One of the newer deal sites to come along is Bloomspot. Over the summer they had a promotion for discount on a Whole Foods gift card. It was a pretty good deal, $6 for a $15 giftcard, especially since the store’s nickname is Whole Paycheck. A couple weeks back they came out with a new deal at Devi, an upscale Indian restaurant near Union Square: $65 for 3 course meal for 2 people with the option to add a wine pairing for $25 per person. CT had been to Devi before and confirmed that it was a good place to go. I went ahead and bought the wine pairings for each of us to add on to the 3 course meal for a total of $115 before tax & tip. A reasonable amount for dinner for two including wine at a nice restaurant in NYC.
After being seated, I presented our waiter with the 3 Bloomspot receipts (1 for the meal, 2 for the wine pairing.) He was familiar with the Bloomspot dinner promotion, but not the wine pairing one. He said he would get send the manager over. The promotion started a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I would be able avoid having to explain the deal, but this was not the case. This is why I like Blackboard Eats so much, there is no money up front and the staff know all about how the deal works. After the Manager came over, he said I could use only 1 of the deals since he did not take the time to read the printouts and must have thought I was trying to get 6 three-course meals for the price of 3. Once I explained about the wine pairing deal, he understood and we could finally start our meal. Unfortunately, this got me in a funk for the rest of the meal.
The first thing I noticed on the menu was that a 3 course tasting menu was $45 regularly, so we paid $65 for $90 worth of food, not the $130 that Bloomspot said the value was. I wasn’t able to determine how much a 3 course wine pairing would normally be.
After ordering, we were presented with an amuse of beggar’s purse of what I believe was ricotta on a tomato sauce. It was ok, nothing remarkable except that it wasn’t very Indian.
CT started with the Shrimp & Calamari Masala Frito Misto (regularly $13). It was a nice sized appetizer with a variety of fried delights including shrimp, calamari, green bell peppers, and zucchini. I had a taste of it and while the batter may have had some Indian spices in it, they were pretty mild.
CT says: It was good, but I could have used more calamari and less peppers. It had a decent amount of shrimp, but only 2 small pieces of calamari! Still, it tasted pretty good and wasn’t oily and I got my serving of vegetables!
I started with Grilled Scallops, roasted pepper chutney, bitter orange marmalade (regularly $14). This was definitely a “tasting menu” portion size with just one scallop. I wasn’t that upset about it since I wasn’t super hungry and I am also trying to watch what and how much I eat these days since blogging can help tip the scales in the wrong direction. The scallop was seared nicely and not overcooked. On the left was some Manchurian Cauliflower, it had a sauce very similar to General Tso’s chicken. The bitter orange marmalade tasted like lemon to me, strange, maybe they ran out of oranges.
We were each given the same white wine as a pairing. At least the waiter was generous with the pour. His informative explanation was that since we both had seafood appetizers, a white wine would pair nicely. A sommelier, the waiter was not.
For the main, CT went with the Tandoor-Grilled Lamb Chops, pear chutney, Southern Indian potatoes (regularly 34). She received two pretty large lamb chops. I had a couple bites and the lamb was nicely cooked.
CT says: I loved these lamb chops – spiced just right to savor the lamb flavor. However, this was where we fully realized the difference in serving portions as the people next to us also ordered the lamb chops and received about 6 chops! Not that I could have eaten 6 chops… Still, the lamb was great and with a dab of the pear chutney on top – fantastic! The potatoes were also yummy – it’s the kind of slightly mashed potato you would get with a dosa. I didn’t eat too much of them though, focusing instead on the lamb.
My entree was the Shrimp Haree Curry coconut, curry leaves, mint, cilantro, green chilies, cumin (regularly 32). The curry was really tasty! I started to sop it up with the naan, it was that good. In the center of the dish was the smallest pile of rice I have ever seen.
CT says: The curry was a really flavorful! However, I was really disappointed with the amount of rice that was served with it. With that type of curry, I would want a pile of rice to mix in and eat with it! Thinking back, the waiter did mention that it was served with a small serving of rice, I just didn’t expect it to be that small for the amount of curry on the plate. It’s not a naan-sopping curry type in my opinion, although you work with what you have, so I ate it with the naan too!
The highlight of the experience is when the waiter came over with two complimentary sides along with 2 orders of naan: Kararee Bhindi (crispy tangy okra, tomatoes and red onions) (regularly 16) and Tarka Dal (regularly 11). These were nice additions and helped to “beef up” the smaller portions we had gotten. I could have eaten the whole order of Kararee Bhindi myself with all of its fried, salty goodness. The Dal was also very tasty. I had never had it before and I dipped a lot of naan in it.
CT says: I was very happy with the bhindi – super crunchy! The daal was also delicious, but again, where was my rice?! My mother would be appalled that I ate it with naan. I wanted a little bowl to fill with rice and daal so I can mix it all together!
CT was given a glass of Pinot Noir and I was given another glass of white. The wines were good, but I am beginning to think we should have just gotten a bottle to use for the whole meal rather than the $50 we spent on the pairings.
For dessert (all regularly $9), CT had the Mango Cheesecake- Mango-passion fruit sauce, mango pate de fruit, mango crisp, fleur de sel. This was pretty good. Not too sweet!
CT says: This dessert was delicious! It almost made of the lack of rice (yes, I really like rice!). All the different mango aspects works so well together. The mango crisp was crispy on one side and soft on the other, almost like fruit leather. The cheesecake itself was light and refreshing – a good end to a meal!
I chose the Dévi Bombay Falooda- Honey-soaked basil seeds, Falooda noodles, strawberry and mango sorbets, coconut lemongrass milk, coconut tuile, because it sounded very interesting. It was like a glass of milk with 2 kinds of sorbet and vermicelli noodles. The quality of the sorbets were very good. The noodles were just a strange thing to have in a dessert.
We were both given a class of Muscat with our dessert.
To be in line with how the night started off, of course the check came out wrong. Happily, it was quickly remedied.
CT says: Even though I really enjoyed the food, I was saddened by the service, as I’ve been here a few times with family and friends and always had great service. The waiter was definitely trying to please, but I think he got a little flustered after the promotion confusion. However, I saw the manager talk to tables around us about how they were enjoying their meal, as he as done before with my family, but he never once came by after our initial wine pairing discussion. I felt he was picking and choosing only “important” looking people to talk with. Paying customers are paying customers and if they didn’t like us for using a deal, then they shouldn’t have offered one. We tipped on the pre-discount bill (as always), so they should be happy to have us.
All in all, the food was actually pretty good. Did we save any money with the Bloomspot deal? I don’t think so because I doubt I would ever go here to pay those very high a la carte prices. After we left, we stood outside a bit to take a picture and figure out what we were doing next. The manager that I dealt with earlier came out to go get something down the street and just gave me a stare and continued on his way. I don’t know if he was having a bad day or not, but I found it laughable that he didn’t even acknowledge us, let alone a thank you. Although the food was good, I would definitely recommend you pass on Devi.
UPDATE: I received an email from Bloomspot about my experience. Read about it here.