Restaurants & Bars

Overdue Report from Iowa City: Devotay


Restaurants & Bars

Overdue Report from Iowa City: Devotay

SmallCap | Aug 18, 2004 12:35 AM

I had the pleasure of dining at Devotay in Iowa City several weeks ago & owe it a recommendation as positive as the experience was.

As has become my habit at tapas establishments, I admit I barely even glanced at the entree menu (although it seemed adequate, & most of the other patrons were ordering that way)... but about the tapas, I cannot say enough. Good selection, good variety, good mix between hot & cold choices, & *excellent* prices. Cannot stress that last part enough, as I've paid substantially more for tapas in other cities. The ingredients were fresh & interesting, but without being overdone or creative just for creative's sake.

They offered an excellent standing wine list (I believe they label themselves "food & wine merchnts," so that follows) with a good international mixture & a nice sprinkling of Spanish choices to complement the tapas. The Spanish red we ordered (featured that night) was interesting & new, & again reasonably-priced, although that's often de rigeur for Spanish wines.

My only complaints are nit-picky -- excellent meatballs that could've been bit warmer, & a fromage plate that could've been a bit larger. But the fougasse was excellent, as was the brie, & the chorizo (easily the food I would choose for my last supper) was phenomenal.

Devotay is a small & minimally-furnished place with a wide view of what goes beyond the dining area, & on the evening we were there, was staffed by a single man. How in the world he managed to be as friendly *&* efficient as he was, I will never know.

For those of you familiar with Linn Street Cafe, Devotay is their neighbor & shares an outside entrance, & although the culinary experience was similarly upscale, the atmosphere is different. It's more... well... fun... relaxed. Casual. A bit funky, perhaps.

And as much as I always enjoy Linn Street, Devotay was a nice change, in the sense that it offers the excellent cuisine but without the formality. Perhaps that's just the tapas setting, I don't know. But in Iowa City, you frequently get both, or neither!

Overall, highly recommended, & it will be added to our Iowa City must-do list.


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