Friday, December 12, 2014

Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar

For weeks prior to their opening, I have been overhearing conversations amongst my coworkers and even strangers in the elevators, all of whom were looking forward to Chef Michael Noble's new restaurant, in anticipation for another NOTaBLE success. I was lucky enough to score a reservation this past Tuesday night at 5:30pm.

One thing I absolutely love about visiting a new restaurant is to feel the ambiance that is set from the carefully chosen decor. From the outside, Nash can easily be missed as it turns off from 9th avenue and is found peeking from behind the corner-spot that is Starbucks. Luckily, their red rustic sign glows in the dark.

I love how their foyer is so spacious and welcoming. Even if there is a crowd of people waiting, there would be plenty of space to accommodate everyone inside

Off Cut Bar that was found on the right side of the foyer

Dining Room

We were seated in the dining room at a circular table which was perfect for our sharing of food. The entire dining room had a very simple and modern look to it with the chosen white, grey, and soft wood scheme, while giving off a communal vibe as indicated by the pairing of the long tables with closely placed chairs. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant. This is a perfect setting for a small group of friends to catch up or a date where you wish to engage in more private conversation.


Chilled Dungeness Crab 'On Toast' (saffron aioli, apple slaw, brioche) - This appetizer was probably my favourite of the night. It was a refreshing plate that kicked our appetite into motion. The brioche (and all their other breads) is house made and had a very nice texture to it.

Charred Pacific Octopus, Avocado (chorizo, lime, cilantro) - Unfortunately the octopus was over-seasoned, and therefore was a lot salter than it needed to be. Although the baby potatoes helped to absorb the over used salt, it was still too much.

Innisfail Lamb Sirloin (rosemary & sea salt, crushed peas, mint)

Seared East Coast Scallops (pork belly, sweet corn, prosciutto)

Free Range Alberta Elk Bison "Osso Buco" (kalamata risotto, mushrooms, gremolata) - Originally an elk as shown on the menu, it was changed to bison for that day. Perhaps bison isn't really my thing because I found the meat to be too dry (due to bison being more lean than when compared to beef) and felt that the sauce was trying really hard to compensate for the dry meat. Also, there was an overload of parsley that I could have done without.

Dessert Menu

Aerated Mascarpone Mousse (cranberries, spiced wafer, meringue, cotton candy) - Honestly, look at this. How much FUN does this dessert scream to you? When this plate came, we were explained that all components are to be consumed together, emphasizing that we should not eat the cranberry alone. One of my friends decided to ride on the wild side and ate the cranberry by itself, and that was how she learnt to never do that again. The cranberry was way too sour but if ate with the other ingredients, the sour taste was mellowed down to become acceptable. Not only that, but the combining taste of all the ingredients found on the plate really came together and it all just fitted perfectly like a glove.

The Nash Oakanagan 'Apple Pie' (aged cheddar, clotted cream, sable) - My absolute favourite part of this dish was the aged cheddar that was shaped and painted to look like an apple. It seriously looked like a homegrown apple that could have been found in your grandmother's backyard. 

Once again, we were suggested to eat all components together, so I used the sliced green apples to act as a wrap if you will and encompassed all other ingredients into it like a taco ;)

In terms of service, our server was top notch. She was very informative and very pleasant. I had a lot of questions regarding the menu and she was really quick to answer all of them without any hesitation. Also, she continually made sure we were doing fine, checking up on us with every plate's arrival and topping off our waters before our glass even had the chance to empty completely. As well, at the end of our meal, we had the dining room manager approach us and ask us how we liked everything and what they could improve on, so we could tell that they do care about how they are performing.

Overall, the food was decent but not on par with the expensive price tag that came with it. I'm hoping that with time, after they are more settled in, the food will improve. My favourite of the night was the Chilled Dungeness Crab 'On Toast'. And although the dessert wasn't your typical satisfying dessert (read: a wholesome bite of sweet), the level of inventiveness that came with each dessert dish made me realize that I would come back just to try their other desserts. Also, I can't get over how simple yet beautiful the restaurant looks. With that being said, I will return, but it probably won't be for a while.

Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar on Urbanspoon

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