The new year brings new life and energy to Nouvelle
The bright flavors and colors of the food at Nouvelle are arestaurant signature, with gorgeous plates and bowls of sushi andsashimi, as well as a wide array of cooked appetizers and maindishes, tempting diners with a hot and cold menu of noodles, rice,meats and seafood prepared with Manhattan elegance at Brooklynprices.
But while the main entrance and intimate, white-black-and-bluehued dining room are well-known, the full bar and private basementdining room available on request, plus a backyard dining area openduring warm weather, are not.
We’re one of the few Asian fusion restaurants with a full bar[and] people don’t know about it, said Wayne Cheung, who handlesthe eatery’s marketing and wants to expand on Nouvelle’s loyalclient base. We control quality pretty well. We like to ship fishfrom Alaska because there’s no mercury – and we spend time onpresentation, too.
The sleek charms of the interior and attention to detail andflavor counterpoints can be tasted as well. Among the appetizers,Rock Shrimp Tempura ($10) was both sweet and spicy, crispy andtender – with the butter-soft shellfish morsels encased in atoothsome batter and a sauce that provided a flavorful contrast totantalize the tongue. Additional contrast was provided by the bedof baby greens; a sprinkling of sesame seeds was a perfectfinishing touch.
Honey Short Ribs ($8) were sweet and meaty, enrobed in a silkensauce that was savory and sweet at once, and garnished with a nestof swirling carrot strands, little cubes of cooked colored peppersand a dusting of sesame seeds.
The sushi Yellowtail Jalapeno ($12), one of Nouvelle’s signaturecold appetizers, was a citrusy, spicy, crunchy offering. Thebrightly colored jalapeño provided a kick that went well with theslaw on top of the yellowtail and the base of citrus sauce.
A winning entrée is the Orange Miso Sea Bass ($20) on a bed ofsautéed spinach and black – yes, black – sticky rice. The citrusflavors permeate this dish so that every bite of flaky yet firmmeat is soaked in fruity and savory sides.
Meat eaters will be happy to accompany their seafood-lovingfriends and family to this jewel box of a restaurant. The GrilledRib Eye Steak ($22) is one reason why. Three slices of theflavorful and tender steak satisfied without stuffing; the perfectaccompaniment to this wine-infused main dish was a scoop of butterymashed potatoes, to soak up the sauce and provide a backdrop forthe steak’s subtle interplay of flavors.
The Chef’s Sashimi ($22) or Sushi or Sashimi Omakaze ($25) are asymphony of the freshest and most beautifully arranged pieces offish. Our favorite were the sweet and tender morsels of crab. Thewasabi, which is made by Nouvelle, is strong, but delicious.
The presentation of the sashimi makes Nouvelle a stand out. Thespecial order Miso Salmon, came arranged on a bed of avocado in amartini glass, with a lemon peel winding down the stalk, a visualdelight that matched the perfectly coated bite-sized pieces ofsalmon.
Those who enjoy a drink with their meal can indulge in amartini. Nouvelle serves up 16 different types such as the BananaMilkshake, the Bulldog, and the Lemon Drop for $5 each.
There’s even a three-course dinner for groups that only costs$45 to $65 per person and includes an open bar. So stop by Nouvellefor a classy lunch, a date night or birthday celebration withfriends.
8716 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Open daily at noon, Monday to Thursday, to 11 p.m., Friday andSaturday, to 1 a.m.
Private parties welcome, maximum 30 people.