Serendipitous Dinner in Dallas

December’s Monthly Wine Writing Challenge theme is Serendipity. The theme was chosen by Anatoli of Talk-A-Vino, who won #MWWC12. Big congrats to Anatoli! As you know #MWWC is organized by none other than the Drunken Cyclist; all wine writers are encouraged to participate. If you have a blog and have yet to join the fun please visit this article to understand the “rules of participation.” This article is my submission for #MWWC13.


Serendipity: A fortunate happenstance or pleasant surprise; a very apropos description of many of the dining experience my husband and I have shared together. My recent article “Fun Friday Night in the Burbs” would have been a perfect submission for the theme serendipity. Additionally, as you will read in my next article “Reigniting a Post-Thanksgiving Tradition,” even though our evening at the Dallas Stars game with dinner at the Audi club was a planned event, our waiter, David, giving us two to-go boxes filled with decadent desserts was definitely serendipitous! We have had so many serendipitous experiences with food, wine and travel that we frequently trust in NOT having a plan. So a few weeks ago we once again decided to head out on the town, hopeful for a fun wining and dining experience to a revitalized area in Dallas known as the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff. A few years back the city built a lovely bridge called the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. We can easily see the bridge from many locations downtown but had never actually crossed the bridge. Though it was a hike for us we decided to make a Friday night road trip to find a new place for dinner, somewhere across the bridge.

margaret hunt hill bridge

We landed at a hip neighborhood restaurant called Nova. It appeared it was once a Denny’s or IHOP or Waffle House in its Nova Logoformer life; however, now it has been remodeled to an eclectic joint with an impressive menu! Nova is a self-proclaimed gastropub “that continues the growth of Dallas’ most eclectic and authentic neighborhood…fill[ing] the void between an upscale restaurant and dive bar” and asks its patrons to think of Nova as “a place that has a funky atmosphere, comfortable bar and great food.” Agreed!

Nova outside

We began our time at Nova for a short wait for a table. At the bar we perused the wine list and decided to take a chance on a Pinot Noir neither of us had previously enjoyed.

Nova dinner AtoZ pinot noirA to Z 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir: This wine poured a lovely bright ruby into the glass and opened with a fresh bouquet of ripe red berries, fresh floral notes and earthy spices. On the palate this light and lively Pinot Noir delivered soft and elegant flavors of ripe red cherries, raspberries and strawberries followed by baking spice and violets with a touch of smoke and cassis lingering on the back of the palate. Though the Pinot Noir was light in body it was full in flavor with round acidity; a well-balanced wine. This Pinot Noir was crafted from grapes of more than 70 different vineyards across Oregon and approximately 100 different fermentations; therefore, this Pinot Noir is quite a testament to high quality wine making skill. SRP $19.00. This wine is well distributed but click here to purchase direct from the winery. I tend to be wary of Pinot Noirs under $20, there are certainly good ones available but not many, but the A to Z 2012 Pinot Noir was serendipitous! I recommend this wine.

Nova dinner pork gnocchi

Next, what to pair with our delicious wine. After surveying the well-balanced and mouth-watering menu at Nova we decided to begin our evening with the roasted garlic hummus recommended by our waitress. I followed up the hummus with Goat Cheese Gnocchi crafted from Shredded Duroc Pork, apples, fennel, almonds, chantarelles and baby kale. It was delicious! Soft potato pillows covered with pulled pork, and chantarelles mushrooms! The dish was savory and sweet and truly an amazing pairing with the Pinot Noir. A serendipitous dinner paired with a serendipitous wine! As if that was not enough our waitress once again made a dessert recommendation chocolate crème brulee. I was full, I am not a big fan of crème brulee, but chocolate…wait a minute, is there any wine left? Just a enough for each of us to enjoy with dessert…ok chocolate crème brulee it is. It was crazy good; mousse like in texture, rich and powerful. It was beautiful with the wine because the dessert was so rich the wine took a backseat to round out the flavors and bring some lively berries into the chocolate…Perfect! Who could ask for more in an unplanned, unprepared adventure into Dallas….a truly serendipitous evening once again! (I apologize for the picture qualities; the restaurant was quite dark.)

Nova dessert

If you live in Dallas you MUST visit Nova; if you don’t live in Dallas please come for a visit, there is lots to do here, and add Nova as well as the Bishop Arts District to your list of places to visit.

My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with the serendipitous evening of wine, food and great company is I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. The song is smooth and easy going with lots of flavor and enjoyment like the A to Z 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir and the great dinner at Nova; but more than that, the video takes me to two serendipitous vacations I have enjoyed in Hawaii over Christmas pasts. I particularly like the line in the song that states: “There ain’t no better reason to rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons” now that is serendipity!

Have your own serendipitous evening of good wine, food and company and let me know what song you would share with it. Cheers!

9 responses to “Serendipitous Dinner in Dallas”

  1. Well done! Must visit Dallas – food looked awesome and have enjoyed A to Z – nice pick. That bridge is stunning – with so much to admire, the food and wine, architecture and the Kimball to see, I need to visit Dallas. Thx for inspiring a trip. Xo

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