When I sat down at Devon for brunch, I had no idea what to expect. The dining room, fairly empty at 11 AM, was positively buzzing by the time we left two hours later. Reservations are a must for later in the day. The dining room is upscale casual, with high ceilings, dark wooden tables, and a few flat screen TVs at the center bar.
I ordered savory for brunch (as I always do), but these cinnamon rolls almost made me change my order. Brought to each table, these prove that the kitchen knows how to make sweet items, and make them well. This crescent roll, served from a baking pan still hot from the oven, has a thin golden crust that bursts to reveal steaming, doughy, stretchy insides. The dough is not sweet, so it contrasts with the sugary, cinnamon-y insides. The filling is ample, which is important – nothing like too much roll, too little cinnamon.
Smoked Salmon Flatbread with Roasted Garlic White Sauce, Red Onion, Caper, Watercress, with Lemon Infused Olive Oil
The kicker here is how incredibly mild the salmon is, both in taste and texture. Not overly oily or sinewy, the salmon is thinly sliced and so delicate that it almost melts into the warm, crispy flatbread. It has the barest hints of smoke and salt, and retains enough ocean brininess to stand up to the creamy garlic sauce, the sharp red onions, and the pungent capers. The drizzling of lemon oil is the final touch to add some acidity to the dish – a light and delicious starter.
Oscar Quiche with Crab Cake, Asparagues, Hollandaise, and Fruit Compote
This brunch-only dish is called the Oscar because a steak topped “Oscar” style means one topped with crab and asparagus covered in hollandaise sauce. That said…this isn’t really an apt name for this dish.
An apt name for this dish is “The creamiest omelette on the face of the planet.”
And, of course, that is a good thing.
The eggs are actually mixed with the hollandaise, then gently baked until they are incredibly lush and creamy – the eggs are cooked as loosely as possible while still being thick. It is almost like an omelette over easy. It is topped with a small citrus scented crab cake, made with large pieces of fresh, sweet crab. The vegetables served alongside are excellent – thick stalks of grilled asparagus, juicy tomatoes, a light salad dressed in a tart vinaigrette, and a small, fresh fruit salad. The eggs really blew my mind. I can’t wait to recreate this dish at home.
Orange Cream and Chocolate Tart with Pistachio Ice Cream
Following the awesome cinnamon rolls, the pastry chef again impresses. A thick layer of semisweet chocolate breaks through to reveal a tart orange cream. Though the shell is too soft and lacks sugar, the nutty, smooth ice cream is a perfect break from the sugar and richness of the tart. This is what I crave in a chocolate dessert – decadence, sweetness, and balance.
Devon is a place I would frequent again and again if I lived in Philadelphia. Though the service is a bit slow, it is perfect for a relaxed brunch. The prices match the decor and the food, and the food itself shows how well Philadelphian chefs spin New England cuisine.