Last night I returned to Nobo after a two and a half year hiatus. My prior experiences had been so abysmal that I needed the time before I could move past them. In the interim, Nobo got a new chef, Joshua Massin. He is not new anymore, having come to Nobo in the summer of 2011.
I am very glad to have given Nobo a new look as it is an entirely different restaurant today. It was packed on a Tuesday night, an indicator that others have taken notice. Our waiter was friendly, polite and helpful as was the rest of the staff I encountered.
I started with the spaetzle, which was a hearty dish full of veal breast (sous vide?) and peas in a poultry reduction. It was very tasty and probably could have constituted dinner but for the fact that that would not have been in keeping with my gluttonous tendencies.
For a main course, I tried the poached dark meat chicken. This dish really had a great deal going on – excellent braised cabbage, fingerlings, chicken sausage dumplings, leeks and a pepper aioli. It is an ambitious combination but one that I found worked well together while still allowing me to enjoy the individual components.
I also sampled the tuna nicoise, which is really more of a deconstructed tuna nicoise. The standout of this dish was the ultra-tender olive oil poached tuna. Frisee is not my favorite green; I find that it looks better than it tastes, lacks flavor and is a challenge to eat neatly. If the traditional lettuce is to be swapped out, I would have preferred either a green with more character like arugula, raw kale or dandelion. Alternatively, a bibb lettuce with a mustard based dressing could work. Also, I missed the traditional potato and green bean elements.
My gluttony continued with a generous sampling of the 20 oz. rib eye. It was certainly solid and was cooked to specification but I was glad to have been more adventurous with my own ordering. The accompanying mashed potatoes were overly salted.
Finally, based on prior reviews, I had an order of the beer battered onion rings. I am not generally a fan of onion rings, which, in the kosher world, usually consist of dark hoops of grease and freezer burn. These onion rings were delightfully fluffy pillows which were not the least bit greasy and which went perfectly with what I think was a chipotle aioli. I could see myself going to Nobo just for an order of the onion rings and a beer.
Nobo is not inexpensive but if you are in need of a nice dining venue in Teaneck, Nobo is now my number one choice.