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Nude Nu News


jamiemaw
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Ian and I traipsed on down to Nu last Thursday night for a welcome opportunity to decompress from all the unpacking we’ve been doing as of late. To say that the joint was jumpin’ would be an understatement since every table in the house was occupied.

As a main dish, we both enjoyed the Caramelized Lamb Cheeks: meat was extremely tender, sauce rather rich and flavourful with the fresh radish and mint topping offering a lovely taste and textural counterpoint. Unfortunately, truth be told, we were disappointed with our overall dining experience at Nu, due largely to a number of service missteps and a couple of unimpressive side plates. To Leonard’s credit, though, he was certainly responsive to our feedback when he asked for our comments that evening.

I’ll likely give Nu another shake, perhaps for lunch one day to sample the oft-lauded Gruyère Onion Soup. However, I think I'll wait for a while until the opening buzz subsides and the freshman kinks are ironed out.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Nu (1661 Granville St., 604-646-4668)

Go to the source, my dogs are aching again, my week has just ended, and I had a brutal day on my Friday - I needed love.

I batted around several ideas and couldn't think of anything to inspire me.

I finally asked David, the super awesome concierge at my hotel - David please give me a new restaurant idea that won't break my bank account. I need flavours and style baby, mommy also needs love, and I need it by 9 pm at a table for two tonight

Brilliantly David tells me about NU.

Oh yeah, I know about this place, I loved this space but hated the food and never returned. David books me a reso giving me and my friend an hour leway prior to stop for a drink at Sip along the way.

Perfect !

Oh my God, my NU favourite restaurant !

I've often thought to myself what can be improved or how I'd redesign a restaurant space, consequently I love that show in Food TV called Restaurant Makeover. I remember when I first came to Vancouver I was taken to The Riley Café, what a fabulous setting but what terrible food, a sad but common story. This place needed some love and serious respect to food culture, a real Chef with inspiration and focus on quality, and friendly warm service.

No easy venture, this room was tired and dated circa early 90's since since it's inception, it was fortunately gutted. Over time it was left to slip and slide in neglect the last ten years, a real wonder it survived as long as it did while putting out such mediocre cuisine in a prime location.

To me it seemed a shame that such an amazing space would be so abused, resting entirely on it's laurels and depending on it's view to attract customers who will likely never return.

Then in rides the white knight Harry Kambolis,his BMW parked across the way on the cobble-stone seawall for the past seven years, fortunately a man with abundant means. A restauranteur extraordinare with unique vision and a big pocketful of Cha.

Everything he touches turns to gold it seems, first his Raincity Grill, then the awesome C, now his new NU.

Walking into the restaurant reminded me of those '60s and early 70's television shows, I thought I should be dressed like Jackie O in classic Channel, big black glasses and a pill-box hat. These are the thoughts and feel this place inspired.

A myriad of baby blues, soft greens and marble tables, we we sat in the middle of the windowed room. Black molded ceiling tiles and wave inspired blue glass wall dividers, rich textures coupled with retro pallet on smooth lightly hued glass. It's fresh and cool with a sparkle of twinkling light reflections, like an ocean wave against a bright sun. Clean and fresh modern design of retro chic.

The bar/lounge area is quite unique, several stools located near the entrance along what looks like a long pear shaped bar of clear glass and lights. I noticed wine bottles line the inside of the glass bar in some sort of rotary-like device, but quickly ignored it as we passed by quickly to our seats. Suddenly while seated, out of the corner of my eye I see something turning and I notice the bar is moving! Well, not THE bar per se, but the inside of the bar is rotating - someone ordered wine and the rotary device kicks-in, spinning the bottles around the bar to to the bartender.

Hard to describe but bottles move much like a winery corking machine or beer bottle capping system towards the bartender - very cool.

Sitting on False Creek every table has a view, ours was looking at the Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, what could be better than that ? Seating is in blue bucket chairs that seem designed to fit me well, the short of leg kind, low to the ground and spacious for the ass.

My date is tall but found himself comfortable, yet we both realized we couldn't lean back or we'd fall out. I prefer a supporting back to my dinner chairs but because of it felt inspired to sit close to the table to hear my dinner companion over the spazzy music.

