If a Missouri-headquartered chain restaurant opens in a big box shopping center in the Miami suburbs, does it make a sound? In the case of Devon Seafood + Steak, the answer is yes. After opening with a bang a year and a half ago the buzz hasn’t died down, and when we heard that the restaurant was launching a Saturday lunch service we decided the time was right to venture out of the trendy culinary confines of our regular neighborhood spots and head on down to Kendall to see what all the fuss was about.
Located at The Palms at Town & Country, Devon Seafood + Steak offers a diverse menu featuring offers some of the area’s freshest premium seafood, prime steaks, and an impressive wine and cocktail selection. Despite being a chain, you can tell that they don’t implement a one-size-fits-all approach to their menu and make an effort to incorporate some local Miami flair.
On a recent lazy Saturday afternoon, we opted to forgo the inside seating (which admittedly was beautifully decorated) to sit outside on the comfortable and spacious patio, at a table right on the water. Who cares if said water is a man-made lake with a view of back-end of Kohl’s? We were expanding our horizons, feeling the suburban vibe, and the handcrafted Strawberry Basil Mojito and Caribbean Hard Lemonade didn’t hurt either as we settled in to peruse the menu.
At first glance, the Lobster Tamale immediately grabbed my attention. This appetizer perfectly represents what I was trying to describe earlier about the menu. Imagine a regular Latin tamale, smothered in what is essentially a lobster chowder with corn, roasted poblano, cilantro, and avocado crema –decadent and divine.
From the Starters list, we also went with the Goat Cheese Bruschetta and, upon the insistence of our server, the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. Now, as a native Marylander, I’m a little bit of a snob when it comes to crab. I prefer my crabs whole and sprinkled with Old Bay, not clumped in a mayonnaise-overloaded patty. Let me just say that I was pleasantly surprised with these moist and juicy cakes, served with a side of creole remoulade and mango tartar sauce – and not a hint of mayo to be found.
Next up, a sampling from the Sandwiches section. I’m a sucker for sliders and when I saw Mini New England Lobster Rolls listed on the menu, I knew there was no other option. If you know lobster rolls, there’s nothing crazy about these versions other than the fact that they’re miniature. There’s just something about those sweet, butter toasted rolls and chilled lobster salad that absolutely can’t be beat.
For the Entreés, we went with one dish that was more traditional and one that was slightly different. The Chef’s Fresh Fish was a perfectly cooked Florida Tilefish, served with a side of Grilled Asparagus and Lobster Mac n’ Cheese. The simplicity of the fish, paired with the fresh veggies and luscious mac n’ cheese was an absolutely flawless plate of food.
On the other hand, the Chipotle Grilled Shrimp Enchiladas were the only miss of the day. Maybe it because I was already pretty full, but there just seemed to be something missing from this dish, comprised of sweet corn-jalapeno crepes, corn-black bean relish, jicama lime salad, pico de gallo. I’ll just chalk it up to one of those interesting concepts that don’t quite live up to expectations.
At this point, just the thought of dessert was pushing me over the edge a little bit, but I’m a trooper and don’t like to start something that I can’t finish. So, after a few deep breaths we went for the Strawberry Shortcake with a side of fresh, homemade Strawberry Ice Cream. Yeah, it was good.
From craveable favorites to simply prepared fish, Devon Seafood + Steak served up a Saturday full of consistently excellent cuisine, hospitality and a stylish vibe. Definitely worth a trip to the ‘burbs!
Mitch’s Recommendation: Devon Seafood + Steak is a great spot for neighborhood regulars and visitors alike. And by visitors, I really mean all of us local Miamians who think we can only find good food in the Gables, the Design District or on South Beach… Yours truly included.
Standout Dishes: Lobster Tamale, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Mini New England Lobster Rolls, Chef’s Fresh Fish. And bonus points for the delicious biscuit, served warm upon seating.