DEVIN TAVERN (this restaurant has closed)

Saturday night my sister and I went to an American restaurant in Tribeca called Devin Tavern. My first experience at Devin was a week before, when I had drinks with three pretty gals, and tried the chicken meatballs with mushroom & sweet pea ragout, and garlic toast. That appetizer was very good (the model I was sitting next to might have added to the experience as well) and the menu intrigued me, thus I knew I would return to try some other dishes.

The restaurant is a modernized tavern. It is rustic, yet new. It is very big with many different rooms separated by some walls with exposed brick. The dishes are very heavy and hearty, and I would not recommend coming here if you are a vegetarian or a light eater. It is very "wintery", and in fact I would never eat here during the summer.

There are many tables in the bar area and that is where my sister and I were seated. I suppose my celebrity status did not warrant us a seat in the formal dining room, away from the wine guzzlers, or it could have been cause I had made the reservation only 15 minutes in advance. In any case, we started with two cocktails ($12 each) from the very nice cocktail menu. I had their version of an Old-Fashioned and she had their Caipirinha. Both were good and hit the spot.

For starters, she had the Mushroom and Bone Marrow soup ($12). It was very good. The mushroom and marrow flavor was well balanced and complimented each other nicely. It was a great start for a cold night.

I had the Oysters Gratin ($12) with wellfleets, hollandaise, spinach and lardons. The oysters came on a bed of salt which I never had before, and it was fine. I was not sure if the oysters were supposed to be cold, warm, or hot. They were lukewarm. I saw no spinach and had no idea what a wellfleet was until I just googled it, and believe it is a type of oyster from Wellfleet, MA.

My sister had the Lobster Wellington ($39!) with fois gras,chanterelles, sweet peas, pearl onions, and lobster cream. She seemed to have enjoyed it. I tried a little of it, and thought it could use some more flavor and seasoning, but I did enjoy the lobster flavor.

I went with the Grilled Veal Sirloin ($38!) with sautéed chanterelles, crispy fingerlings, foie gras & ruby port reduction. It was a huge chunk of meat that had a nicely seasoned crispy top, and was well cooked. The reduction was nice, but I found the entire dish boring. The sad part is I saw no fois gras, which I would have said something to the waitress about, but out of hunger, I had ate most of the dish, before realizing what I thought was fois gras, was the chanterelles. Oops!

For dessert we tried the Chocolate Covered Potato Chips ($10). I heard about this dessert from my readings and really wanted to try them. They came with salted chips, candied nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate pistoles. I enjoyed this dessert because I thought the combination of saltiness and sweetness was perfect.

If you are looking for a very hearty meal it is a fine choice. But I do think it is somewhat overpriced and you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

In fact, if I were to ever come back to Devin Tavern, I would probably just get those chicken meatballs and the chocolate potato chips. Oh, and I'd make sure there is a model sitting next to me.

Devin Tavern

363 Greenwich Street (between Franklin and Harrison)

New York, NY 10013