My Birthday Dinner At Noca (Review)
After months of reading the culinary kudos of Noca, my girlfriend took me there for my birthday on Friday evening. As a regular patron of many fine dining restraurants in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and one who is said to be more picky about food and service than Gordon Ramsay, I can categorically acclaim that Noca is the finest meal I have had in Arizona in years!
We began our culinary adventure with the Chestnut/Pearl Onion soup with the fresh foie gras filled ravioli. It was at this point, I knew I was in for one of those meals that you must tell all of your friends about! This soup, which I will be trying to perfect in my kitchen for weeks, was outstanding. Each mouthful of of the savory, creamy broth was heightened by the slight foie gras flavor in the ravioli and I could have happily eaten 3 more bowls with a loaf of bread and a a glass of wine and been quite content!
Accompanying our soup was a crispy-grilled quail with maitake mushrooms. The quail was grilled crisp and delicious and the mushrooms added just that perfect touch of earthiness!.
Having blazed through 2 courses already, I was ready for our entrees. I chose a duck breast that, once again was perfectly prepared. I am so pleased that the Noca chefs know that duck is best served medium rare, My girlfriend chose the skate and we each armwrestled over the moist fish with the crispy outside.
The staff was the restaurant was knowledgible, efficient and happy to share.
And finally, not to be out done, the cotton candy was a whimsical finale!
Elliot and his gang of foodies have this restaurant primed for success and I am counting the days until I return.
Thank you for the review. All of the dishes that you had are new to me, and I hope to get back, while they are still around.
Your comments also tell me that I was not alone (well, except for my dining companions) in my experiences, or that I just managed to hit them on "good nights."
I wish them the best of luck, and also look forward to returning. Certain aspects remind me of Kevin Binkley's. One plus for me, and for NOCA, is that they are closer to me, than is Cave Creek. Now, if they had only located around Tapatio Cliffs... nah, I'd gain too much weight trying out each version of foie gras, that they put on the menu.
re: Bill Hunt
If my memory serves me correctly...Elliot once worked for Kevin Binkley.
We love NOCA too...but we live down the street from Binkley's....so I am in the same boat as you regarding travel...but NOCA is worth it. We have a good friiend coming in town this weekend and it's def. on our to do list...maybe sunday night supper!! And those foie ravioli sound amazing!