Now This Is Something Special
From Our Editors
Devi is palatial, but not in the sense of unattainable grandeur?rather, it seems stuffed to the gills with earthly comforts and visual delights that completely insulate it from the world outside. ?There are restaurants that bring you back to yourself and those that spirit you away. Devi belongs to the latter group, delivering a heady retreat even when the odds against such an escape are longest,? wrote Frank Bruni in a two-star 2004 New York Times review. He also praised the ?pyramid-shaped rice puffs, too golden, crunchy and airy to permit unpleasant thoughts,? the ?faultless? lamb chops, and the ?splendidly moist? halibut.
The tandoor is responsible for the latter two dishes, and it?s a virtuosic instrument in the hands of Executive Chef Dheeraj Tomar, who learned its secrets in New Delhi before honing his expertise at five-star hotels in Dubai. Amid all the grilled meats, his menu is exceedingly vegetarian-friendly: a vegan harvest stir-fry brims with a cornucopia of produce, joining beyond-chana-masala dishes such as jackfruit biryani, corn-and-bean curry, and tandoor-grilled vegetarian malai tikka kebabs. The eatery?s meticulously constructed wine list eschews large wineries in favor of small-batch, handmade varieties selected for their ability to complement the cuisine.
Inside Devi?s two-story space, nearly every square inch that?s not covered in richly patterned fabrics or panels of gauzy raw silk is festooned with marble and carved wooden arches and balustrades, both imported from India. Lighting is whisper-soft and romantic, supplied by lanterns of ornate colored glass that cluster across the high ceiling like artisanal party balloons left behind after the birthday of a child prince.