It’s Friday the 13th and Date Night is feeling lucky. We are back in Roswell where a couple of weeks ago we had a so-so experience at Mac McGee’s Irish Pub. This time, we head all the way to the NORTH end of CANTON Street, where we find NOCA. (Get how they got the name?)
It’s quiet at this end of a busy strip of restaurant fun. Unlike the south end of Canton Street (SOCA?), there is a little breathing room at this part. NOCA looks like another place that has been converted from an old house.
There’s stone, tile and wood in the small-ish dining room, which is quiet enough to hold conversation during your date. There is also a patio, but it’s 87 degrees when we arrive, which makes it too hot for us to sit outside.
As always, Date Night starts off with…beer! Some things never change.
Like the Christmas shopping season, seasonal beers seem to be coming earlier and earlier. We get two Sam Adams Octoberfests on draft. There are about 5 beers on draft and another 12 or so in bottles. This one is nice and malty and reminds me of some of the Paulaner beers from Germany that we enjoyed during Octoberfest last year. These are good beers from a large brewery. Ein prozit! Is it almost time for the Christmas beers?
The appetizer menu is extensive, with about a dozen choices. We could eat almost anything on this menu, but we go with the duck confit flatbread.
This one gets our taste buds quacking. There’s goat cheese, basil, grapes and fig jam on it as well as the duck confit. It is delicious, but my only complaint is that the crust could have been a little crisper.
It’s time to choose our main course, which again proves difficult. There are so many choices, from braised pork shoulder to short ribs to salmon to crispy trout. Our server Steven, who must think we can never make up our minds, is well-versed on the menu and suggests a few things. Staying with the Octoberfest theme, we go with the veal schnitzel.
It’s a large portion that has a tasty mustard sauce underneath so you get a little of the sauce with every bite. It’s big enough to split and we happily clean this plate of the breaded and thinly-pounded veal.
We also get a side of Brussel sprouts, because, as our avid readers know, we order them whenever they are available.
These are done with an Asian flair and are an excellent addition to the schnitzel. We still have not found sprouts as good as the Happy Belly food truck, so if you ever see that big green beast at a food truck event, check them out.
Because we split our dinner, we have room for dessert.
Again, there’s lots of choices that we are torn between, but I am a sucker for bread pudding. Throw in some white chocolate, and it becomes a much easier choice. This one is worth the calories. It has vanilla bean anglaise sauce, and topped with a fresh strawberry. We discuss licking the plate, but that would be rude. Or would it?
It’s much cooler when we leave and the patio is packed with people who are obviously enjoying themselves on the north end of Canton Street.
The bottom line on NOCA: Date Night approved! We will have to go back to sample some of the things we didn’t order. Excellent food and good service make NOCA a place you want to check out on the quieter side of Canton.