We later noticed a big man barely squish himself into the chairs next to me, beware anyone over 220 and 6'2".

The music is really too loud but the whole place is frantic and abuzz with activity. Today ironically I don't mind sound, I actually want action. I was still coming down from my crazy day so I'm buzzing on endorphins and feel excited by this place.

Nu is French for naked, and it also describes the concept of it's food combos, few ingredients yet all very impacting on the palate. Many small plates, and unlike his previous restaurants a place conceived for locals who like to dine out every week.

This has a myriad of share plates and everything seems easily designed to split. This is what I'm all about, I want flavours and I want to try as many things as I can as I like getting a full perspective into a Chefs soul and the restaurants core concept.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat but I hate to pay through the nose for the right to sit in a nice place for an interesting meal. I don't want BIG food, I want flavourful dishes, I want to taste and nibble my night away. This place is almost perfect for me.

The sour note was the wine list, strangely the wine by the glass offering was the absolute pits , and limited to three offerings of reds and whites which I quickly dismissed. What a shame to not be able to order a wine glass to match each course, when will restaurants ever notice those of us who wish to pair flavours, the food-hounds who want serious respect granted to a full experience ? Well, sadly I was forced towards one bottle from a narrow mostly new world based wine list.

Considering all the continental classics infused in a very eclectic menu, I was deeply confused by this lack of thought shown to this list.

I reluctantly chose the Burrowing Owl Merlot '02, then was informed it to be sold-out, probably because it was the best offering within a certain price range of limited (approximately 30 reds) wines on the list.

I don't have a problem with smaller wine lists personally, but this one bored me heavily. Mass produced Yankee reds from California, a few PNW and BC wines. Where's Europe represented here ? It certainly is on the food menu, but........

I can think of so many forward and well priced wines on our shelves to charm this menu but this seems to be an after-thought here. Too bad and very frustrating to me

The sommelier/manager came by to assist, I told him I'm not excited by this list and don't want to spend beyond 60$ for a bottle of wine. First suggesting the Sawtooth - yeach, that Idaho wine that has never inspired me much, then he suggested the Three Rivers, a Bordeaux blend from Washington called MC2.

Ok, that sounds good enough, I like 3 Rivers mostly but have never had this. A richly textured blend of full flavours, a bit too much oak but quite well structured and ripe with blousy fruit.

Now the food - holy kooky menu batman !

http://www.evevancouver.ca/food/menus/nu.htm

French, Italian old world infused with PNW and Asian flavours. It's creative alright, I'll give it that. Some flavour combinations are difficult for me to wrap my head around, so we went with those main ingredients we have both always loved.

To our distress we were informed the Foie Gras -our first choice was sold-out but we trudged on. With so many interesting sounding dishes it was hard just to pair down only 4 selections anyway.

We started with the goat cheese stuffed chicken wings, what a painstaking task this dish must be to prepare. Each little wing is turned inside out, partially deboned and filled with cheese, then wrapped back up again in a little ball with one major wing bone protruding for finger grabbing. Sitting on a long plate with a sweet chili gastrique. These were brilliant little wing Popsicles.

I asked our server if there was one person assigned full time to the preparation of this little appy, as I can't get over the tedious detail it must take to stuff and rebuild this so lovingly. The ball of chicken wing was crispy and sweet, moist and tender, and served with a dark demi-glaze of Asian inspired sweet sauce. We just loved this dish !

But why served with only five wings , the fight was on on who got the final wing-ball, finally we sliced it in half and I forfeited the larger slice to my friend.

Then came the crimini mushroom and Brie pithivier. I didn't know what the hell this was going to be either, but love shrooms. Out came a pretty pie pinched in a single puff pastry served on a green bed of lightly flavoured asparagus cream sauce, framed with 4 big asparagus sticks. Inside this cute pillow of puff is the most delicious concoction of hot melted Brie and mushrooms.

We made yummy groans with every bite. Pure pleasure although I would've preferred a much less rich sauce accompanying an already rich filling.

