Sunday, April 10, 2011

NOPA in the city

I knew what to order weeks before we got the late Saturday night dinner reservation. When I say late night, think of 9:15pm.  It was probably the latest dinner reservation I made and it was not even on a Valentine's or New Year's Eve!  NOPA is one of the more popular places we haven't dined in. Even though we're content eating at what we call 20-to-30-bucks-meals at ethnic restaurants dotting the city, but once in a while, we crave for the nice, hip and trendy night out.

The restaurant was still crowded at 9:15p. In fact, I noticed that people were still coming in well after we had finished our desserts. The restaurant has ornate high ceilings, lots of windows, a good mix of crowd but very noisy.

For starters, we ordered two glasses of Tempranillo from Rioja and the fried sardines. I've heard of their sardines. It is what I call a dressed-up sardines because it came glazed and garnished with capers, raisins (they could very well be glazed fruits) and crostini. The combination of the flavors is amazing - the fishy, bitter, salty, sweet and nutty into one! The fried sardines went very well with the Tempranillo.

For the entree, Mijo decided he'll get the halibut. I ordered the duck breast. Both were very good. I've had ducks before but not this juicy, not this tasty. Probably the best duck in town? Half-way through the dinner, Mijo and I switched plates so I sampled the halibut in asparagus and fennel broth. I've never had this elsewhere so it was something new. It was very good too.

For desserts, we shared the homemade citrus sorbets. Simple yet flavorful. It is not your regular sorbet, it is something extraordinary.  Our waiter was very attentive, very helpful and is knowledgeable about the menu. I noticed that the couple to our left and right have ordered the fried sardines and the seared duck as well.

Except for the sediments we found at the bottom of our wine glasses, we were very satisfied with the food and service in NOPA. We both agreed that this is a good restaurant and it is in our we-will-be-back list. I recommend this place to locals and tourists alike.


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