Nona Blue Modern Tavern occupies an anchor space in Lake Nona Village on Narcossee Rd. Think golf club meets medical club, if there is such a thing. The space is decked out in deep tones with heavy leather, brick, and wood. A sense of maturity takes upon entrance yet there is an air of casualness. Almost like it is okay to suit up and have a Fortune 500 business meeting or step off the links and slip into comfort loafers and shorts. Lunch crowd seems lingering with casualness and families. I can only imagine early evening happy hour showcasing young professionals in casual business attire rubbing shoulders with shakers and players.
The menu has a little of everything for a wide appeal. Their adaptation of menu categories I can only imagine translates from Shareables to Appetizer; Greens to Salads; On the Side to Sides; Off the Hardwood Grill to Grill; Nona Blue Plate Specials to Entrees; Sweet Endings to Desserts; and Soups well to just Soups. I wouldn’t say that there is anything adventurous here, but safe is good.
LIGHTLY FRIED OYSTERS Select oysters / Lemon caper aioli. The breading was a little on the heavy side, with oysters fresh and plumb.
HAND CUT 14 oz. NEW YORK STRIP Mac & Cheese Steak was cooked to a perfect medium, juicy, tender, great nose, a hearty chunk of meat. Mac and cheese was creamy and rich.
NORTH ATLANTIC SALMON Chilled quinoa salad Fish was grilled to a perfect flaky tenderness, light seasoning allowed the fish to shine in all it’s glory. It’s been a while that I came across such a great piece of cooked salmon. The salad was nutty and dense. Cole slaw was crisp and fresh.
E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Syrah was a great accompaniment to both fish and meat. The medium body well balanced, spicy smokiness lingered for a minute before vanishing.
When I am greeted by one person at a table and offered to order a drink, then another person approaches to continue the service it leaves me a little baffled. Maybe there is a rule here to greet at a designed time, regardless of who is greeting. Service continued without much fanfare and very cordial. The casualness is very approachable.
Given that there are stirrings of golf pros ownership, already star sightings and another location in the making, this concept seems poised to fill a niche. Any place that wafts food from the road has my attention.