Thursday, April 9, 2015

Food Review : Nuevo Date Night

A long ass time ago, I had heard about the creation of a new restaurant in Downtown Akron, Nuevo. It was going to be Mexican Fusion, whatever the hell that means. I was excited. There are actually a lot of really great restaurants all over Akron, but especially downtown, and I've always wanted to try them. With Adam by my side, I'm determined to try every one! So, I made us a reservation, and we dressed up fancy like, and we headed out to Nuevo.

When we arrived, the place was surprisingly empty. I saw a ton of tables, and I thought for sure one of them was for us. But no, I was totally wrong. We were taken down a steep flight of stairs to a basement and sat at a two-top up against the wall.

I'm just gonna say it : Two-tops SUCK. There is never enough room, they are always in some awful space, they are just a way to fucking cram a restaurant full of people. Already, Nuevo had lost at least one star in my book : a basement, a two-top, just ugh.

On top of that tiny table was ALL THE THINGS. What the hell is with restaurants, constantly littering their tables with crap? Can we just get rid of all the candles and instead have great overhead lighting? A candle doesn't provide me with as much light as the space it takes away from my eating. Candles are lame. In addition to the candles, there were menus, and napkins, and glasses of water, and silverware, and WOODEN drink menus, and so much crap that I couldn't even open the menu up on the table because there wasn't enough space. (I literally knocked shit off the table, including breaking a plate, and received Mean Girl stares from the waitstaff.)

Before I could even order, I was ready to leave. I wanted to be upstairs, not crammed down in the basement. I wanted there to be fewer menus...why are the menus paper and the drink menus are wood? Why does the drink menu have fancy margaritas AND fancy martinis? Nuevo needs a tip in atmosphere : LESS IS MORE. Also, I didn't like the server...but that happens. Our server was just awkward.

We were set up and ready to order. Obviously, I was going to try a fancy drink. After looking over the menu, I didn't know exactly what was fusion about it. Was the fusion because they had guacamole and poutine? Though they were separate dishes and not fused at all. It seems to me that "fusion" meant "we can't really decide and we just want to include lots of food". I mean, just call it a gastropub with Mexican influences. Whatever. I decided to go with a variety of side dishes because they were the most interesting, although, they were all basically corn.

We started with a side of guacamole for EIGHT DOLLARS! Yeah. I wish we had started with just chips and salsa, but the "fusion" part of this Mexican restaurant seemed to mean "no chips and salsa gratis". So we ordered really expensive guacamole where the "fusion" meant, "guacamole is anything with an avocado base and whatever the hell else we want to throw in there". To be fair, the guacamole was really good. But it was also really small. They brought us twice as much chips as needed for one side of guac, and so not to let them go to waste, we ordered another side of guac with more weird crap in it and more expense. The guacamole was delicious, but I can't help but wonder if the extra chips were a marketing scheme to encourage diners to order more expensive guacamole. I don't like feeling tricked, and I like even less feeling crowded, so I was not really feeling this joint. But still, we were there, and I had heard the food was good, and there wasn't anything so bad that I wanted to leave. I just wasn't really enjoying myself.

Adam ordered, like, an entree. I don't remember, but I think they were similar to a Mexican restaurant...they came with stuff and sides. Whatever. I didn't eat it. I ordered a ton of side dishes as well as two margaritas and a dessert. Pictured above are Adam's dish with poutine and other stuff and then my plate with: huitlacoche spoon bread, calabacitas, and root fries. There was also polenta somewhere in the mix. Here are my thoughts based on the notes I wrote while we were eating:

Poutine : yummy...DIVINE pork
Polenta : bland...is it supposed to be?
Calabacitas : meh...ok
Huitlacoche spoon bread : YUMMY!
Root fries : good (side of habanero ketchup is spicy!)
Margaritas : guava and prickly pear...good

I wasn't particularly wowed by anything, honestly. I can get better poutine at Bar 145 and like everything else that comes with it. I can get cheaper guacamole ANYWHERE ELSE and who cares about the extra crap added in? I can find recipes for the other sides online, if I want. I didn't like the root fries enough to sing their praises or to return just for them. The polenta and calabacitas were not worth a return visit at all. Add all this "meh" to the atmosphere, and I'd advise against going to Nuevo. It's just really expensive, honestly, and not worth the price.

But there was one saving grace...

The black bottom torte was THE BEST. The chocolate was the most yummy chocolate ever. I don't know what they did, but it was fantastic.

So here is what I say: If you want to go have some interesting mixed drinks and really expensive guacamole and then delicious dessert, head over there. Or if you just want expensive mixed drinks with interesting ingredients. If you want to pick up dessert to go, this is a good place for that too. But if you want to go to a fancy restaurant and enjoy yourself and feel like what you paid for what you ate was totally worth it and also have great atmosphere, Nuevo is not the place to do that. The atmosphere totally sucked, lots of the food was way overpriced, and I think "fusion" meant "fucking hipsters are at it again with their fucking overpriced nonsense".

4 comments:

  1. Lol! I loved this review! I love me some guac...and when it's done right it can be worth the price...but I'm not sure I'll make the trip to this Akron establishment :) Your pictures are so lovely though!

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    1. Girl, when you come to Akron, I have so many better places to show you!

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  2. I loved this review as well. I know, right. All the stuff on the table. Total distraction, maybe that's what restos do to cover up their incompetence and lack of personality.
    You rocked this and thanks for showing me the example. Kellie #daringcreative

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad I could help.

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