The title, in its more readable form should say “I say Deh-vuhn, you say DEH-Vawn.” While I did all of my research for the Chicago trip, like a good little foodie, one thing that I couldn’t plan for was pronunciation. At Adam’s party on the 4th I was explaining the plan and a girl extremely politely and very calmly pointed out to me that I had been pronouncing the tantalizing Indian area of town as Devon, like the name. Turns out it is known as Devon, as in kind of rhymes with teflon (take out the l).
Properly prepared with proper pronunciation and a delicious breakfast of homemade Swedish pancakes and lingonberry jam, we set off for our last day in Chicago. We visited Millennium Park and looked at the giant bean–is it fava or lima? We took the fascinating Chicago Architecture Boat Tour (highly recommend this to everyone) which manages to be basic enough that it was enjoyable to the clueless and still interesting enough that B the engineer was riveted–and he’d been on it before. Plus it managed to keep the cheesy jokes that boat tour operators love so much to a minimum.
Having worked up quite the appetite, we headed up to Devon for lunch/dinner. We settled on the very pretty Sabri Nehari. The whole neighborhood has beautiful bright colors in every window and this one was no exception. The linens were a deep red and everything was bathed in a lush light. The room looked inviting, so in we went.
We were given two chutneys and a plate of vegetables. The vegetables were maybe not the freshest or best for serving raw/for dipping (ever had a crudite tomato?), but the sauces were good. The beef samosas that we started with were different than any I had tried before, smaller and more like a phyllo dough texture than a pie dough that they usually have. The filling was also slightly different, the grind a bit smaller, creating more of a paste inside. I enjoyed it–certainly more than the one from Arya at the Taste.
For main dishes I ordered the restaurants namesake special, the Nehari. B’s mom was hoping for tandoori, but this was a different ethnicity, so I recommended the Chicken Boti for a similar but different dish. B, always a sucker for lamb chose the lamb dish that I can’t remember the name of…but I think was the only lamb on the menu. The chicken, while better than anything we have around here, was nothing out of this world, however the lamb and the nehari were both unbelievable. The sauce the beef is in for the nehari is velvety rich with meat flavor, thick and spicy. The meat just fell apart on our tongues, releasing the deliciousness all over our mouths. The lamb, similar but slightly spicier, had all the same makings of an amazing dish. You could really taste the gamey flavor of the lamb, yet the strong spice flavors were also prominent. A terrific balance. Overall, this was a wonderful last meal in Chicago and makes me wish I had the time to stop at all the great restaurants in this neighborhood.
Luckily, we did have time for one last stop, at Uru Swati, to pick up some chaat, little indian snacks, to take home. We chose ‘hot mix’ a spicy sweet mix of various nuts and seeds, and something in a big bag that look like mini pretzel sticks. We tried a little of everything before choosing these and the owner was a total sweetie as we picked and chose. A good last minute flavor before hoping on the plane.