After those plates were cleared we were ready to embark upon the larger plates and what we expected to be fuller flavours. We let our waitress decide on this next dish without telling us what she chose, and to our surprise and she brought us out Duck Confit/foie gras with rhubarb.

The only reason we hadn't picked this ourselves was because we originally thought we were having foie gras already, until the dreaded news of it's sold-out status. It was like she was in our heads and knew we loved cooked duckies in confit

The sauce was light, almost a glaze and tasted a bit like ripe apricots and with a delicate sweetness as well as the richness of duck smoky dark fat. The duck was the thigh/leg portion served once again perfectly cooked and wrapped around some foie gras, nicely browned and crispy braised. I tasted the love I wanted to feel tonight, and what a brilliant fall meal. I dream of French country foods and my mums Alberta stews, this dish was like a fussy blanket in front of a fireplace.

Finally, what I consider my basic staple and most reliable dish, the lamb. This was a caramelized lamb cheek dish, I didn't read this would be coming with radishes (which I do hate), but I've never met a lamb I didn't like and these radishes are easy enough to pick off.

Hmmm, well now I have finally had a lamb dish disappoint me.

A half a dozen brown balls marinated and infused in diced pure mint leaves, topped with shaved radishes, I put one in my mouth and immediately sensed the lightly applied but icky bitter little things, the clash was with these and sour mint in a soft sweet reduction.

A war in my mouth, I wince in unhappiness, quickly glug a big sip of red and try again. This time I remove those radish slices. The cheeks are grainy in texture, a bit stringy, and really rich with almost a gaminess in flavour. The mint inspired thoughts of spiced garlic souvlaki, but greatly

lacking any moisture from fat. I didn't like them, found them dry, and found the spice combination intrusive and aggressive.

We both agreed this to be the only dud dish we tasted.

I probably could've ordered a little dessert but felt perfectly satisfied with my appetite comfort level at that point.

Dinner of four plates, with wine (57$) and 15% tip was 170$.

Service was friendly but slow at first, a long wait to finally order our food, although our wine came promptly. The timing of the dishes was perfect though,and we noticed a large number of friends and past colleagues dining near us.

It a place for foodies, and a mostly casual downtown hip swinging environment in a beautifully refurbished restaurant space and setting.

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I know it’s my first post but I have been lurking on this board for over a year now and finally decided to join. So first off I would like to say Hi :smile:

I do review restaurants for fun and keep a blog that I share with my friends and some strangers; I will make sure to post a few in the near future. Just a little worried about posting some questionable reviews since I am still new to posting this board.

Next wow nothing but good reviews and after trying many of the other restaurants that you all have recommended over the past year I will be hitting up Nu this Saturday. I am hoping to try some other dishes that have not yet been mentioned on here, I can’t wait. I will make sure to post review along with pictures.

I also have LK and Adesso on my list.

Edited by D90 (log)
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My first Nu experience was a few nights ago, and after reading about it here, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect.

We were the only table in the room, having chosen to go late on a Sunday night. Luckily, I knew the server, which made that aspect bearable.

For drinks, I had a bottle of Unibroue's Ephemere, a subtlely apple flavoured wheat beer. I felt like something different and I was extremely pleasantly surprised at how well this went with the food. My lady chose one of the cocktails, and it was quite good, but took a while to prepare.

For food, we started with an oyster amuse, which was very inventive and we love new and interesting ideas, and this certainly delivered. Then we tried the Beef Tartare, absolutely excellent. Next, the much celebrated Gruyere and Onion soup for me, the Tomato soup for my lady. The soup, which has been hyped here beyond belief, was great, but I was expecting something a bit better after hearing the reviews. The tomato soup was excellent also. Mains: Lamb Cheeks with radishes and mint & Pork belly with the pears and walnuts. My thoughts on the lamb was that it was pretty good, but the lamb needed the radishes and especially mint, or it would be very boring otherwise. The pork belly was about 75% fat, and 25% meat, so the likelihood of putting a bite in my mouth that consisted entirely of a chunk of fat was very high, and it happened. The pears and walnuts were great and the sauce was extremely rich. Bottom line - when I go back I will not be ordering either dish again, but I have confidence in the cooking as a whole.

