Finding an open restaurant for dinner on New Year’s day actually proved to be a bit more difficult than we thought. We wanted to go to the Sidecar for dinner, since they got a new chef. But they were closed. We decided to go down Washington Ave when we thought of Tasty Asia. But they were closed. So once we got around 11th, I remembered Devil’s Den. It’s a gastropub. We hoped they were open. They were. Whoohoo!
We had just been talking about fireplaces, so it was kismet when Devil’s Den happened to have a doublesided wood burning fireplace. The day was quite a cold one, so it was lovely to walk into a warm restaurant, fragrant with that lovely burning wood smell.
It is a beer place, so J got a Spaten Holiday Bock. The initial sip has a strange taste, but after you drink it, it tastes much better. So don’t let the first taste fool you. It’s a lovely beer.
J got a special sandwich of the day, beef with onions. It tasted fine, but the meat was lacking. For a sandwich with beef in the name, there just wasn’t enough beef. When he opened the sandwich up, there wasn’t even enough meat to cover the entire surface of the roll. It was more like a hint of beef sandwich. The fries, or pommes frites, were kick ass. It came with an awesome aioli.
I really didn’t want a burger, but the menu is kind of strange. So I just took the easy way out and got a burger. I ordered it well done, and it sure was, but it was charred on the outside. But aside from that, it was an awesome burger. They roast a tomato for it and the onions were awesome. The side salad was ok, not great, as it comes with celery root. That is so unecessary. The freshly made pickles were a nice touch. I love fresh pickle slices.
Wah!!! My salad is on fire!!! It was lovely to sit by the fire. It got too hot sometimes, but it’d been such a long time since I’d sat in front of an actual roaring fireplace, I enjoyed it.
Now what do I think of Devil’s Den? The place itself is awesome. It’s just big enough, not too big. Tastefully decorated, a nice bar, warm and inviting. But there’s something about the menu. It just doesn’t do it for me. Like they’re trying too hard to be weird. And there aren’t enough normal, relatable, palatable options. They have lots of mussels, which is fine and all, but unless I’m in the mood for mussels, I’m not going to order them. So there should be a nice selection of normal choices in the rest of the menu. But aside from a few burger/sandwich choices, there just isn’t. Even the soup was lacking. On such a cold night, in front of a fire, I wanted soup. But they had a choice of carrot/leek or lentil. Neither of which I cared for. I just wanted normal soup. J and I both agreed that they’re just not getting it. It’s good to be different, sure, but this was too different. There should be half normal half different or something, instead of 10% normal 90% different. I just wish the menu was better is all. If it were, I’d be more inclined to go back. Lots.