Friday, 24 June 2016

Nomad- A Main St. Gem

3950 Main St, 
Vancouver, BC 
V5V 3P2
Reservation required? Can be made on the website or by phone, walk-ins also welcome.  The space is pretty big, but you may want to reserve to avoid disappointment.

Atmosphere (5/5):
The restaurant, located at Main and King Edward, has a small and unassuming exterior that I happened to notice one Saturday morning on my way to the Nat Bailey Farmer's Market.  Although it is only a 75 seat restaurant, the room appears much larger thanks to impressively high ceilings.  The space is divided into an upstairs and downstairs, with a bar along one wall.  The seating is well spaced so we did not feel as though we were too cozy with our neighbours.  Space was jammed full on this Saturday evening and very full of life.

Service (4/5): Our main server was great, regularly coming back to ask us how we were liking our dishes and taking the time to explain each element on the plate.  It was evident that he enjoyed his work and took a lot of pride in working there.
The service started out very fast and slowed toward the end of the evening (we waited quite a long time for our bill) but this is easily forgiven as a party of 32 was seated about 30 minutes after us and we had been told that when we made the reso that day.

Food/drink: Nomad has a nice, tight cocktail list with signature and classic cocktails.  I loved the Holy Grail (server compared it to a Negroni, alcohol-forward, not so sweet cocktail) and my friend enjoyed the Femme Fatale (a little sweeter, to her liking).

Food menu relatively small (usually a good sign), and showcases local, Pacific Northwest cuisine.   The menu goes from least expensive, smallest snacks to midsize smaller plates to more costly larger plates.  You could easily pick an appie and main each,  but sharing is encouraged which is what we did.  I am pescatarian, but they offered to accommodate sharing by putting some of the meats that came in the dish on the side for my friend to enjoy (chorizo, pork belly) and serving the rest on sharing plates.  The sizes of the dishes were extremely generous for the price, but I still advise trying as many of the delicious dishes as you can!

Here is a look at the dishes we enjoyed (shared between my friend and I):

Roasted Beets and Grilled Gem Heats- The "jalapeño hummus" seemed odd on first glance but worked super well, as did the crispy onions for texture.  Definately a departure from your average beet salad, and so much more interesting!

Grilled calamari-  The thickly-sliced calamari was served over a delicious warm chickpea relish that I could eat on its own every day of the week.  The homemade red pepper sauce and chimichurri were exceptional.  There was a lot going on, but it all somehow all worked.

Herb potato gnocci- We loved this very generous bowl of light, pillowy gnocchi with a delicious fresh pesto soft cheese, diced portobellos and kale.

Northern Divine sturgeon-  This fish steak easily cut in two to share.  It as served with sun chokes and the most amazing shallot jam for a hint of sweetness that complemented the other components perfectly.  I also loved the nice serving of greens nestled under the fish (no veggie shortage here!).

And of course, you can never go wrong with a bit of chocolate cake to finish things off!  

Overall verdict?

With so many new places popping up in Vancouver to try, I do not usually make it a habit of repeat restaurant visits but I predict that I will find myself back at Nomad pretty soon.  This impressive Main St. gem is a must for anyone who enjoys local food, unique preparations and delicious flavour combinations.  Nomad almost certainly has a great future ahead!

Nomad Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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