I was looking forward to dinner at NoBo Wine and Grill. It’s a restaurant that constantly seeks to reinvent itself. In a few short years, it went from a tasty Pasta Factory (dairy), to a tastier Pasta Factory (meat). Today, it seems to have settled on an eclectic mix of Manhattan chic and a pastiche of menu offerings that defy any identifiable theme.
It gets its name because it is North of Bogota. But, it should really be called NoKids. There is nothing on the menu for children under the age of 30. Which is actually a good thing because you’d have to mortgage your house to pay for a family dinner.
But, if you are on a date, or with clients, a celebrating anything, you will not be disappointed. The food is great. The decor is innovative and calls to mind New York’s better restaurants. And, the wait staff is professional, in a community where well-trained waiters are sorely lacking.
The salads are fresh, but I recommend the beef tartare. Or the mushroom salad. Or, a better option is to skip the salad altogether. You will need the space.
The squash risotto is very tasty, but uninspired. A much better option is the Frankendel, which is fun to say and loosely translates to “$18 hot dog.” But, don’t miss it. It’s really good. (Also, don’t order it if you are on a date). If you are on a date, get the tongue. It is delicious and a great conversation starter. On the other hand, the sweetbreads are lost in a sea of distracting flavors.
The burger is one of the best I have tasted. And, the steaks are perfectly cooked. Skip the dry aged steak, unless you are trying to impress or have an expense account. Better options are the rib eyes and Hanger steaks. Or, go for the veal. It was excellent.
The chicken was very good, even when they called it “Duck–two ways.” Both ways tasted exactly like chicken but for $12 more.
The sides were acceptable. I liked all three onion rings. No need to be concerned that you will fill up on any of the accompaniments but they definitely enhanced the main dishes.
The wine selection is also innovative for a local joint. The wines range in price and quality and the staff will actually help you pair your food with a suitable wine.
Bottom line: It is expensive but definitely worth the occasional splurge.
Grade (out of 4 stars):
Chances you will get tongue: No stars
Ari Weisbrot is a prominent litigator in New York and New Jersey, and moonlights as an occasional writer. You can find his popular blog at ariweisbrot.com Ari grew up in Teaneck and lives in New Milford.
By Ari Weisbrot