This cozy Oak Cliff spot has matured into a dependable neighborhood restaurant. By 8 pm, the room was almost full and the bar was buzzing. The crowd consisted of families with kids, bikers, one all-girl party, and obvious regulars chatting with tattooed servers. The restaurant strives to live up to its gastropub billing but falls short on delivering consistent quality. I would expect a gastropub to offer more than 25 beers, especially when one of them is Lone Star. Our server recommended the Nova Ice Pick cocktail, which turned out to be a glass of iced tea with barely a hint of the advertised Van Gogh peach vodka. Perhaps the bar should serve it in a different glass—a server with a pitcher of iced tea stopped by and mistakenly topped it off. Kudos to the kitchen for hummus with a heady roasted-garlic flavor. The generous portion is served with hot, soft triangles of pita bread. High marks also go to the tender, braised rabbit thigh sauced with a carrot purée and paired with slightly wilted baby kale. Thumbs down to the kitchen for allowing the shrimp, served with ricotta and Parmesan gnocchi in saffron consomme, to be served at all. The unpleasant odor of ammonia made it obvious the shrimp was past its prime.
For more information about Nova, visit our online restaurant guide.