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ahurwich

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  1. NOCA'S Simple Supper has evolved and it is not so "simple" anymore. The overall format is still the same with 3 courses including a choice of entree for $35 but now there are supplements to the "Simple" menu as well. I have been to a bunch of the suppers and it definitely has developed a following. On a few of the Fried Chicken Night's that I have been to, there was not a seat to be had by 7:00 pm and that is not a typical scene for Sunday night dining at least in Phoenix. April 5 Simple Supper Menu After watching the Suns get pasted by the Mavericks, I was down in the area and slid into NOCA for an early dinner...I started with the Simple Cocktail which was their take on the Bellini and it had peach and raspberry puree, Effen Vodka and a prosecco float...very good. NOCA Bellini Amuse...Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Chives The soup's at NOCA are always a favorite of mine (I miss the Roasted Chestnut) so I started with the Organic Cheddar Cauliflower. Organic Cheddar Cauliflower Soup Spicy Sausage Stuffed Calamari-shaved fennel and arugula salad, balsamic vinaigrette, shaved parmigiano-reggiano and preserved lemon The first time I had stuffed calamari was at Degustation in NY and I became a fan but I do not see this dish that often so I was psyched when it was a first course option. The texture of the calamari was just right and the spicy sausage had just the right kick so it did not over power the dish. Organic Golden Cauliflower Florets, Shaved Garlic, White Anchovy, Chili Flakes, Meyer Lemon Zest When burrata is on a menu somehow it finds the way to my table , this was a great dish. I was seated at the Chef's counter and watched this dish come together. The anchovy was sauteed with the golden cauliflower florets, shaved garlic and chili flakes so the anchovy just melted in to the pan so the other ingredients would absorb it's essence. The burrata was a great medium to transfer the flavors into the burrata's creamy goodness. Polpettini en Brodo Braised Veal Tagliatelle, Herbed Bread Crumbs, Meyer Lemon Zest The pasta was house-made and the braised veal and the braising liquid had a deep rich flavor that was nicely popped by the lemon zest and that made this dish truly Italian comfort food. My problem was that I had ordered the polpettini supplement before this and that really filled me up so that prevented me from finishing the dish with dessert to follow. Ricotta Zeppole's, Lemon Curd, Honey Foam, Bee Pollen The doughnuts on NOCA's standard dessert menu are addictive but I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite between the zeppole and them. I liked the soft interior of the zeppole and smearing them thru the lemon curd and honey foam made a killer bite . The moral of this story is: don't bet on the Suns if they are playing on a Sunday and it is Italian Simple Supper at NOCA.
  2. Well, I have been to every themed Simple Sunday Supper except BBQ night, but I plan to be there this Sunday 12/7. The second Fried Chicken night even surpassed the first. Friends with me that Sunday said it was the best Fried Chicken they have eaten. I don't disagree and NOCA says they can do even better next time. Pictures of last Sunday's Home Style Italian Night. NOCA provided the comfort food I needed when the Suns lost after leading virtually the entire game. Blue cheese foam apple butter Amuse Antipasto - Assorted organic vegetables, Iitoi onion fritatta, Bresaola, and cheese. Spaghetti and Meatballs (Chitarra con Polpetini) Garlic Brioche Toast (not pictured) NOCA's take on Spumoni (Pistachio creme, walnut sable, black cherry gelato, roasted walnut foam) And by the way. 4.5 Stars from the Arizona Republic http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dining/articl...081117noca.html
  3. http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/200...simple_supp.php And Chow Bella was also what last Sunday's Italian night was at NOCA. Looking forward to BBQ night and really looking forward to Cajun night. Only three more weeks until Fried Chicken again. If food is the object of obsession is it still considerd stalking?
  4. Phoenix NewTimes "Best of Phoenix" More props for NOCA: Phoenix NewTimes "Best of Phoenix" Best Place to Take a Foodie Phoenix Magazine one of Phoenix' Best New Restaurants.
