My friend Lori and I decided to make it a girls only dinner and give Nosh a try. I’ve heard about Avner Samuel for years and could never really afford to go. Most of his venues have been very high dollar and difficult for me to justify when there are so many fantastic and less expensive restaurants in town. Nosh is a new concept for him. Much more affordable. Most appetizers are less than 10 dollars and entrees generally under 25.
The dining room is elegant yet unpretentious. You can dress up or dress down. There’s a big TV screen that shows you what’s going on in the kitchen. Or you can sit at a bar in front of the kitchen and watch it live. Reading reviews from around town I heard a few comments that the restaurant is too loud. I didn’t think so. The place filled up and Lori and I were still able to converse at a normal level. It’s not a quiet place. But, people are not shouting to be heard.
Let’s take a look at the food.
This was one of their board specials. Tepura fried Brussels sprouts leaves. Totally delicious and really unique. I never would have thought to do it. Very addicting little snack.
There were three of these on the plate. Lori and I scarfed down two before I remembered to take a picture. Delicious! Crispy fried oyster sitting on sauted garlic spinach with a tarragon cream sauce and sherry vinegar. This was my favorite dish of the evening. The sauce really set it off.
I had to try the onion soup. I’ve always loved French onion soup and that’s how they served it. You rarely see it these days and, done right, it’s a real treat.
This soup was done right. Terrific, deep flavor from the broth. My only complaint? It was kind of a large serving. Not much of a complaint, huh?
Lori had the roasted red and yellow beet salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. I didn’t taste this dish, but she said it could have used a little more acid for her taste. She did enjoy it, though.
For her main course Lori chose another special of the day; fried softshell crab. This was good but I thought it lacked something. Maybe I’m just not a huge fan of softshell crab. I think it needs more flavor. A nice presentation.
I chose the duck confit. The duck leg and thigh sat atop a fantastic cauliflower and leek “mash”. Another side dish I’ve never been exposed to before and really loved. Marinated cherrys gave it a great punch of flavor. The meat was moist and I enjoyed the dish a lot.
Our service person, Zachary, was very pleasant. And right on time with everything. Made good suggestions. Didn’t bother us while we obviously were happily munching away. Kept our wine glasses appropriately full. Overall I think he did a great job.
We had a very nice evening. Here’s the problem with being Avner Samuel. Everyone will expect to be presented with the best thing they ever ate every time they order. This was not the best meal I’ve ever eaten. Instead, it was excellent. I’d give it four stars instead of five. I think the dishes would appeal to just about anyone. And they are prepared with care and thoughtfulness.
Go to Nosh. You’ll enjoy it. And you’ll be able to afford to go back!