Nouvelle 217 Grace Street, Norfolk VA

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Finally hit this place been waiting for a bit to let them get into the groove before swinging in.  First impressions I really like that the place isn’t pretentious at all when you walk it its small, open kitchen, and staff is very welcoming. I really am glad the idea of smaller more thought out food is making its way to Hampton Roads.

I started off with Kinilaw which is a Filipino type of ceviche I was excited to see this on the menu its something I make a lot and with Rina the owner/chef being Filipino I was excited to see what her roots had to bring. Kinilaw is a simple combination of fish with coconut milk, vinegar, chilies, ginger and cilantro.  Overall it was good, but not sure if I would pay nine dollars again for it.

The Good:

The overall flavor was good sweet, spicy, and a nice hint of crunch. The tuna was nice big chunks piled on top good flavor to them not overly salted, soggy, or killed with coconut milk.

The Bad:

The plating of the dish didn’t do it justice and hurt the dish overall in my opinion. The Kinilaw was piled on top of “Asian Slaw’ to me it looked and tasted like red cabbage slightly pickled. I think if this dish was to be reworked it would help it a great deal to bring it to another level. I would personally start with looking at the ‘Asian Slaw” it didn’t add much to the dish it just kinda sat under the Kinilaw to be ate after leaving a cabbage taste in your mouth. I would think about trying to rework the slaw under with ginger, scallions, cabbage, citrus juice/rice wine have those flavors help to elevate the Kinilaw instead of taking away from it.  Plating also hurt this dish the plating inside a martini glass didn’t really help see above photo. If I was plating this dish I wouldn’t use a cup or small glass as the serving vessel makes eating the elements together hard. I would go with a smaller bowl to mix them together or plated across a smaller plate to help balance all flavors.

Overall good not sure if I’d get it again maybe if it was reworked a little.

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Next up wast the 50/50 burger lamb and beef wont’ lie this was on the safe side for me to order I probably should of ventured out to try something a little more bold on the menu, but I was really craving a burger.

The Good: 

Juicy, big, well cooked! Burger was good well seasoned cook to medium as order nice and juicy. It hit the spot for a burger craving the Applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, smoked gouda, Gruyere, romaine, tomato on a Brioche Bun all worked well together.

The Bad: 

I personally don’t like brioche for a burger they always tend to fall apart which happened to me, but not the end of the world just think its a little dated. The fries let me down actually a lot I was excited for a french place to be slinging fries they weren’t anything great super soggy under seasoned eh..didn’t do it for me.

Overall I’ll be back going back great little place great owners who are willing to talk to the customers and the food was good I’d be back to help fill a burger craving again.

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