Happier than a tornado in a trailer park …
or maybe happy as a clam at high tide …
nope I am even HAPPIER!
To me a great dinner stimulates all your senses. And that is exactly what happened tonight at Nova.
Nova describes it’s self as a “neighborhood gastropub”. The menu is small compared to some. There are 8 small plates (starters), 2 noodles, 4 pizzas and 6 entrees, plus 3 specials tonight. But in my opinion it is just right. I can choose from lamb, beef, veal, salmon, shrimp, chicken, & frog legs. That is pretty extensive to me. If they had more, you would never be able to choose. Now just let me warn you that they do seasonal menus, so what we had tonight might not be on the menu when you visit. Every trip back (and there will be return visits) will be a “new” experience. Just get in the car now, so you can experience this wonderful menu.
But really the focus here is on QUALITY. I would rather have 6 dishes to choose from, where no matter what I pick will not be wrong, rather than 15 dishes I want to send back because they are boring or not of a good quality. You know what I mean. You feel that way, too, don’t you?
Tonight’s dining extravaganza started with two small plates. Honey, there was nothing SMALL, about these plates. The portions were just the right size and they were overflowing with delightful scents and flavor, not to mention an attractive presentation. We picked a Grilled Beet Salad and Crab Claws. Our waitress Kari, says “Nope, don’t even consider the crab Claws?”…No really….I am sorry we don’t have good crab tonight. We can’t seem to get good crab this time of year and if we don’t get something better tomorrow, they’re coming off the menu But, when the crab is good, they are fabulous!” So we go with the second choice of fried frog legs. Okay, it wasn’t really a second choice since it was a tossup between the frog legs and the crab. It’s hard to patiently wait when you see wonderful food being delivered at the table next to you.
So to soothe us until our small plates came, we ordered a Left-Handed Milk Stout. I see our waitress coming. She’s looking straight at me. Oh please, let this be ours. YAAAY it is and it looks delicious.
Which to taste first? The grilled beet salad consists of thick slices of beet that is cooked on smoky grill, drizzled with a barbecue vinaigrette topped with bits of goat cheese, toasted pecans and scallions. First bite sends me straight to heaven. The warm grilled beet with a heavenly smoky flavor makes my eyes roll back in my head. In my head I am thinking do I have to share this with my husband … do I really? My husband quickly takes a bite and he realizes just how great this is.
I’m thinking, how can the frog legs even compare to the beet salad? The first bite of those fried frog legs with spicy butter on drizzled over it was OVER THE TOP! It may very well be a battle — frog legs versus beet salad. The frog legs are fried to perfection, juicy moist morsels of goodness. The aroma of the spicy butter sauce is like walking into the theater smelling buttered popcorn, it over whelms your senses. The fried frog legs are served with a blue cheese dressing, just as luscious, but you don’t even need it when frog legs are prepared this good. These frog legs are definitely the best I have ever had, EVER.
For our entrée tonight we choose the veal short rib pizza. This pizza is to die for. The thin crust was crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside topped with ooey gooey buttery cheese, sweet caramelized onions and fall-apart tender veal with a horseradish sauce. Terry is a basic red sauce, load it up with meat and jalapenos kind of pizza guy and he had to make himself stop eating. This is one delicious pizza.
After three delicious dishes, do you think, I’m not going to have dessert? You bet that I am. But which one? Tonight, we can choose between a Riesling glazed pear tart with goat cheese, chocolate Brulé or bread pudding with figs and dates. I personally, don’t see how I can go wrong with any of them. I know my husband prefers chocolate, so tonight we will have the chocolate Brulé with a sage orange marmalade. Our waitress Kari, describes the chocolate Brulé as crack. Crack only wished it was this good but the Brulé is definitely as addictive as crack. The Brulé tasted so decadent and the caramelized sugar on the top was perfect. The Sage Orange Marmalade added a delightful twist to the Brulé. While we were looking longingly at the empty cup, one of the waitress said, “It’s ok, to lick the bowl, you know, you want too!!!” I didn’t grab fast enough, my husband got it! I told my husband that we’re selling our house and we’re moving to Oak Cliff, I want Nova to be my neighborhood hangout.
Décor at Nova is fun, playful and vintage style from the 60’s. From the lights to the vintage stereos that are as big as a couch, you think you have stepped back into time. The only thing they are missing is a Marshmallow Sofa! The transformation from an old Dairy Queen is complete and the decor sets the mood. The changes bring down the lights and warm up the surroundings to better match the expectations of a neighborhood pub.
Staff at Nova is great. Darren stopped by to check on us and later, when we were so obviously taking photographs of everything, to get to know us a little better. We didn’t get any special treatment though. He interacted with all the guests and welcomes comments, no matter how much ‘tough love’ might be involved. All in all, we had contact with 5 different employees and they were all wonderful. But, I think Kari was the best; after all, she was OUR waitress.
My first thought went I woke up the following day was …”Let’s go to Nova”. But alas, they are not open for breakfast. I had to settle for a cold piece of pizza, which tasted just as good the morning after. Hmmm, I wonder what they would do if I was sitting on their door step when they came in to prep for Dinner.