Highly Recommended ***** While there are not a great number of theaters on or near Michigan Avenue, there are two of note and often, when attending these, we end up doing the food court at Water Tower Place. While it is not a bad choice allowing for lots of unique tastes to please the palate, it doesn’t allow for a fine dining experience. Tonight, we dined at what I thought was a new restaurant to the area, Devon Seafood Grill on Chicago Avenue at Rush Street, just a short walk from Michigan Avenue and The Water Tower Works that houses Lookingglass Theatre.
Jane and I were joined by my son and his wife, Cary and Cari, who as we learned tonight, had in fact been dining at this space for a few years. I learned quickly that this fine space was indeed not new to the neighborhood. The restaurant is in reality several in one with a main floor/upstairs Oyster Bar and cocktail area. The dining areas downstairs are laid out with a large room and smaller areas that are closed off for more private dining. There is a space for 8 as well as a few for 4, and a larger room where they also do wine parties, holding 24 patrons. They also have a private room for parties and meetings that will accommodate 80 patrons. All sheer elegance!
We were in one of the smaller private booths, which was very comfortable, allowing us to speak about our food as well as what is happening in our lives and not be heard by others or hear the general hubbub of a busy dining room. The menu is primarily seafood, as it should be ,and even though there were several meat items, we opted to wait for our visit to their Oakbrook location, Devon Steakhouse, where steaks are more available, and order seafood. We started with Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a mango tartar sauce. Unlike many other restaurants, these cakes are not flattened out as if they are a hockey puck, but rather rounded into a scoop (there are two) with a special cole slaw between them. The mini Lobster Rolls were divine, and came with the crispiest of French fries. We also enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Tartare served with avocado,mango, pineapple stack and a crisp corn tortilla- amazing! We also enjoyed some delicious mussels, meaty and easy to take from the shell.
For the main entrees, we chose the Pretzel Crusted Rainbow Trout, the Almond Crusted Sole, the Shellfish Bouillabaisse (mussels, clams, lobster, shrimp, scallops, and fresh fish in a tomato-saffron broth- this is wonderful. If you are a true fish lover, there is no question, this is the treat you will remember with great fondness. We also had the Alaskan Halibut. Devon receives multiple deliveries of fish that are caught daily and so their fish is never frozen, making it more flavorful, moist and in one word “Memorable”. FYI- they do have surf and turf combos ( I saw one being delivered to another table and I knew that on my next trip down, that would be my order. The Pork Chop looked pretty amazing as well! Oh, well, that is why the menu has so many items- to keep us coming back for more tastes.
The side dishes we tried were also tasty treats: Tomato Zucchini Ragout, Creamed Corn with Burgers Bacon (yummy), Roasted Mushrooms with truffle butter, Wild Mushroom Risotto and my favorite Lobster Mac N’Cheese (to die for!) and for dessert, crème broule’ and a dynamite carrot cake. The portions were what I like to see on a plate. Every meal was “sharable”, so we could all taste what the others were dining on. They also had soups and salads which we chose to bypass tonight, but I must tell you they all looked great. The menu also includes their “chilled shellfish” selections- oysters are a speciality- in fact, upstairs they have an oyster bar that looks like another adventure on Chicago Avenue for us.
Devon Seafood Grill has an enormous wine list allowing each patron to find what they feel is the correct pairing with their dining experience. They also have a great selection of beers and of course, I enjoyed a proper Vodka Martini (made to perfection). This is a dining experience that will please your palate and your wallet, so if you are going to The Broadway Playhouse, Lookingglass Theatre, or just heading to Michigan Avenue for a shopping spree, take a breather at Devon Seafood. By the way, we got to experience one of the special items on their week-end brunch selection- the cheddar peppercorn biscuits served warm with a special butter laced with maple syrup. WOWEE!
The brunch is served both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.. During the week, the restaurant opens at 4 p.m. and remains open until 10 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 11 p.m. (Friday) and 12 a.m. (Saturday). Sunday evening until 8 p.m.. The address is 39 East Chicago Avenue with valet parking around the corner. To make your reservations or get more info on parties, catering and special events call 312-440-8660 or visit www.devonseafood.com
ENJOY- I know we did!