I will also try to go earlier, as the ambience that we experienced consisted of loud music wih no background buzz, and visually, I had a great view of the cooks cleaning the hood vents and the staff sitting up at the bar, not to mention what seemed to be other staff on their night off having drinks on the patio. I say that it seemed like staff on the patio because of their casual dress and their familiarity and comfort with the restaurant.

All in all, I was glad that I tried it, and I will go back, but will carefully choose the time.

Ian McTavish

General Manager / Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club

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^ We're Nu-bound on saturday for some nekkidness with a friend for drinks appies and dessert. Looking forward to the soup and stuffed chicken. I keep hearing something about oysters and some kind of beer valve.

My memory of the words beer and valve together conjur images of being really really hungover the next morning.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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^ We're Nu-bound on saturday for some nekkidness with a friend for drinks appies and dessert.  Looking forward to the soup and stuffed chicken.  I keep hearing something about oysters and some kind of beer valve.

My memory of the words beer and valve together conjur images of being really really hungover the next morning.

I had the oysters, it comes as one battered deep fried oyster on the end of a white plastic syringe-like pick. The pick is filled with about an ounce of GI Honey Lager, and when you put the oyster in your mouth, holding this pick, you bite down on the oyster and squeeze the beer into your mouth with it.

You get the hot and cold sensations with the bitter beer taste and it all seems to come alive in your mouth. A very interesting experience that I personally think everyone should be forced to try.

Twist my rubber arm, and I may try it again..........

Ian McTavish

General Manager / Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club

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Called today for reservation for tomorow but they only had 6:30, I dont get off work till 6:30, So I guess Nu will have to wait for another week sigh lol. Maybe next Saturday.

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The Fud club went to Nu for a mixture of drinks and appies and dessert. We got there, were seated promptly in the lounge (those seats are intruiging).

So I ordered a port, Sandy ordered a drink containing rum and ginger beer and Jen had a marionette. My god. The rum and ginger beer drink blew me away. It's like a mojito but better! I love ginger beer.

Next the waiter cameby and took our fud orders consisting of the Guyere soup, creme brulee, oyster-beer and a lemon tart.

The soup - as always very very good. Damn you Nu people. I will be forever addicted. The Creme Brulee was tastey and the lemon tart was really good! After making my own lemon tart I really appreciate good tart :)

The beer oyster...wow what a concept....injecting beer while you bite into the oyster and you get this wonderful cool/hot mix with seafood and beer. It's like a party in your mouth. Plus I felt like a drug user for some reason.

Then our waiter returned and asked me if I was possibly from "egullet". Oh boy. Shocking :) James you rock and thanks for the GREAT service!

We ordered the goat cheese stuffed wings and savoured them. Why do they only give you 5? How is 5 divisible in any reasonable way? Gimme 6! :biggrin:

I very good experience tonight.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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^ Point taken! However now that the ginger is run its course I still feel the same way about Nu :raz:

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Fully aware of the reputation of the fud club, it was with more than a little trepidation that I greeted them on Saturday night. Fortunately, aside from the incident where Wesley decided to use his beer syringe to irrigate unsuspecting customers' ears, they were surprisingly well-behaved; there was nary a flying chicken wing nor any surreptitiously placed lamb cheeks. :raz:

On a more serious note, this was my first official real world egulleter sighting. It was a pleasure to meet you Wesley, Sandy and Jen. :biggrin:

Cheers

James

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Argh I still haven’t been able to visit Nu and now Nu is old. I made plans for this Saturday again, but when I call them for reservations I found out they have been bought out for private party that night =(, but I did reservations for the 12th =p. I hope its worth it.

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OK, what's the deal with this place!?

Tried it three times as I kept thinking if everyone else is having such a great experience and I wasn't it must be me. But you know, I am going to go out on a limb here and say it's not me, it's them. Or rather it's their kitchen.

