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Returning the Favor: Devi Mini-Review

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Returning the Favor: Devi Mini-Review

Tumnus | May 24, 2005 04:52 PM

After great support from Chowhound… I did keep my reservation for Devi and its tasting menu. We started the evening with absolutely delicious cocktails that were reasonably priced given the quality of liquor and care in construction and presentation. A glass of well-priced Cabernet followed through the meal. The tasting menu was perfection. Portions were anything but small and traditional Indian flavors were highlighted by superb ingredients (one of the most delicious scallop dishes I’ve had) and plating (artful arrangements of main dish, accompaniments, and sauces allowed for complexity in the dishes to be fully appreciated). Overall its an incredible value for $55—and if you are up for the experience it’s a far better choice than ordering a la carte where portions seemed only slightly larger and were in the mid $20 range per.

My only significant criticism would come in the service. Indeed, the waiter’s uniforms are ridiculously unflattering (saffron colored pajamas is an accurate description) and for some perhaps irrational reason make every service flaw seem more significant. Our main waiter drifted in and out of our service—and when another would deliver a dish and explain its contents he would then visit us minutes later to “revise” what was said. Various servers came to our table at various points making it difficult to establish a relationship with any waiter. For such an elaborate tasting menu, the pacing was off. Dishes were brought to the table in a quick succession--- and at one point we saw a waiter waiting in the rear of the room with our next course as another waiter asked us (for the second time) if we were finished. Each dish is so heavily spiced and bold in flavor that you do need a bit of time to focus on what you’re eating—and a brief pause to sip some wine before diving in again! The restaurant was not completely full on a Saturday evening but we did feel somewhat rushed—and if we had chosen a wine pairing I fear we would could never have kept up! Other small things such as flatware not being replaced at each course are minor irritations—but duly noted.

Overall I would not hesitate to recommend Devi for both the Indian food imitated and novice. The quality of the cuisine and atmosphere (corner booths are particularly cozy) made it easy to focus on the meal and marginalize any service flaws.

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