Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
More Southwestern love….
Nava is like an old friend. I think about visiting yet rarely get a chance. But when I do, I’m reminded of why I love her. She is consistent.
Sure, menus that constantly evolve showcase a chef’s creativity, but there is something to be said for perfect duplication. You can count on the same bread, the same taco, the same fritters, even with a change in chef.
Nava’s Southwestern theme has remained intact over the years as well, with American Indian blankets, pottery, and exposed wood beams dominating the dining room.
Some dishes have been added recently to coincide with hot food trends, like their ceviche bar, a collection of six types of ceviche made with various fish and shellfish marinated with an array of accompaniments. And Nava hasn’t failed to join the taco bandwagon, with a whole section devoted to the craze.
Another example of sticking to what works is Nava’s green chile lobster taco. It was a Kevin Rathbun original and remains on the menu to this day. A simple combination of succulent lobster meat and a little cheese wrapped in a soft spinach tortilla, accented with cascabel cream, salsa fresca, then drizzled with tequila sour cream. I would have one for dinner, but first let’s start with the ceviche our group of four shared.
LC and I met our company’s marketing genius CF and business associate JH at Nava’s intimate bar inside. We considered checking out the patio bar but it was simply too hot. Instead we cooled off with margaritas, then headed to a sunny table by the window.
We chose two ceviches, one made with mahi mahi and jicama and the other with shrimp and jalapenos. Both were light and fresh. CF is from Mexico, and therefore a ceviche expert. Both of us loved the crunchy cubes of jicama combined with the citrusy fish. The guys made sure not a sliver remained in the dishes.
As LC tried to decide on an entree, the others had determined they would share a few things, including another ceviche and some tacos. Remaining true to form, I ordered the lobster taco. However, wanting to experience a little diversity, I also ordered the alligator taco with smoked bacon, candied jalapenos, and killer crema. It sounded fun, creative, and delicious, but unfortunately they had sold out. So, I got the smoked chicken taco, which I thought was the same as the one that used to be on the appetizer menu. When it came out I took a bite and realized that beneath the tender shredded chicken was a good bit of green chile grits. A drizzle of annato sour cream finished the taco, and despite my lack of love for grits, so did I.
Meanwhile, I had effectively coerced LC into ordering the only entree I had ever tried, the spicy jumbo shrimp. I remembered it was a rich dish composed of two small black bean and goat cheese enchiladas topped with big juicy shrimp. A pineapple scotch bonnet glaze provided heat. My fork kept finding his plate!
While CF and JH munched on their tacos and ceviche, I could hardly take my eyes off my lobster taco. I shared with LC, already feeling the heavy burden of cheese, tortillas, and the unfortunately awesome bread that our server delivered prior to our meal.
Nava is not authentic Mexican, but I think it’s safe to say that it is an authentic representation of new Southwestern cuisine. CF agrees, and she should know. Speaking of authentic, I have accepted her challenge to a guacamole making contest….aye carumba!
Another margarita for dessert and we were off in our shiny black limo for a night on the town.
3060 Peachtree Road 404-240-1984