NOVA- Scratch Kitchen and Hand Crafted Cocktail Bar

nova restaurant orlando

One of the best things about Orlando is their growing food scene. There are so many delicious restaurants around town that are putting Orlando on the foodie map.

One of those places is NOVA-short for North Orange and Virginia- located in the heart of the Ivanhoe District.

I was recently invited to a private media tasting event at this scratch kitchen and craft cocktail concept restaurant.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the friendly staff and gorgeous bar.

nova restaurant- orlando

The cutting-edge bar at NOVA serves everything from creative craft cocktails to boutique wines and local draught beers.

I wasted no time and ordered a Elderflower Spritz. It's made with Boyd and Blair Vodka, Bertina Elderflower Liquor, fresh lemon juice and topped with prosecco!

nova restaurant orlando- Elderflower Spritz

After mingling at the bar for a few minutes, we were introduced to Executive Chef Valintinus Domingo- the man behind the delicious cuisines at NOVA.

Chef Val graciously escorted us to our table and gave an insight of his culinary journey and the influences behind all his dishes.

"The entire menu is inspired by my lifetime of travels, while using local sustainable meats, seafood and produce. It is my honor to now serve Central Florida,” says Chef Val.

nova restaurant orlando- chef val
nova restaurant orlando

We started off the night by sampling a few of NOVA's most popular starter dishes.

nova restaurant - orlando


Cumin-dusted ahi tuna / house-made guacamole / flatbread crackers

Nova Orlando- decunstructed tuna tostadas


Basil and herb marinade/Burrata/toasted Challah/fig balsamic gastrique

Nova reataurant orlando- Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta


Point Judith Calamari/Sweet Thai Chili vinaigrette

nova restaurant orlando- Sesame Crusted Calamari

Whenever I go to a restaurant and see calamari on the menu, I get excited! It's one of my all time favorite appetizers. Unfortunately, not every restaurant succeeds in making it the right way.

Luckily, NOVA nailed it!

It was lightly battered yet still crispy with a hint of heat and sweetness. Perfection!

After devouring the starters, the owner, Mark Stillman, along with Chef Val, brought out all the mouth-watering entrees.

nova restaurant orlando

Since it was too hard for all of us to choose what plate we wanted, we opted on sharing- tapas style.

Best decision ever- and great tip if you're dining out with friends.

Nova restaurants orlando


Fresh chickpea salad / sautéed artichoke / heirloom cherry tomatoes / lemon-caper pan sauce

Nova restaurant orlando- grouper


Sriracha buttermilk chicken / braised collards / smoked Gouda mac n’ cheese

Nova restaurant orlando- duck fat fried chicken


Sesame-crusted ahi tuna / kimchi fried rice / coconut-ginger curry / vegetable stir fry

Nova restaurant orlando- aji tuna


Organic spinach and tomato / sherry cream

nova restaurant orlando- Lobster and Crab Ravioli


Short rib patty / Vermont White Cheddar / over-easy egg / pecan-smoked bacon / brioche bun

NOVA restaurant orlando- 1409 burger


Wasabi purple potato mash / roasted red pepper and ginger coulis / garlic broccolini

nova restaurant orlando- blackened mahi

I would gladly return and order every single dish. There is something for every palet at NOVA. 

Chef Val's worldly travels along with his southern and Pacific Islander roots - mixed in with the upscale American farm-to-table cuisine concept- makes the dishes at NOVA like no other restaurant in Central Florida.

NOVA only uses natural and sustainable ingredients from local culinary partners and purveyors, including Lake Meadows Naturals Farm.

nova restaurant orlando

To satisfy our sweet tooth, Chef Val brought out Crème Brûlée, Strawberry Shortcake and a Key Lime Oreo Crusted Cheesecake.

nova restaurant orlando
nova restaurant orlando

My favorite, hands down, was the Crème Brûlée! I may or may not have licked the plate-it was that good!

NOVA recently expanded its hours to weekend brunch on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

The brunch menu includes Crab Cake Benedict, Stuffed French Toast Sandwiches, Short Rib Burritos, Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Marys and much more.

Can't wait to return, especially for a Sunday Funday brunch with my girls.

Cheers to finding a great new Orlando food spot!

nova restaurant orlando


409 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32804

Phone: 407-745-4080

Hours: 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5-9:30PM

Posted on May 19, 2016 and filed under Around Orlando, Food & Entertaining.