Naked food, where is the naked food? Is it that little group of dishes over to the right side of the menu? The food all has sauce etc, so what makes it naked? Perhaps they mean naked of any taste, or at least seasoning. The dishes I tried were tasteless. The tastes described on the menu just didn't exist. The chicken wings tasted like ground chicken and nothing else. The lamb cheeks looked just amazing so we were particularly disappointed at their lack of taste. The shellfish tasted like it had been poached in water, the salads had no dressing. I just don't know what to say. Between us and our various visits we tried about 15 items on the menu and of those only one dish gave us pause to say yum! Our other 2 visits were devoid of anything good from the main menu. Asking around to people I know who dine out, particularly those in the industry, I can't find one person who liked the food? How is it that they can get such glowing reviews by restaurant critics yet the everyday folk don't like it?

So that's the food…

The service - Was very good except it took forever to get drinks and wine. Our waiters were on the ball but when they went to the bar it seemed to take forever to come back, we assumed it was because he was waiting for the drinks.

The door - On two of the nights there was the same hostess at the door, along with another hostess. On both nights she made us wait behind people without reservations, she didn't know where our table was, she looked frustrated and showed her confusion in front of us, in fact didn't even acknowledge us when we walked up the her desk, kept sort of arguing with the other hostess about where she was seating people. Two out of three nights there was no manager at the door and no quality check from anyone other then a junior manager. Again a lot of fuss being made over "special guests" and us left to suffer through bad food and long waits for drinks.

Other stuff - Bathrooms, all those toiletries in the bathrooms is very Las Vegas. Tacky, tacky, tacky, tacky!

Redeeming qualities - Very good prices, our bills were very reasonable, if not cheap (except that we were paying for food we didn't like) Desserts were excellent. View was fabulous. Decor, though bloody uncomfortable, was different then all the other restaurants in town which was interesting.

Would I return, never say never. Maybe I will just try dessert at the bar or go back next summer for a salad on the patio.

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I must say the website for Nu, (if it is www.whatisnu.com) is extremely frustrating.

Please restaurant websites: offer immediatly and simply your menu, hours, and an address. Then you can get into all your funky flash. and music ouch allow me to turn that off!

a.

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

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It was a Dark and Stormy Night, or so the pre-dinner cocktail I chose last Saturday at Nu was called. 2 of the 3 advertised ingredients were present, but it was lacking the lemon wedge, and all the poorer for it. The missing wedge turned up on a side plate, to accompany a double espresso ordered with a twist, at meal's end. Citrus missteps apart, our foursome enjoyed the food immensely.

Prerequisite oysters were gulped along with their lager shot, and other courses arrived in short order, which was to the kitchen's credit as business was brisk all evening long. We shared scallop ceviche, melted cheese puffs, fried olives, and stuffed chicken wings, followed by oxtail soup, duck croquettes, mushroom pithiviers, and bone marrow salad. The soup was a big protein hit, the pastry case contents were inhaled, and the croquettes very well received, though the meat-to-foie ratio is certainly higher than the melting moment we enjoyed so much at C last summer. The salad alongside the bone marrow was a perfect foil for the rich innards of 2 good sections of bone, my only quibble being that the marrow was too mealy, having been well dosed with fine breadcrumb to absorb the molten marrow. Main plates arrived in good time, and were all declared winners. Rare flatiron steak was just that, on a bed of wilted baby watercress tattooed with sweet tomatoes. A cordon of bearnaise gave the dish a comforting familiarity. Delicate halibut troncon was nicely poached, but somewhat overwhelmed with the addition of chorizo to the fond. Duck confit was crispy and generous, and the pork belly finished off our host, who had already got through the oxtail soup! Tarte tatin, creme brulee, and a couple of small cheese plates rounded out a very satisfactory meal.

A couple of non-food observations come to mind. There are some very well defined dining philosophies at play here. Nu is promoting dining gallantry with the deliberate count of some food items. Its been mentioned before, but why else would you serve 5 portions of any item to be shared other than to stimulate conversation and manners - "You have it!". "No, I insist you have the last one!" The seating and the pricing (read; low backs, low bucks!) policy suggests that this is designed as a more casual, one-of-a-few-stops rendezvous. The speed at which the food appeared was not that of a long evening affair either. After cocktails, the courses mentioned above, with 3 bottles of wine, we were out of there in under 3 hours! The pacing was subliminally accelerated by the background music, which I couldn’t hear much of in the restaurant, but away from the hubbub it was clear the house sound track was intended to clear the house! The fast, monotonous beat is not at all relaxing or conducive to lingering over coffees, but then I’m sure that is not what management want on a Saturday night! After several comments upthread regarding the slow pace of service, our experience was quite the opposite. One aspect of service that should be addressed however; don’t use the table as a base for swiveling the wine bottle you’re opening! The “waiters best friend” with a two-stage lever works really well, and might have added a little extra polish to otherwise good service.

