Feb 13, 2011

More Food! NoRTH

"...just like an independent. See? 'Chain' doesn't have to be a dirty word."

- Texas Monthly
In Austin we're big fans of locally owned places. While I must admit that Team Black is not the best at being regular patrons of locally owned establishments, we do try our best for special occassions or dinners out where the motivation is more than "I don't wanna cook. Where can we grab dinner cheaply?"

Tonight we did a Valentine's Day double-date to NoRTH, a modern Italian place near my office which until Googling, I mostly assumed was locally owned. However, it is not but the Texas Monthly quote above kinda says it all: chain does not necessarily equal bad. (And you know my feelings about Texas Monthly: love.)

NoRTH, one of a small chain in the western part of the country, served us delicious Italian food tonight. I ordered the scallops with wild mushroom risotto. My first risotto experience, inspired by the many risottos on Top Chef, and it was excellent. I can confidently tell you this was one of the best Italian meals I've ever had.

The scallops I had in NYC were good, but it was really the fuschia puree that took the cake there. Here the scallops were delicious...possibly in a slightly undercooked way (it was much more appealing than it probably sounds). They literally melted in my mouth. And the risotto was so mushroomy! Yum!

I was also pleased with the calamari, bruschetti trio and the wine. The second and slightly more expensive glass of wine proved to be worth the price as it was definitely better than the first (and no, not just because it was the second; it was a full hour later).

If you are in north Austin and want a nice Italian place, let me be the first one to recommend NoRTH in the Domain.

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