GC restaurant frequenters have probably been to Novita before. It’s located on the strip of Franklin Ave which is GC’s version of “restaurant row.” A perfect location to grab cocktails with friends.
Novita had a lively bar scene when I was there on a recent Friday night with great music as well. Decor was upscale without being overdone. We had to wait at the bar for a bit for our table, even though we had a reservation (some kind of issue with their cell phone notification system). Whether this was intentional or not, their comprehensive wine list kept us busy while waiting. They had a really nice selection of French, Italian and California wines– you could pretty much find a bottle for any occasion. If you’re not up for wine, a glimpse of the drink menu showed an array of yummy-sounding martinis, like the Nutella or Limoncello martinis. Also a not-too-shabby beer menu- Magic Hat, New Castle, Dogfish and many more. Now, onto the food.
I must admit that I’m a bread girl who really appreciates good quality bread- thick and crusty on the outside with a soft interior… in case you were wondering. The Italian bread put out on the table was surprisingly good, however the waitress was unable to tell us which bakery it was from (even after some pleading). Having been spoiled by delicious bread in Hoboken, the Bronx and NYC and still on the search for the same high quality bread in suburgatory, it may be worth a little more detective work to smoke out the source of Novita’s bread. I’m always a fan of olive oil on the table too- leave the butter behind.
The shrimp scampi with risotto… if you’re watching your diet and keeping portion sizes under control, this is the entree for you. As an Italian whose used to “abbondanza”, the portion size was a little bit of a curve ball. Tasty enough but I prefer it made in the traditional style served over pasta, even though I do LOVE risotto.
Novita has a unique selection of thin crust pizza and the prices are very reasonable. I recommend the five mushroom truffle if you’re a BIG mushroom lover. What do I mean by mushroom lover? Well… if you eat, sleep and breathe mushrooms, then you will love this pizza, otherwise take a pass. The carbonara pizza sounded interesting (it’s made with sunny side eggs on top) but I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough that night. The chocolate soufflé with pistachio gelato for dessert was yummy but small enough that I could have ordered two. I rarely turn down a chocolate dessert when I see one on the menu, but I noticed some other items that would be worth trying- like the cinnamon zeppoli and the Nutella creme brûlée.
Overall, I would come back to Novita, mostly for the cool bar scene and wine list. This could be the go-to place if you’re looking for a great wine bar and a fun atmosphere to get together with friends for drinks. I might have difficulty choosing my pre-dinner drink though.