my appetizer, I had what appeared to be ground lamb pakoras. They were well-made, but a little dry for my taste. The spicy green dipping sauce definitely helped. I forget what my girlfriend had, only that it was vegetarian and I liked it better.

For my entree, I ordered tandoori lamb chops. Wow. Those might have been the best lamb chops I've ever had, and I've had the ones at Gotham Bar and Grill, which are no slouch. Had the delicately charred taste of the tandoor but the meat was still fork-tender and cooked perfectly medium-rare. The bones were totally gnaw-worthy. It's the priciest entree on the menu ($31), but they give you four good-sized lamb chops, atop a mound of curried potato and with a side of dynamite pear chutney - I don't even like pears!

My girlfriend had the paneer stir-fry ($15), which she loved. I thought it was tasty as well, the cheese didn't overwhelm the dish. She had a glass of chardonnay and I had a glass of syrah, which went really well with the lamb chops. But at $11 a glass, yikes.

For dessert, I had the rice pudding with sour cherries. Outstanding - that rice pudding was smooth as butter and the cherries were a great counter-balance. My girlfriend had the saffron bread pudding with cardamom cream and candied almonds, also excellent.

The total came to $130 with tax and tip. Definitely not cheap, but this was truly wonderful food. The service was attentive and we definitely left full. And if you're vegetarian, you can eat there at a reasonable price.

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