Friday, March 9, 2012

Dianne's on Devine, Take Two.

You may remember that I took a trip to Dianne's on Devine during restaurant week.  You may also remember that although our food was beyond amazing, our service wasn't.  Obviously I wrote about it.  Well, the entry caught the attention of the lovely folks at Dianne's, and they encouraged me to get in touch with Dianne and talk through it.  So I did.  We had a nice little chat, with a lot of apologizing and some reassurances that the food was some of the best I've ever had.  It ended with Dianne offering to send me a gift card so that I could come in again and the staff could make it up to me.  Though I assured her that wasn't necessary, she insisted, and so a few weeks after my initial visit, I found myself in Dianne's dining room.

Just like the first time, L and I were greeted warmly by everyone who was at the front.  We were seated immediately, and our utterly fantastic server, Jimmy, appeared moments later to take our drink orders.  While he was putting in our wine requests, L and I decided to give the hot artichoke and crab dip a try.  It was a good choice.  It was warm and creamy and crabby.  It came with toasted bread covered in Parmesan.  Perfect,  though I've really got to learn to stop ordering appetizers as they make me too full for dinner and / or dessert.

So good.  And way more than enough for two.  We didn't finish it.
For her entree, L decided on the Seafood Pappardelle, with shrimp, scallops, spinach, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a creamy Parmesan sauce.  To be quite honest, this would have been on my list of things to order if it hadn't been for the shrimp.  It just sounded amazing.  And, going by what L said, it was amazing.  The pasta seemed to take a backseat to the rest of the colorful ingredients.  When this got to the table, I was very tempted to steal it from under L's nose.  Until my plate was put down in front of me.

Look at the color in this bowl!  And the size of those artichoke hearts.
I was utterly jealous of L's meal, until my own was placed on the table. After much deliberation, I settled on the Red Snapper Santa Lucia.  The fish was pan-seared and topped with two shrimp (which made their way into L's pasta), a Nantucket bay scallop, and a dill beurre blanc sauce.  Served alongside the fish were  a bit of angel hair pasta and pan fried cauliflower.  I don't even know where to start with this dish.  The fish and the scallop were utterly divine (see what I did there?).  I had really enjoyed having the cauliflower prepared this way the last time, and liked it just as much this time around.  I didn't eat too much of the pasta, but what I had was fabulous.  The hint of dill in the beurre blanc just really brought everything together.  Amazing.

Pretty huge piece of fish too.  Incredible.
Although both L and I were about to burst, we were encouraged by Jimmy to order dessert.  And really, who can turn down something sweet after a meal like this? As usual, I had the cheesecake, which is apparently shipped in from New York, cheesecake capital of the world. It was topped with strawberry sauce and strawberries.  I loved it, though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been so full. L had the cake (that may or may not have been red velvet, I don't remember) drizzled with strawberry and chocolate sauce.  Again, utterly fabulous, but way too much to eat at that point in time.  Maybe I should try starting my meal with dessert and working backwards?

L's cake.  So much sweetness.
And the perfect piece of cheesecake.
We finished up and headed out after thanking Jimmy for giving us such an amazing experience.  On the way out the door, we caught up with Dianne.  I, of course, thanked her profusely for giving me the chance to come back and try again.  She was thrilled that I was willing to give Dianne's another shot, and apologized again.  In truth, Dianne is just a wonderful lady who runs two incredible restaurants (try DiPrato's for lunch sometime!).  I certainly appreciated the opportunity to try Dianne's again.  After this experience, I won't hesitate to go back for a special occasion.  And when I do, I'll be sure to ask to sit in Jimmy's section.  Seriously y'all, he is one of the greatest servers I've had anywhere.  Ask for him the next time you head to Dianne's.

Dianne's On Devine on Urbanspoon


  1. I have to admit I am very disappointed in this. One of the reasons I enjoy this blog is because you don't tend to announce to the owner/operator that you're going to visit (or at least I assume as much). So I find your first experience to be a more valid one.

    Of course this time it was good, they were somewhat expecting you.

    I think you need to decide how to handle situations like this. If I were you, I would implement a one year delay. In other words, if you go to one restaurant and write a public review here on your blog, don't go back for another year with the intent of writing about it. This gives a fair review.

    This review is biased. It's as though you feel badly for the somewhat negative review you gave the first time, although I highly respected that one because it was so real.

    This review right here shows you can be swayed by free food. By the way, it's really sketchy that the review was negative when you paid for it, but glowing when it was free.

    1. Actually, though I had a gift card, I did end up paying for about half of this meal. And, if you remember, the food wasn't the issue last time, so I don't think raving about the food (again) makes it biased.

      You may be right about being biased in the service, but if you recall from the first time around, I had great service from everyone except my server, and even then it was only not great at the end of the meal.

      I also did not pay for the first meal, as I had a gift card that covered everything, so I promise I wasn't swayed by free food. I actually tried to turn Dianne down when she offered me a gift card for the second visit, but she insisted. And I promise, I don't feel bad at all about the negativity in the initial review. I told it like it was, which is exactly what I did here. This time, we had a great server, and as I watched him interact with every other table he had, it became pretty apparent that we weren't getting any special treatment. He's just that good.

      You'll also notice that I didn't include a final rating for this trip. That was because I don't think it fair to re-review a place when they know I'm coming and then give them a better rating.

    2. WEll for one thing ,you did luck up having Jimmy few as your server.Most regulars at Diannes know he, the best!!And a greatr sense of humour to boot!

  2. I love this. I think most local business owners appreciate the chance to make up for a mistake. You were very gracious to let them and I LOVE Dianne and her restaurants, so I'm glad everything was resolved. :-)