Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NOCA!!!

Noca RestaurantEdit 3118 E Camelback RdPhoenix, AZ 85016 (602) 956-6622

So! There are some friends that I go to dinner with regularly. And in December, we usually choose someplace a little nicer to go to. There is a restaurant called NOCA (which stands for North of Camelback) that I have been wanting to go to for a couple of years. They have had rave reviews. I knew they would be pricey but I wanted to go. So this year we made reservations and went.
It's a small space and basically in a strip mall. But it's decorated in an understated way, dark paneling. Lots of servers. They started us with some nice bread with olive oil for dipping. They handed us the menu, but also told us about the 4 course tasting menu. I LOVE tasting menus because it gives me the chance to try so many things. The tasting menu was 50$ for the 4 courses. If you ordered a starter and a main course, you were pretty much at 45$ anyway, so the tasting menu was also a bargain.
So my friend Penny, my sister Wendy and I all ordered from the tasting menu. My friend Cecelia and her husband marked ordered a starter and a main course. First they brought us all an Amuse Course, a free little appetizer. It was a miniature amount of avocado mousse with a spicy peanut and a bit of lemon olive oil, all served on a spoon in the middle of a small plate. It was quite tasty, with a lot of different flavors going on.
Then I got the "Bacon and Egg" for my first course. It was almost like a miniature breakfast. There was a small poached egg, that was dipped in panko bread crumbs after it had been poached and was then crisped on the outside. It was served on a small piece of toasted bread with a piece of crisped pork belly. On and around this were pieces of walnut, date and huckleberry. It was delicious and had all the tastes of breakfast.
My sister and friend both had the heirloom beet salad. It consisted of several different colors and types of beets all in a row on a long rectangular plate. There were also pieces of pear and sprouts and drizzled with a little bit of fruit vinaigrette. They said it was delicious!
The next course was a semolina pasta/dumpling with some local sausage and greens with a cream sauce. It was also quite tasty although, I still liked my first course better.
They brought us another little free course, a small serving of cream of turnip soup in miniature espresso cups. It was great!
Then came the flat iron steak. It was beautifully cooked and nicely sliced, perfectly moist. There was a small amount of mashed potato on the plate, but it was mostly just the meat.
Then yet another freebie, cotton candy in a bowl, for the table to share! What a fun touch!
And finally dessert. It was some time of very rich chocolate mousse, with a little cookie crust. It was served with a small amount of banana gelato. Perfect! Cecelia had a deconstructed cheesecake. All the flavors were there, but it didn't look like cheesecake as you were used to it.
It was a perfect special occasion meal, with lots of adventure and excitement with the food!
I would highly recommend it!

2 comments:

bandanamomtoo said...

I've totally been wanting to eat here - I'm so glad you liked it!

If I don't get a chance to talk to you until after the holidays, HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS! (and a Happy Birthday!)

Cathy said...

sounds very interesting & unique!