Dettera’s Less-is-More Philosophy Works Wonders

Chef Jeffrey Power’s respect for fresh ingredients goes beyond the typical locavore stance.

Jeffrey Power’s roasted cauliflower steak could make you stop craving meat—well, almost. Nestled in a pool of saffron-laced cream, it was the centerpiece of our Dettera experience. Caramelized, crisp and coupled with a handful of farro and candied micro-carrots, it perfectly dis-played the executive chef’s considerable skill with a short list of simple ingredients. 

While Dettera isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, Power does have the utmost respect for ingredients. He uses seasonal produce only, follows migratory patterns of seafood along the East Coast, and buys all-natural meats without growth hormones or antibiotics. As a result, his food program goes well beyond simply establishing relationships with local farmers.

- Advertisement -

On a sleepy Tuesday night, we trekked to Ambler to put his “less is more” philosophy to the test. Vibrant blue lights pin-pointed the location. Its interior was equally stimulating, with splashes of moody maroon accented with Cubist paintings and grounded by wooden floors and beams. 

Power’s classically French, paper-thin tuna tartare came with a poached, sous-vided egg, and his summery spin on Rome Point oysters were accented by an icy granita scoop made with Kaffir lime and black pepper. But it’s Dettera’s hand-cut pastas that have garnered the most buzz. 

The ricotta cavatelli, the arugula fettuccine and the sweet-potato ravioli feature such novel additions as toasted pistachios, hedgehog mushrooms, and hearth-roasted tomatoes, to name a few. Al-dente ribbons laden with decadent braised duck, pancetta and Parmesan compelled us to break the night’s no-meat rule. The extensive wine list, seasonal cocktails and amazing desserts further elevate the experience.

129 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, (215) 643-0111.

Hand-cut sweet-potato ravioli with pork ragout and pistachios//photo by tessa maria images

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!