By Pam Ohno
The newest addition to the PV restaurant scene is a yummy one. Last night Willow Logue and I gave Nona Blue a try. And while the massive bar is the focal point, the dishes we tried were much better than bar food. The owners want to offer an American menu at an attractive price point. Appetizers run $6 to $17, salads $9 to $18, handwiches (that’s right, NOT sandwiches) $12 to $16, entrees $16 to $42, and desserts $6 to $8. Don’t let some of the higher prices scare you, there are plenty of options in the middle range.
For appetizers, our favorite was the in-house smoked salmon dip on toast, which was loaded with salmon. Other good choices include the firecracker shrimp and the roasted vegetable flatbread. We loved the house made buttermilk garlic dressing on the house salad. Owner Joe Davi says they spend an extra $100,000 annually making the dressing from scratch at the Orlando Nona Blue and we believe him. The Tavern Grilled Chicken Salad also received good reviews.
The real standout of our meal was the Ahi Tuna Steak with Asian Slaw and Citrus Soy Sauce
The real standout of our meal was the Ahi Tuna Steak with Asian Slaw and Citrus Soy Sauce. Seasoned with a simple but amazing blend of salt, pepper, ground ginger and garlic, the ahi was perfectly seared and the highlight of the night. The owners take special care in sourcing the very best ingredients, and we could definitely tell from this dish. The fresh Asian slaw with a hint of rice wine vinegar was the perfect complement (the leftovers even received a thumbs up from my vegetable-averse son). This dish is a must try. We also enjoyed the G-Mac & Cheese – Maine lobster with Applewood smoked bacon and cheese sauce. It’s really impossible to go wrong with this combination. For dessert, we recommend the carrot cake and the brownies. And we hope you like your Irish coffee really, really strong. Portions are generous, or, as my South African friends tell me, typical American-size.
We would eventually like to try the steak, which is the dish of choice for Graeme McDowell. The New York Strip received the stamp of approval from a 16-year old girl there for her birthday (the staff happily sent over a special non-alcoholic birthday drink to help her celebrate). We also look forward to trying Mama’s Meatloaf and the Paneed North Atlantic Sea Scallops.
We give Nona Blue an A+ for service
We give Nona Blue an A+ for service. The staff have been training for over a month and they work hard. Nona received over 3,500 applications, interviewed about 400, and hired 100. While every new restaurant inevitably hits a few bumps in the road, the owners are very open to feedback and want to know about any problems or suggestions. We love that Nona Blue was quick to give back to the community; during their soft opening, they donated all the gratuities to Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund.
Nona Blue hopes to offer brunch within the next few months. They are also flexible and may modify closing time depending on what customers want. The bar is huge and will undoubtedly be a crowd favorite, and Nona also features a really nice patio for al fresco dining.
We are thrilled that Ponte Vedra has another great option for a night out, and we hope the community will support them.
And, seriously, try any dish with the ahi tuna. It’s just that good.
For more information, visit http://www.nonablue.com/