Sizzling butter sauce photography by Chris Osburn
It's become deliciously difficult for Londonist to pass through Marylebone without stumbling upon a slab of beef these days. From insurgent burgers to Parisian steak-frites phenoms, the area's restaurant scene seems especially cow-centric as of late. Possibly taking a cue from those aforementioned steak-frites phenoms - along with enlisting an assist from a veritable Jermyn Street foodie institution - the swish deVille restaurant (at the equally snazzy Mandeville Hotel) has jumped on the Marylebone meat wagon recently by introducing Rowley Restaurant's “famous char-grilled” entrecote steak and frites to its already exceptionally tasty menu. With an especially rich butter and herb sauce and unlimited French fries or chunky chips, deVille's entrecote feast is available in large (6oz for £19) and extra-large (10oz for £23) portions. Set above a burner to leave the butter sauce to sizzle, there's a bit of theatre involved with the presentation of this succulently meaty menu insert.
Asked round by the restaurant to give the Rowley's entrecote a go, Londonist and a dining companion each went for the 10oz option (one served blue, the other rare). In retrospect, the 6oz would have been plenty considering our meal commenced with an complementary bread basket, a delicate salmon with crème fresh amuse-bouche and our orders of starters (not to mention those AYCE chips). We were impressed to see discernible difference between the blue and the rare steaks - both charred to perfection. We thoroughly enjoyed washing our main course down with a glass of La Flor Malbec, Alto Agrelo 2009 (£6 for a glass, £28 for a bottle), a matched quaff we reckon any meat loving connoisseur could approve. A side of fresh horseradish was a nice touch too.
As for the non-Rowley's dishes, we're proud to say we chose our starters wisely. The Cornish crab, chilli and lime with Sussex Champagne jelly (£10.50) was refreshing and pleasant. And the panfried Scottish scallops with artichoke puree and almond butter (£9.50) elicited an 'oh wow' upon first bite. A glass of Viognier, Jean-Michel Gerin 2006 (£6/£33) wonderfully accentuated the scallops. Too stuffed for much more than a taste, a shared dessert of honeycomb terrine with caramelized pistachios (£7) received some oohing and ahhing as well. In general, we found the quality of food at deVille to be high and appreciated the chef's restraint (hmmm perhaps a Chefspective follow up would be a good idea?). So many restaurants lean on salt and sugar to express their creations; deVille didn't overdo anything, allowing the natural flavours of dishes to stand on their own.
We're going over on the word count for this review but want to conclude by saying the beautifully designed (and heavy on the violets and greys) deVille should be a top choice if you're looking for an exquisite dining experience. Deville is located at the Mandeville Hotel, 8-14 Mandeville Place (W1U 2B). For details and for bookings, visit the restaurant's webpage.