I promised that I wouldn’t walk away from my first trip to NOPA without an adequate review. So, I return. I had high hopes for NOPA. With roughly 700 user reviews on Yelp alone, I figured there was something to talk about. The restaurant has quite a different feel from the typical San Francisco gem. It’s large, has an open kitchen visible from the main seating area, a bar, an upstairs and a communal table. I’d never sat at a communal table before and wasn’t sure what to think, but in the end, found the experience to be pretty comfortable.
For an appetizer, we tried the wood-oven baked beans topped with feta, tomatoes and breadcrumbs (something I’ll definitely be trying to make at home!). Served a cute little ceramic oval bowl, it was a delicious and hearty start to the meal. For our mains, I had the halibut–perfectly cooked and served with deliciously prepared vegetables over a light broth. Matt had the duck. Though I didn’t try his duck (the porcini rissotto that came alongside was creamy as sin), I was told it was the best duck he’d had a long time. For the prices, I felt that the portions were very well-sized and the flavors of the dishes were rustic with a touch of elegance. Overall, I was quite impressed. Unfortunately, neither one of us had room for the dessert, which I might add looked amaazing. The flatbreads being served around us were also appetizing. I’ll definitely be going back. If for nothing else, than to try the dessert!