The Hubs and I went for dinner at Dettera in Ambler, PA yesterday. Ambler is a cute little town with A LOT of awesome restaurants. I can’t wait to review them all for you!
Okay so Dettera…we would go back for sure. There was a good vibe in the bar area with lots of laughter and perfect lighting. Take my advice and make sure you sit on the first floor with the bar. They have tables upstairs but its not nearly as inviting.
As with many of our dinners out, we start with a cocktail. They have a lengthy cocktail and wine list which is sure to please even the pickiest of drinkers. I had my fave, a gin martini with blue cheese olives. It was PERFECT in every way….chilled Hendricks gin, 3 hand-stuffed olives (that weren’t frozen…yes I have been given frozen olives in the past), and a little extra from the jigger to top me off. Dan (the hubs) had a sazarac. He said it was good. I guess it was good as he ordered a second!
The bread offering: I was impressed that the server asked if we would partake in this course as quite often bread is given and not eaten and just tossed in the trash. Well of course we were having bread! We were brought two slices of traditional Italian bread with a delicious firm crust and a soft middle. Also served were two pieces of what I presume is their signature “bread”. It looked like corn bread but it tasted like cheese bread, perhaps their take on a traditional Brazilian cheese roll. Lastly was a small portion of olive oil for the dippin.
The menu is limited but in this case it was a good thing as the chef clearly prepared everything with care. Dan and I are big fans of octopus so we usually order it if its offered. In this case we ordered the octopus appetizer to share. Grilled Baby Spanish Octopus with Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Confit, Pickled Shallots, and Charred Lettuce Sauce for $15. CHARRED LETTUCE SAUCE?! “What the heck is that?” I thought. Well let me tell you, it was awesome. As with most restaurants, the octopus portion was extremely small, however the octopus was cooked to perfection and it wasn’t drowned out with too many spices. Delicious but I wasn’t satisfied as I wanted more octopus. Its surely is not the appetizer for sharing.
I ordered the only chicken dish on the menu for my entree. Roasted All Natural Chicken with Grilled Romaine, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Bloody Butcher Grits, Shishito Peppers, and Smoked Chicken Jus for $27. Again I had a “what the heck is that moment” with the bloody butcher grits. Despite the gross sounding name, it was an absolutely delicious plate. Everything on this plate was fantastic and it was a perfect portion. I was even able to restrain myself and took a little bit of the meal home.
Dan enjoyed the dish which was recommended by our very knowledgeable server. Atlantic Cod Smoked with Fingerling Potatoes, Charred Leeks, Cockles, and Sauce Vin Blanc also for $27. I only tasted the cod and it was cooked perfect. He seemed very pleased with his meal as he cleaned his plate. Again the portion was simply perfect for him.
The only thing that I wasn’t super pleased with was our dessert. We ordered the “butter cake”. Their version of Warm Butter Cake, per the menu, is Poached Bosc Pear, Pomegranate, Creme Anglaise, with Toaste Oat Tuile. Note that I put quotation marks on the butter cake because this was no butter cake, at least that which I am used to being born and raised in Philly. Philly’s butter cake is oooey and gooey. This was not. Also, I don’t remember having any pear or pomegranate on top! Ours had blueberries. Now I don’t recall exactly what the printed menu stated at the restaurant (remember I had a straight-up gin martini lol), but I suppose it could have indicated blueberries. I got this description from their online menu. Not to say it didn’t taste delicious because it did…but it was no traditional butter cake.
Overall I give Dettera 3.25 forks out of 4. Good food with delightful presentations, romantic and trendy atmosphere, knowledgeable and attentive staff, a bit pricey on the appetizer (for what we got) and drinks (any cocktail over $11-$12 is too high in my book). I would recommend this place for a romantic evening with that special someone. A special occasion perhaps?