Went to Novo, a brand new high-end Latin at Hudson & Spring. This place has lots of things going for it. Even though they hard-opened just last week we had zero service glitches. The room was long, narrow and impressive. The prices were very moderate. The problem: The food needs a little work; some of it just wasnt very flavorful.
It's not quite a tapas-style menu, but definitely seem designed to encourage a lot of sharing. Apps $8, salads & ceviches $10, entrees $12. Many, many items sounded appealing. We had a tuna ceviche that was excellent, with lime, chiles and coconut, a recipe Im stealing for my next party.
But montaditas, thin-sliced -- yellowtail with a guacamole-sorta mixture on crisp toast -- didnt taste like much. Nor did the grilled lubina (bass), though it was perfectly cooked. Nor the grilled chicken. You know somethings missing when you get salsas on the side including mojo with piquillo peppers and an olive-tapenade-based chimichurri and theyre bland.
They also are employing one of those annoying rush-you-out-the-door tricks: There was no dessert menu, they just bring you a an espresso cup filled with a light, foamy flan (delicious BTW). I first saw this gimmick at Mermaid Inn and find it aggravating. (Is this common?) I merely encourages me to linger and order coffee refills rather than help them turn the table.
Theyve yet to finalize an alcohol license, but they have great elaborate fruit drinks, agua fresca and batidos
Despite the flaws, Novo looks sufficiently promising that well be back, probably with a business dinner crowd in the next few weeks.