Saturday, April 07, 2007

Strappy Sandals Prove Their Worth

Lest you think this is about to become E is for Fashion, which makes little sense on many levels, let me start off with a shout out to my shoes. Despite being heeled and not always incredibly comfortable, they stood up to my sprint through the lobby of Davies Symphony Hall. I stepped off the elevator already aware that it was past 8 PM to find a single usher in the lobby whose rapid get over here hand motion was both hopeful and ominous. Madly waving my tickets and asking which way to go, she pointed down the hall and told me to run. So I did just that. I could hear the audience's applause emanating from the hall which could only mean one thing. The music was about to start. Off at a full run, I miraculously did not catch a heel on the carpet and scrambled into my seat just as MTT crossed the stage. Whew. And a good concert too.

I blame this madness on Nopa. Happily, this would be blame in the best sense of the word, because it was the loveliness of the meal that made us forget the time and arrive almost too late for the concert. I'd read so many glowing things about the restaurant that I was prepared for it to fall short of expectations. And to my great delight and surprise, it didn't.

The decor is open and airy, the bar prodigious in the assortment of colorful drinks produced, and the kitchen a whirring hub of rotisserie, oven, stove and plating. We lucked out and were seated at a table overlooking the kitchen. It was great fun to see our food being prepared, finished, and then a minute later, have it appear before us. The salad of little gems was a modified caesar salad, lightly dressed and perfectly balanced with pulverized croutons and creamy slices of cheese decorating the top. A welcome change from the usual preparation of battered and friend, the calamari was braised in red wine, resulting in tender tendrils which went splendidly with the crusty slab of toast. The flatbread with spinach, red onion, and crumbled lamb sausage was nice, but with a squeeze of lemon and dusting of sumac, it jumped to mealworthy. And then there was the pork chop - tender, sweet, and lovely on a bed of cabbage.

The menu isn't particularly impressive and in an age of exotic combinations, nothing jumped out at me as particularly noteworthy, but the execution on these hearty dishes is magnificent. So of course, we didn't stop with savories.

Donut holes served with a rum caramel sauce were warm and so lovely that despite my shock at the generosity of the portion, I happily polished off the plate. And then the Shaft Blue Cheese with walnuts, dates and honey. Oh so yummy.

And then it was 7:48 PM and time to run.


Blogger RenĂ©e said...


2:15 AM  

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