Though we already had our mind set on a pre-show meal at Devlin’s Cocktail Lounge (10507 82 Avenue) on Wednesday, it turns out it was a great day to do so, as there was a sign advertising $2 off all tapas.
We had first seen Executive Chef Sebastian Lysz in action at the Sip! Wine and Food event at Capital Ex the month prior, and were excited to see if the food at his regular place of work would match the showmanship he had demonstrated on stage.
The interior of Devlin’s, with its cool dark wood everything, black leather chairs, banquet, and booths definitely exuded a lounge feeling. Though the secluded patio was tempting (heated with lamps, a requirement…in the month of August), we opted to sit facing the front windows to watch the world go by.
The summer menu, featuring only tapas and an extensive drink selection (par for the course) was disappointing for our hungry stomachs – perhaps our dinner choice that night should have taken entrée selection into consideration. At any rate, seeking warm plates, I decided on two flatbreads (aka pizzas, at $9 each), advertised as being “finished in a 700 degree oven” and sliders, irresistible despite their steep regular price tag of $13.
We were alone in the lounge at that point, so service was decidedly attentive, though a tiny trickle of patrons as we waited for our orders ensured the waitresses would have some tables to keep them busy when we left.
Our food arrived in no time, unadorned but visually pleasing on bright white plates. The sliders (or other round, circular edibles) must be a fixture on the menu, otherwise, justifying the purchase of such singular-use dishes would be difficult (though the price of the sliders could go a long way to making a dent in the initial investment…). We were treated to three different dressings to the base of a house-made bun and slow-cooked short rib: blue cheese, goat cheese, and southwestern BBQ. I found the beef tender and moist, elevated by the fresh bread encapsulating it, but Mack and I both agreed that the sliders weren’t worth $4 a piece. The flatbreads were the better deal, and more filling as well. The chorizo/gouda/mozza combination was all right, but the sausage was surprisingly flavourless. I much preferred the fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil version – the fresh cheese and the drizzled olive oil finish made the pizza.
Like most places that only offer small plates, it would be wise to eat something prior to heading out, lest sampling make a massive dent in your wallet. I’d return again to Devlin’s, but would heed my own advice first.
Devlin’s Cocktail Lounge
10507 82 Avenue