October 13, 2009

Novita Bistro

A few weeks ago we had our first BBQ/party at our house. It wasn't really a housewarming, but almost everyone showed up with wine. Needless to say, we now have A LOT of wine.

Aaaaaand... the season of BYOBs is now here. Thanks, friends :-)

Last weekend we grabbed to bottles of red - one identifiable and one that I had no idea what it was, but the label was pretty and "Fall-ish" and checked out Novita Bistro with another couple. Cute little spot on 16th and South, with room for only about 40 people. I'd recommend a reservation. We got there at 7:15 and had no problem, but by 8:00 it was packed.

Novita describes itself as "Mediterranean influenced" - which is kind of vague to me, but then later on the website it talked about the chef being Moroccan born. I don't know much about Moroccan food, but as a marketing/PR person I think the restaurant could be a little better defined... or maybe they like the mystique, who knows.

Anyway food was good! I figured I should go with something that sounded "authentic" so I had Merguez, homemade Moroccan lamb sausage and shrimp brochette marinated in charmoula served with couscous and vegetables. Shrimp was great, sausage was good but a little dry and spicier than I expected, but tasted good mixed in with the couscous. It came with some red sauce that was definitely too spicy for me.

Bradd's cornish game hen was tasty and friend's Moroccan Tagine (braised chicken) was really good. Came in a funky looking bowl thing too. I like when food is "fun" like that.

Scallops I had for an appetizer were ok, maybe a little overcooked. I still find myself craving the scallops at Pub & Kitchen whenever I see them on a menu... and they came with little mushroom pieces on them. P.S. Have I ever mentioned that I HATE mushrooms? Well, not remembering what the menu said, I ate half of them and didn't find out til later they were mushrooms. Shut up. I still hate mushrooms.

Think my favorite thing was our waiter. I never got his name, but he was a happy-go-lucky little guy, maybe late 30's. Really helpful and friendly, especially when helping us decide whether to open the pinot noir or the "unknown" bottle of wine. Always go for the unknown, cause if you drink it second you probably won't be able to taste it anyway! And gave me a great look of pity re: the mushrooms.

Overall cute place, good for date night or a couples night. You definitely save money by bringing your own wine, but Novita still isn't pricy anyway. Not sure I'd go back anytime soon, unless they rotate the menu, but I would recommend it to others for a cozy BYOB night out.

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