Sneak Peek at No Va

By Megan Giller  |  August 23, 2013

Last night we checked out No Va’s soft opening. The newest addition to the Rainey Street dining scene comes from Brad Sorenson, the “Next Food Network Star” who has brought his take on New American to Austin. The modernist building stands out a bit on homey Rainey, where most of the bars feel like reconstructed bungalows, but we were impressed with the space. Overall our meal was satisfying but not spectacular. But we’d rather show than tell, so take a look at our photos.

Also keep in mind that the soft opening is reservation-only and lasts through the end of the month; after that, it’s fair game for all.

  • The bar menu has plenty of cheap eats, like this mild $3 roasted-red-pepper-and-peach hummus.

  • The menu said the watermelon in this salad would be grilled, but it was compressed and fresh. It was served with a bit of arugula, pistachios and fried goat cheese rounds in a sherry-tomato vinaigrette.

  • The grilled striped bass stole the show, with a nutty coconut-cashew emulsion and a refreshing cucumber salad reminiscent of the traditional Thai green papaya salad. We weren’t too impressed with the cured pineapple, though, which tasted straight out of a Dole can.

  • The beet-marinated sirloin turned a pretty red color though it was a bit chewy, but we couldn’t get enough of the grilled green beans on the side. The potato croquette resembled mashed potatoes inside a cornmeal-fried crust with an egg yolk on top.