Recently Nose Dive hired a new Executive Chef, Chef Spencer Thompson, who came over from Devereaux's when it closed this past fall. Both restaurants are owned by Table 301. I noticed a lot of Devereaux's influences both inside the restaurant and on the menu. They're now using some of the stemware and plates from the old restaurant. I also saw that they've added the tater tots and biscuits that Dev's used to have and have removed a lot, like a lot, from the menu. I'm sure they claim it's "streamlined" but it looks a little sparse to me.
I had originally planned on us ordering several appetizers and sharing everything, kind of tapas style. But with the exception of one of their appetizers, they are all either seafood or meatless. We were quite disappointed with the selection for that reason- there just wasn't enough variety to choose from. And imagine if you don't eat seafood- your choices jump from seven to four. Slim pickins.
We decided to go the more traditional route and ordered two entrees. I had the Pikin Duck, which was very tasty. Very crispy on the outside yet still tender inside. It was served over Laurel Aged Charleston Gold Rice with cherries that had been soaked in bourbon (I believe) for several days. The cherries were amazing, I think they rounded out the dish perfectly.
T ordered a short rib special, and he really liked the flavors. A little too pot-roasty for me. Everything kind of tasted like beef broth, but I think that was a plus in the hubby's book.
We never ever order dessert, but neither one of us were stuffed after our meals. The portions were much smaller than we anticipated. We chose the creme brulee, usually a safe choice, and it was perfectly executed.
While all of the food was quite tasty, we were disappointed that the Nose Dive we used to love doesn't seem to be there anymore. I don't think they've stayed true to their brand with these new changes- nothing screams "gastropub" anymore. It's more fine dining food, with fine dining prices, and a gastropub environment. If I'm going to drop $90+ on a dinner, I'd like a white table cloth, a waiter/waitress who knows the drink and food menus impeccably, and no TV's please. So I think Nose Dive has a big decision to make, do they stay true to their old branding and go back to their casual environment with bigger portions and better prices, or dress the place up a bit to match with its new more sophisticated and "streamlined" fare?