What do you know, it is a Friday night, I am 26 years old and it is 9:38 PM...What am I doing you might ask, I am doing work and now taking a break from work to enter a new restaurant. This past week I was in Milwaukee from Monday through Wednesday. On Monday, October 22, 2007, I went to Devon Seafood Grill. This trip for me was different because I was with a co-worker, Melissa. She took over a few of my sites in Milwaukee so we planned the visit together.
The restaurant is owned by the Houlihan's company (whatever they are called). We arrived after some brief shopping (all women's stores) at around 8:10. The restaurant was very nice looking, more zen like and contemporary. We were quickly seated which was nice since we were cold from the newly/truly fall weather. The menu was large and we listened to our waitress explain the style of the menu and the specials. After she was finished explaining things, she mentioned the Prix Fixe menu which ran for $28.95. Melissa and I both opted for this so we could enjoy a nice bottle of wine as well. We had $100 to spend from work so we had a nice little bill planned. We ordered a bottle of Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon. Melissa allowed me to decide but I forced her to express her favorite grape, er go Cab.
The Prix Fixe menu came with an appetizer (salad or soup), a main dish and a dessert. Melissa and I both chose the chef's salad which was very large and honestly very good too. There was feta on the salad and they created their own dressing. For the main dish, Melissa chose the halibut with vegetables and a lobster risotto. She stated the halibut was very good but she absolutely loved the risotto. It was interesting to see her Halibut. In my last entry, I had Halibut at Butler's. This halibut must have been baked for the entire time it was cooked. It still looked good but I prefer the intense sear which creates this unbelievable crust on the outside of the fish, prior to finishing it off in the oven. Nonetheless, Melissa liked it so all was fantastic.
I ordered the Talapia which was was served with a crust, rice and some veggies. The fish was very good, though slightly oily. I have to admit, it anywhere I would have gone after Butler's will not receive the same review I may have given had I not gone to Butler's prior. The Talapia was good though and the meal with filling which was nice. We worked out before the shopping/dinner and I was famished.
For dessert, Melissa was limited in her options...she has celiac disease so she must eat gluten free food. Ironically enough, Devon's creates a gluten free creme brulee which Melissa had never tried. I got the Key Lime pie which was huge, tart and fresh. It was actually a good choice for me because it was so cold outside so for a moment, I heard Bob Marley in the background while I sipped on a fruity drink. I tried Melissa's and her creme brulee was very good.
All in all, I would go back to Devon's. It was a good restaurant and the menu was absolutely huge so I know there is more I could try later on. Once again though, I am somewhat reserved on my review because I am instantly comparing this restaurant to Butler's. In a way I wish I would have never gone there because now I want that sort of dining experience every time I go out. I know this is unrealistic though.
The one thing that my trip to Devon's brought was company. I am so used to eating on my own and my company consists of my waiter/waitress (maybe), my USA Today (always), my computer (when the battery is not dead) and my people watching (always). This meal lasted far longer then my normal meals because I was engaged in good conversation. Melissa and I were literally the last one's out of there and for about an hour we were the only one's present in the restaurant as consumers.
This made me begin to think about the dinning experience in general. To date I view the dinning as the food that comes out, the wine I consume and the attentiveness of the waiter/staff. The fact is, a meal can be completely enhanced simply by the company you are with. Melissa made this meal far more enjoyable and I thank her for that. The same could be said about Sara, my waitress at Butler's. She was fantastic and really provided me with that "other personality" which was physically lacking when I was sitting by myself.
The fact is, food is fantastic. I love food. But the point of food, to me, is to bring people together. This can be a family during Thanksgiving or a co-worker in the middle of a soggy/cold Milwaukee. This can always be experienced with the staff "waiting" on you in the restaurant as well (which so many people overlook or ignore).
One of my favorite things to do, which I have not done enough of, are dinner parties. I decided I am going to start sharing some of my own food on this blog as well. I hope they are through dinner parties I throw but honestly, I doubt that will occur because the individuals close to me that would enjoy those types of parties, are physically NOT close to me. The point is, enjoy your food, be happy and enjoy the people around you. I mentioned that couple last week that was just sitting (the lady with the large mammories). Melissa and I barely knew each other and we were far more engrossed in conversation. It was fun to learn about someone, have funny conversations and laugh. The thing that brought us together though was food. That is why we were able to share those times. So, make those most of your experiences with food whether you make it yourself or you head out. Just be happy, smile and be thankful you are living. So many people get caught up in the crap out there that is negative, sad and honestly, depressing. There are far worse places you could be then enjoying a meal with someone who may be very important to you....