Nu is not all about style, as it functions very well, but it has it in spades, and is a great addition to the Vancouver food scene, adding several new hues to our dining palette.

John

"Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos"

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The salad alongside the bone marrow was a perfect foil for the rich innards of 2 good sections of bone, my only quibble being that the marrow was too mealy, having been well dosed with fine breadcrumb to absorb the molten marrow.

Ahh...you echo my sentiments regarding the marrow. I thought it had too much filler. It was also a bit underseasoned for my taste.

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A couple of non-food observations come to mind. There are some very well defined dining philosophies at play here. Nu is promoting dining gallantry with the deliberate count of some food items. Its been mentioned before, but why else would you serve 5 portions of any item to be shared other than to stimulate conversation and manners - "You have it!". "No, I insist you have the last one!"

odd symmetry is used in plating, as 3,5,7 pieces is far more appealing to the eye than even numbers.

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

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  • 2 weeks later...

If nothing else, NU gets the award for "Most Difficult Restaurant to Find in Vancouver". After tyring in vain to locate the incorrect address listed in the phone book, we tried in vain to locate the correct address, called and got directions, negotiated the circuitous route to the bottom of Granville Street, and, with no restaurant sign to direct us, eventually guessed its location by process of elimination.

We arrived at the chic, lounge-like NU a little after 6:00 p.m. and were promptly seated. I imagined the uncomfortable half-back chairs had been designed by my old high school gym teacher, Mr. Leighton, who would often admonish us for our inability to sit up straight in class (He'd often delight in pointing out that, by the age of 13, the average boy had already lost the muscle strength that enabled him to maintain proper posture). What they didn't offer in back support, they more than made up for in sheer weight and overall unwieldliness, ensuring that only the most determined (read: uncomfortable) of diners could succeed in shifting them 2-3 inches in either direction.

We found our menus hidden within the folds of our napkin (an inventive if somewhat curious touch) and perused the offerings. From the three different appetizer sections (I didn't ask why), one item stood out: Roasted Bone Marrow and parsley salad. It brought back memories of the oven-roasted marrow with sea salt my mother used to make and I couldn't wait to try NU's version. Unfortunately, as it turned out, it was the only menu item not available that night. :hmmm:

We were four and started with four appetizers: terrific goat cheese-stuffed chicken wings, very good duck and foie gras croquettes, an excellent potted goose rilletes, and a good albacore tuna salad (I'm not big on salads but my wife loves them and she thought it was excellent).

We shared five entrees. The favorite was a very good duck confit served with what was described as a "foie gras pull apart" which I'd liken to a savory cinabon. The crispy braised pork belly was also winner, crisp on top with mouth-meltingly tender meat, served with walnuts and pears. Another favorite was the perfecly prepared crispy-skinned trout, served with chorizo, clams, and chard. The caramelized lamb cheeks, alas, didn't quite work. Although the meat was very tender, whatever sweetness that caramelization may have imparted was thoroughly overwhelmed by the bitterness of the accmpanying radishes and mint. Gnocchi with spring onions, sweet peppers, and olives were fine but unremarkable.

Moving on to dessert - I had my eye on the dark chocolate nougat tart but maintained tradition by asking the waiter what he considered to be the heaviest dessert on the menu. It turns out it was the chocolate profiterole. Admittedly wary and second-guessing myself all the way, I ordered the profiterole - and was richly rewarded with an enormous tennis ball-sized pasty shell filled with whipping cream, topped with chocolate and caramel sauces. Delicious. Everyone else seemed to be very happy with their dessert selections as well: creme brulee, lemon tart, and a tart tatin capped with a sour cream based topping. Perhaps sensing my earlier indecision, our waiter also brought us a complimentary dark chocolate nougat tart for the table. As it turns out, it was the only dessert we didn't finish.