  5. I have had several Sunday Suppers as well as full on dinners at noca but did a solo grazing on tuesday with camera this time. There was one seat open at the Chef's Counter so I grabbed it. One Sunday the amuse was the chilled white corn soup seen on the main menu. That amuse was a tease so this time I had to satisfy myself with a full order. Chilled White Corn Soup Baby Carrots, Chorizo Croquettes, Smoked Paprika Oil Next was a Crudo Big Eye Tuna Roasted Peppers, Jalapéno Tempura, Red Wine Gastrique, Red Sichuan Pepper Corn I have had this before but tonight the preperation was a little different, the tuna being seared. Chef Curtiss is a wizard with crudo. The flavor combinations he conjures up are magical. Some pasta Agnolotti Pancetta, Pork, Beef, Herb Butter It doesn't seem that pancetta, pork, and beef would be a light dish, however these little stuffed pillows were delicate and delicious. Spinach Mezzaluna Ricotta, Mascarpone, Pecorino, Balsamic Molto bene Chef Curtiss A little gelato to end the meal and Bob's you uncle you have another dining option at noca.
  6. Simple Supper II Went back for The Simple Supper last night and didn't take my camera so I have no pictures to share, but the meal was excellent. The Summer Salad consisted of red oak, nappa cabbage, shaved fennel, red onions, with citrus honey vinaigrette. Everyone in the goup ordered the same entree. Hangar steak, baby green beans, beech mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and beurre rouge. Crudo was also available with a choice of big eye tuna, kampachi, or fluke. We didn't order any last night but I have had it several times and it is good enough to be thought of as a signature dish.
  7. Sunday may become the new Saturday night. With a fixed three course menu at an attractive price NOCA's SIMPLE SUPPER on Sunday nights could become a tough reservation to get. The offering is a salad, choice of entree from fish, meat, and vegetable, and desert. Price is $35.00. I dined with two others and we ordered the entire menu. Vichysoisse with sea bean was sent out as an amouse. Next was the Sunday Salad: Baby greens, Camparai tomatoes, caperberries, red onion, Nicoise olives, garlic croutons, balsamic vinaigrette. Main Courses Halibut was the market fish tonight with tomato confit, zuchinni tortellini, balsamic reduction. Skirt Steak with white bean ragout, melted onions, red wine sauce Tasting of Summer Vegetables, poached, roasted, and glazed. This showed up before dessert Cotton Candy: It's not just for breakfast anymore. Followed by the actual dessert as listed on the menu Brownie Sundae, marscapone glelato, salted spanish peanuts, carmel fondue Not being able to leave well enough alone we asked if the Gelato sampler available on other nights was a possibility and... chocolate, coffee, pistachio, and malted vanilla. NOCA has hit its marks every other night I have dined there and the Sunday Simple Supper is a winner for the customer and could turn into a home run for NOCA.
  8. I attended the run through on Monday and am in complete agreement. http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/JaimeeRose/29002
  9. I am also very anxious Genny. However, I believe Wednesday the 30th is the first night of service. ahurwich
  10. Best of luck. I know every other parameter for success will be covered.
  11. drpny, I have had similarly satisfying meals at Painted Horse. On one occasion I was dining with a friend and her 18 year old son. The 18 year old has been dining out with the adults since he was a toddler so has experience a lot gastronomically for a youngster. He had the lobster and after the first bite started laughing and said it was one of the best things he ever tasted. I'm sure every chef would like to get that kind of response. ahurwich
  12. Molto e Long lines don't guarantee good food. P. F. Changs for example. However, at Matt' Big Breakfast it does mean good eats. And Matt's is special for me as the place that introduced me to the many wonders of The Pork Shop. I agree about the egg salad. Who knew? ahurwich
  13. Genny, I've been spending a little more time in the east valley recently so have had the opportunity to try some different restaurants. We ate at Dual and I was not as impressed as you. Right off the bat, any restaurant that is offering a tasting menu should not be plopping a glass of water with ice and a straw on the table and not offering a choice of tap or bottled water. The restaurant space did look good, maybe not too surprising for this rural area anymore. However, some of the patrons still had a bit of a scruffy edge. Please remove all baseball caps upon entering the premises. We also had the tuna tartare and it was very tasty although I would prefer a finer chop to the tatare. Entrees were the Seared Duck Breast sweat pea risotto w/Marsala sauce and Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna with mustard glazed cous cous, green beans, peppercorn sauce. I enjoyed the risotto and cous cous more than either entree with both duck and tuna being somewhat bland. We did not order dessert and had brownies at home instead. If you haven't yet, try Binkley's or Vu in my part of town. ahurwich
  14. drpny, I have eaten at Vu twice and am as impressed with Chef Brian Lewis as both you and molto e. The word needs to get out. ahurwich
  15. Molto E aka Deep Truffle Thanks for the heads up. Calling for reservations and hope to be wallowing in truffles soon.
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