We just got back from our first dinner at Nopa--funny, since it's only a few blocks from our place. Sat at the communal table, which was fun, though next time we'll reserve our own table. Really enjoyed the whole experience, even the noise didn't really bother me, but it was a Monday night, so I'm sure it gets louder (though it was pretty packed). Got the arugula and shaved fennel salad which was light and spicy with perfectly roasted walnuts and just the right amount of salt. Husband got the "9 hour Bolognese with Polenta" and enjoyed it, though that seemed too heavy an appetizer for me. We both had a chardonnay to start--it was a bit dry for my palate, but it grew on me (only one on their list by the glass--French, I think). I got pork chop with cabbage and he had sand dabs and I was really glad he had some mashed potatoes to spare for me, since the chop needed a little starch. All the flavors were really good and I had a glass of pinot noir with the pork (asked our very nice waiter for a recc. and he was right on). Then, dessert--we shared the almond cake and a glass of Calvados and each had a cup of the wonderful Blue Bottle coffee. I wanted to keep ordering and to linger a bit longer, since the atmosphere was fun and lively (probably also because it was a rare night with a babysitter). Basically, I loved it--it's loud, but everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves and the staff was very nice and professional. Also nice to see a mixed crowd with all ages (there were three nuns sitting across from us having cocktails while waiting for their table!) It was a bit pricey (I guess when you eat at a communal table it feels like it should be less expensive), but the food was good and we have no complaints. I wish we could afford to eat there more often--great neighborhood spot.