I vowed months ago I would critique restaurants as well as culture, I mean, food is culture, right? But I need to be more consistent. Isn't that a them for life, the need to be more consistent? Anyway, I am going to try once a month to write about food. We have no kids so we do eat out a lot. We also eat out with people to be in company with them.
Simply Devine is a restaurant in Warren, RI in the old Nathaniel Porter location. Simply Devine was opened by a couple in 2012 who also run Simply Devine catering. We went late on a Sunday afternoon before seeing a play at the local theatre. We were sat by an old fireplace that now runs with gas. It was charming.
I ordered the lobster risotto and Jeff ordered the lasagne. You can check out their menu here. The first thing Jeff always does when we go to a restaurant is to look at the bottom of the flatware to see where it is made. I have no clue, in general, on what is "good" flatware versus bad. I love fiesta ware! He said the flatware was average and the silverware even lower grade. White tablecloths, candles and fireplaces require a nicer flatware.
We were brought bread, warm pieces of cut french bread that were good, with hard pats of butter. I think a place like that should always serve whipped butter. I ordered a side Cesar salad, which was good. My lobster risotto was served with saffron, cremini mushrooms and peas. The mushrooms were very hard to chew, suggesting they came dried and were not softened up enough before cooking. They had the texture of leather. I thought the amount of lobster in the dish was moderate.
Jeff's lasagna, on the other hand, was served in a stainless steel casserole dish, over a plate of baby arugula. The arugula had no dressing on it, was almost there as a decorative piece, but it was strange. He said the lasagna was nothing compared to mine. He felt the noodles were overcooked and it had very little flavor.
We ordered the berry tart for dessert with was good. He had coffee and a grand marnier. I finished my Sauvignon blanc. He said the coffee was excellent.
Our take out came in a plastic bag, which didn't seem to fit with the environment either.
Overall, we'd give this restaurant a 5 out of 10, meaning we'll go back for a drink and appetizers as the bar was very quaint, but we're on the fence on whether we would order dinner here again when there are so many other sure things in the area.
I can say, the play that followed, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, at 2nd Story, was, according to Jeff, "one of the best plays I have ever seen at 2nd Story," and I have to agree. For a show with some clearly misogynistic undertones, the acting was top notch and the directing excellent.