RestauRanting: Nuno's Bistro & Bar
Take your taste buds on a memorable tour of Europe at this contemporary bistro.
The same family that established Euro Cafe in the city of Claremont, bring the upscale Nuno’s Bistro & Bar to Upland, California. Nuno’s goes beyond Portuguese & Italian staples by offering a wider collection of European dishes embodying a whimsical approach and memorable flavor.
A 3-D stone wood oven in the open kitchen is quite the spectacle. The colors, mosaic design, and sleek motif captures the theme of the bistros’ decor.
The main dining space is nearest the kitchen between floor to ceiling windows. We hopped around a bit and also enjoyed the sunny weather in the nice patio. Mind you, we're on for a multiple course luncheon and if I had to pick the seating, it would actually be at the hip bar area.
The sleek bar in the form of a rectangular island, is surrounded by high stools with additional tables on the opposite side. Regardless of where you sit, you will bon appétit to “French Cafe” tunes in an upbeat ambiance.
The early menu is extensive containing items I would also order for dinner. Being served until 2 pm are: continental breakfast, crepes, tapas, artisanal pizzas, soup, sandwiches, salads and lunch specials. I am glad I wouldn't have to wait until dinner to order the paella because I could literally eat it any time of day. It is one of the best paellas around–hands down! I must say this bistro has become one of my top favorite eateries in the Inland Empire.
Throughout the menu, you will see linguiça as a common ingredient. When you see it on your dish you will think, "sausage." When it lands on your taste buds, you will think, "very good sausage." Linguiça is a flavorful smoke cured pork sausage from Portugal.
Café da Manhã : Breakfast
Tortilla Paisana ($11.95)
The beautiful Spanish potato and egg frittata contains the elements of a well rounded breakfast and makes a sophisticated treat. The Tortilla Paisana also has linguiça, bell pepper and onions. The savory dish is garnish with micro greens and complimented with Nuno’s red and basil pestos.
Crêpe Nutella ($8.95)
We also enjoyed the simple things in life with a sweet crêpe smothered in Nutella, topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.
French Toast ($10.99)
Nuno just took french toast to the next level. Fluffy brioche bread is dipped in special egg mix and cooked in a traditional manner. The fabulous toast is topped with powered sugar, maple syrup and an exquisite fruit compote that makes it so irresistible.
Crêpe Banana Flambé ($9.95)
With caramelized walnuts in cinnamon and brown sugar, the banana brandy a la flambé is that much sweeter. Indeed, going bananas for the sweet crêpe flambé.
Breakfast Sandwich ($9.99)
This is not your everyday breakfast sandwich. I mean... it is, but this one transports you out of Kansas all while making you feel at home. A fresh pretzel bun sandwiches the meaty linguiça, egg, manchego cheese and red pesto. It is served with fresh fruit or potatoes. The red pesto adds a pop of brightness that marries well with the spices in the linguiça.
Tapas : Small Bites
Camarão Á Bombeiro ($12.95)
I love the presentation of the Camarão! Shrimp and linguiça are meticulously placed on skewers, grilled to perfection and plated with piri piri sauce. The red sauce is well balanced, smokey, moderately spicy and I would lick it off the plate if no one was watching. These skewers were popular among my group.
Patatas Bravas ($6.95)
Potatoes are a diverse vegetable, can be prepare in an abundant of ways and are appropriate for any time of day. Here we have fried potatoes tossed in a spicy molho brava sauce. Much love concentrates in the spicy red, secret sauce which exceeded my expectations.
Almoço : Lunch
Paella Valenciana ($35.95)
Nuno's has one of the best paellas around as should be the case for a restaurant specializing in European fare. The Paella Valenciana is heaped high with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, chicken breast and linguiça. This Spanish dish is baked in saffron rice and served on a hot skillet. The portion is large and shareable.
Francesinha is the Portuguese in-law of the French Croque Madame and is worth every penny. A side of moderately spicy beer-port tomato sauce containing onions and garlic is a real game changer. I dipped the fries and sandwich in the red sauce. If I could also dip my pizza in it, I would. Double stacked layers of flat iron steak, ham and linguiça are stacked between slices of artisanal bread. The knife-n-fork sandwich is topped with melted Swiss and a fried egg. The lunch special came with perfectly golden, crispy fries.
Signature pizzas are made to order with hand tossed dough and cooked in the fire burning, stone wood oven. Build your own or select from a list of intriguing topping combinations. Here we have prosciutto, arugula, and mozzarella. The drizzle of balsamic glaze gave the pizza a hint of sweetness that made me go... hmmmm.
Tutti Mare ($24.95)
If you love seafood and pasta like I do, the Tuttu Mare has you covered. Mafalda, a ribbon shaped pasta is cooked with Manilla clams, PEI mussels, grilled calamari and the day's catch. A dousing of spicy marinara ties it together quite nicely. The dish is moist, succulent and rich in flavor.
Hora de Cócteles : Cocktail Hour
The full setvice bar specialized in barrel aged cocktails and bitters that are made in-house. The bartenders add extra touches that truly make these hand crafted cocktails a cut above.
Among the unique cocktails we selected a traditional Old Fashioned to see how it would compare. My foodie friends and I, selected a few more cocktails from the menu and were impressed with the flavor and quality.
Cócteles Globales de Ramón
In the mix: Herradura Blanco Tequila, Ancho Reyes Liqueur, Ruby Red Grapefruit Sour, Azunia Agave Nectar, Fresh Lime Juice, Tajin Rim.
Volo LA Paloma ($16)
In the mix: Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Angostura Bitters, Simple Syrup.
Old Fashioned ($16)
In the mix: Boodles Gin, Fresh Lemon & Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Giffard's Elderflower Liqueur, Egg White Whip.
Braso De Hierro ($14)