We closed our meal with tea - an excellent green tea for myself, and mint-chamomile for everyone else. At around 8:20, our waiter not so subtly hurried us along by first clearing our dessert plates, and then relieving us of our napkins. Fearing he would re-set the table in front of us or, worse, seat the next group on our laps, we decided to call it a night.

Overall, the food was excellent although some of the more unique selections could have used a little less creative flair and a little more common sense. The lamb cheeks come to mind. The service was excellent up until the minor annoyance at meal's end. So, top marks for the food and service. Bottom marks for those damn chairs. I'm bringing a pillow next time.

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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If nothing else, NU gets the award for "Most Difficult Restaurant to Find in Vancouver".  After tyring in vain to locate the incorrect address listed in the phone book, we tried in vain to locate the correct address, called and got directions, negotiated the circuitous route to the bottom of Granville Street, and, with no restaurant sign to direct us, eventually guessed its location by process of elimination.

:laugh::laugh: Had to laugh, that's exactly what happened to us! My gosh that was frustrating, ended up going past Marmalade, then up and around again. We just didn't expect it to be a sort of non-descript location, being below the Stone Grill. Definitely not easy to find, but hey, if you live in the general area, Nu or C are lovely places to walk to. :smile:

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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a little after 6:00 p.m. and were promptly seated. 

  At around 8:20, seat the next group

(hack and slash editing)

normally restaurants get a crunch around 8-830, it can get dicey.

how long should a fourtop be given?

i would hope the seasoned diner would be aware of the crunch.

'tis the beginning of the season

please, lets all pitch in and make it a smooth one. =)

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I went by NU on Saturday night and again enjoyed my self tremedously.

I know that that people really dislike the chairs - but I like them fine. I am not a little guy - but they have more then enough support and room.

The food was very good - three of us had cracked dungeness crab, oyster/lager bites, crackers w/ cheese, gnocchi, lamb cheeks w/ radish and mint, fried olives, pork riblets, the octopus salad, and a chocolate mousse. With a glass of scotch, wine, and a martini - it all came in under $200 before tip. A pretty decent deal - I mean all of the desserts are under $4!

The crab came with an bright lemony citrus oil which was delicious. I liked the radish and mint that came with the lamb cheeks - I found that bite of the radish and mint really lifted the soft succulent cheeks. The gnocchi was a choux pastry version rather then the expected potato dumplings. They were light and savory little bites.

Service was quick, friendly and knowledgable.

I know that others have had mixed experiences - but both the lunch and dinners I had were great. They are still sticking with their 1 am closing time and when we left at about 10:30 - tables and parking were starting to open up. Definitely somewhere that should be considered for a late night bite.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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how long should a fourtop be given?

i would hope the seasoned diner would be aware of the crunch.

Don't want to get too off topic, but in the interest of answering the questions at hand:

~ I give 2 1/2 hours for a fourtop when taking reservations. This is based on experience and instinct. This is not a rule, or something they are told/aware of, simply a good rule of thumb. When I have a table booked at 8:00, and someone phones in for a 6:00 reso, I DO say absolutely, but I do have it re-booked at 8:00, do you feel that gives you enough time? They always say "Yes, no problem". (Insider Tip: They always lie, even if they absolutely promise to be quick.) This also depends greatly on where you're dining.

~ As for

i would hope the seasoned diner would be aware of the crunch
, I strongly feel that you should enjoy your experience for as long as you'd like (barring any earlier promises, as in the above point), and act accordingly. If you're sitting post-coffee/dessert, etc. and see line-ups forming and feel you'd be honourable by leaving the table, yes- it would be a big help, but in this instance, I do believe the customer should be comfortable and at home for as long as they'd like.

k.

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  • 2 months later...

I was at nu last night with some folks from work.

Had a really nice time.

Keith as always was in fine form, as ever. I swear, the man must live in the back somewhere. He seems to be always there, always relaxed, always on top of everything...

Anyway, the food seemed even better than usual. Seriosuly. They're still tweakin' stuff, kids. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself, but.

