Hot Eats: Vino Nadoz
Nadoz Cafe owners establish a new evening hotspot with the opening of their unmistakably inviting new wine bar and restaurant
I’ve been a fan of Nadoz Cafe for years. My love affair with their decadent, European-style desserts and fresh, artisan breads started when the original location opened at the Coronado in Midtown in 2003. Their ingredient-driven menu and casual-chic atmosphere then translated perfectly to the second spot at The Boulevard across from the Saint Louis Galleria. Well-known caterers and restaurateurs Kathy and Steven Becker have now ventured into the late-night scene with the opening of the charming Vino Nadoz wine bar and restaurant.
Conveniently located next door to Nadoz Cafe at The Boulevard—the two spots share a kitchen, and desserts made by the cafe’s in-house pastry chef are served at the wine bar (a beautiful and comfortable spot to sip a good glass of vino). Designed by Space Architects, the 50-seat wine bar is modern and warm, with bamboo, repurposed wood and metal beams and a sophisticated wine library behind the bar. A large floor-to-ceiling chalkboard dominates the back wall and features the daily desserts, cheeses and wine specials. Like the cafe, Vino Nadoz possesses an unmistakable and inviting quality that only the Beckers can accomplish.
“We’re a wine bar with a focus on seasonal and unique cuisine,” says Kathy Becker. With that, I would agree. The wine menu, created by wine specialist Walter Edwards, Jr., is a well-compiled list of international wines, with about 30 options by the glass. The beer list features a nice selection of local brews, including Boulevard, Cathedral Square,
Schlafly and Tin Mill; the cocktail menu is also noteworthy, offering several interesting options that call for syrups and are made in-house by Edwards.
While the wine does command attention, and rightfully so, the food plays much more
than a supporting role. The menu consists of deconstructed dishes and playful interpretations of classics with a few surprises along the way. A Brie and Gorgonzola “soufflé” serves as the latter in the farm pear salad, which is topped with dried cranberries, candied pecans and a sweet raspberry vinaigrette. The caviar deviled eggs trio is a bitesize version of the classic; each egg is filled with a different blend of vegetable puree of zesty red pepper, smoked basil and roasted garlic. The vanilla poached shrimp makes great use of sous-vide cooking and features delicate shrimp with a fresh vanilla and cactus flower vinaigrette. The margarita pizza, served incredibly warm on a wood board and topped with oven-roasted Roma tomatoes and sweet basil, is as fresh and flavorful as the Nadoz Cafe artisan focaccia bread it’s made on. Beyond the small plate options, there are a handful of signature plates available, including a hearty lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, a “degustation” of local and imported pates, meats and cheeses, and a light, open-faced summer squash ravioli—house-made pasta topped with roasted squash, spinach, small cuts of asparagus and ricotta and parmesan cheese.
Vino Nadoz Wine Bar
16 The Boulevard
Small Plates: $8-$13
Hours: Mon.-Tues., 5pm-11pm; Wed.-Fri., 5pm-
11pm (bar open till 12am); Sat. 5pm-11pm
(bar open till 1am); Sun. bar open 11am-5pm
Vanilla Poached Shrimp with Spring Cous Cous
Photo credit: Photos by Jennifer Silverberg