I don’t typically do outright dining reviews. Food is so subjective, and frankly one’s perception can change based on mood, service or experience. But I’m often asked for suggestions or my opinion on various venues, so mixing in with my New Year’s Resolution to write more, I’ll give it a whirl.
This past Wednesday, Andy and I visited Devon Seafood Grill for our anniversary. This was by no means our first visit (though my first in more than a year, according to Foursquare), and I used their Open Table application to make the reservation (and later, to change it), noting in the comments that it was our anniversary.
I expected to see a light crowd on a cold winter Wednesdays, but the place was jammed. Fortunately my late reservation change worked, and our table was ready when we arrived.
Our server, Jamie, was fantastic. She was thorough and accommodating, offering suggestions when asked — and all of her dish recommendations that we chose were terrific.
I’ve known Chef Joe Mishler since his days at Scott’s Grille (take a moment, as I will, to mourn its demise), and he generously treated us to two appetizers for our anniversary. We started with the Tuna Tartare, a ramekin-shaped mass of beautiful sushi-grade tuna and pickled cucumbers, served with a broken wasabi vinaigrette and sesame crackers. It didn’t need the crackers, but the fish was delightful.
We also started with the Roasted Duck Flatbread, made with a barbecue fig sauce, the sweetness of which is cut by the trio of cheese – a bite with gorgonzola perked my taste buds – red onion and thin slices of apple.
The two paired well together and neither weighed us down for our main courses.
What was I drinking, you wonder? You wonder correctly. In lieu of wine I perused the cocktail list and was drawn to the Lemon Basil Manhattan. Beautiful, tangy — almost spicy in certain sips — with a hint of sugar reminiscent of homemade lemonade, you could hardly detect the Maker’s Mark bourbon. So chock full of fruit and herbs, it reminded me of the mojitos you only get at Suba in Harrisburg, so thick a straw won’t do the trick.
As we are wont to do during a visit to Devon, Andy and I also splurged on oysters. In the new year, Chef Mishler is featuring two fun-named mollusks – Skinny Dippers and Hollywood. We tried one of each, the Skinny Dippers a bit sweeter – both delicious.
For the main dish, we nearly always choose from the menu of fresh fish. While our server, Jamie, raved about the Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops in a way I’ve never heard scallops described — I instead chose the Groper (not the grouper), paired with this season’s side of brussel sprouts with prosciutto and whole grain mustards, and haricot verts (green beans).
Andy opted for the Wahoo, a fish we’ve both had at Devon several times, but is so good it’s worth re-ordering. He paired this with over-roasted potatoes and the cauliflower with smoked bacon and onion jam.
While my groper was probably more the white, large flaked fish Andy had been craving (served skin-on on and wonderfully moist), his Wahoo appeared slightly overdone (it was drier than we’re used to seeing it), though it was still flavorful and quickly vanished from his plate.
The rules of life dictated dessert: 1) We’re in Hershey, and 2) It was our anniversary.
Andy surprised me by choosing the Hershey’s Chocolate Velvet Cake, following my mantra that if you are going to go chocolate, go all out. Fluffier than you’d imagine, but somehow still fudgy and not mousse-y, this is a chocolate-lover’s dream. Recommended.
I opted for the mile high carrot cake, assembled with a pecan praline filling and sweet cream cheese, with a little toasted coconut for a finish. Absolutely delightful. We took half of this home, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sneak a few bites the next morning.
All in all, I always recommend Devon for food and service. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, opt for their weekend brunch, which I’ve written about in details before.
Devon Seafood Grill is located at the Hershey Press Building in downtown Hershey. It is a chain seafood restaurant operated by Hershey Entertainment Resort Co. For more information, visit dininginhersehey.com.