We had an assortment of cocktails off the classic menu. I just can't say enough good things about the bar menu. Or the bar itself. Jay was away in Lost Wages, but the bartender who was there was as great as she (or anyone) could possibly be without actually being Jay Jones.

For appies had 2X the salmon candy. Perfect. But then it always is.

Somebody ordered the smoked slmon thing, which I didn't understand (not because it isn't great (it is), just because it's basic smoked salmon, and they have ao many other nifty things to choose from...

Also got the agnolotti (I think I butchered the spelling, Italina not being my forte) with spinach and tomato. Realky simple yet elegant. I have taken to getting it with a little regiano and some pepper, which finish it off nicely, IMHO.

For mains one guy had the gnocchi (did I spell that properly eitehr)?) which was really good. It takes a certain something to get the consistency and texture right on those. It needs to be almost dry, a perfect balance between doughy and sticky, without being either. This rendition strikes a perfect balance.

The other two of us had the lamb cheeks, which I had forgotten I had had before. They were good before, but much better this time. They do a reallly neat radishy minty thing on top. Lots of radishes, thinly sliced. I don't like radishes. I liked these. For whatever that's worth. The radish/mint combo was a really nice compliment to the cheeks.

Note on the lamb: I love lamb. Good lamb. Bad lamb can be so bad though. ne of the things that puts me off is too much fat in the lamb. These cheeks though found that sweet spot of being flavourful (not gamey) and yet not too fatty. And so tender!

We topped it off with a creme brule between all three of us. You should know the postres are all quite small. That said we didn't quite finish the micro-brule, even between the 3 of us. The hard part on top was just like you dream a creme brule should be, but better. The inside was different (more creamy, less sweet), but still divine.

Our server was super too. Compitent, funny, intelligent, helpful, and just made us feel totally at home. I wish I could remember her name to call her out here. Anyway, whatever your name was, thanks for making it a nice night.

And thanks to everyone at nu. Can't wait to come back!

~11

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I went to Nu on Sunday during cinq a sept and I had a phenomenal time. As many of you know, Jay Jones is very knowledgable about his craft and mixes some great drinks. What with his cocktails and the canapes coming around, it's easy to lose track of time (and space). I was hoping to meet Leonard and pick his brain, but I suppose that will wait until next time.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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  • 2 months later...

The new menu is up at Nu. Some nice changes ... and more than a few reasons to return.

J & I dropped by yesterday after work. Phoned ahead to see if we could reserve a spot on the deck. Keith answers. Normally "no" but "the deck's not too busy tonight, so sure."

We arrive, are seated, and notice no fewer than 3 tables of people we know. Some co-workers, and a table of eG folk. We must have spent the first 1/2 hour chatting at our table. Our server (Claire) was first rate. No rush ... did you want some water ... just flag me down when you're ready. Exactly what we were looking for.

Started with the fried olives (I swear they sprinkle them with crack) and a bottle of the Joie Rosé. More chatting. Damn I like the patio! Unobstructed views, and warm (maybe a little too warm that evening since I don't have the hair to protect my skull :raz: ).

Next came a newly tweaked marrow dish - Bordelaise with brioche and crepes. Comes with bI liked the crepe it came with, but would have prefered more brioche. Celery root puré was a nice touch.

1/2 order of duck confit with a foie "pull-apart". 'Nuff said. Confit just about anything and I'm there. The pull-apart was fun, but served mostly as a sponge for the sauce. Apricot preserves were all mine since J don't like'em.

Pork belly (I know I know, you're all thinking "Arne's eating WAY too healty", but screw it, it's patio season. I have to watch my figure). For me, this was more of a fall dish ... pork belly, pears, sweet potatoes and walnuts with a cider vinegar reduction. Leonard or Keith if you're listening - try using pecans. I know, I'm an ass, but I like pecans. Nicely executed though, just not what I should have had that night.

We had a number of other new dishes at a private function a couple weeks back: beef tartare, crispy ribs, fried olive bread ... all top notch, especially the tartare. Hell, even J's 13 y.o. neice from Kamloops liked it!

The foie & confit croquettes are gone from the menu. No worries, the new confit dish is much better IMO.

A.

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