Taste | Nuno's Bistro & Bar
Written By: Chef Alex Rivas
Photographed By: Alazzia Gaoay
It’s only the second month of the year, but it feels like 2016 is passing by fast. For this reason, writing "Taste" articles allows me to highlight sensational dining throughout the IE while relaxing and enjoying a nice evening and an even better dining experience.
When I was told that my assignment this week was at Nuno’s Bistro & Bar in Upland, I was excited about getting to know this newer location that is not far from our office. Nuno’s is located on the outer skirts of the Upland, California border on Monte Vista Avenue and West Arrow Route. It holds a beautiful location in a fairly new shopping center, which has been growing near the college center of Claremont over the years.
Located in the corner spot, Nuno’s Bistro & Bar provides an upscale indoor dining area. When the weather is nice, like the day I was there, you can sit in the patio area. When I arrived, I was greeted by Joey Medeiros, The owner as well as my guide for the day. Nuno's is Joey’s second restaurant in our community, and I was ready to experience Joey's menu recommendations.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so when I received my Crepe Iberian, it not only looked delicious, it was also a dish I made sure I finished. A fluffy buckwheat crepe filled with linguiça sausage and sour cream—this alone could be a dish. However this crepe was completed with salsa fresca, avocado and fried egg. I felt like I was on a patio in Paris enjoying an amazing crepe.
Honestly, this was one of the best breakfast dishes I have had in a long time, and who doesn’t enjoy crispy potatoes along with your breakfast meal? Next, Joey presented us with a couple different Tapas from the menu in addition to a small plate you will find on the menu in the coming future.
First I tried the Porquinhos—lovely sweet dates were stuffed with a sliver of linguica sausage, wrapped in bacon and glazed with a nice spicy honey sauce. The sweetness and spice cut like a knife through the fat of the bacon and really brought the flavors together. It’s safe to say you cannot just try one of Nuno’s Tapas.
The Porquinhos dish was followed by a Tapas item you will find on the menu in the near future—Crab Cakes. Each nicely fried crab cake was mixed with bell peppers and carrots and lightly covered in breadcrumbs. It was cooked perfectly. The crispy brown cakes sat atop a caper aioli, which was a very complimentary pairing. At this point, it was easy to see why Nuno’s has become a local’s new favorite place to grab a dish.
Keeping with the seafood variety, Joey picked the Vieiras as the next Tapas to taste. The scallops were prepared so beautifully; even Chef Ramsey would be proud of these and not yell at someone like on Hell’s Kitchen. From there they were topped with a little bit of shaven linguica. Nuno’s signature recipe of this sausage was amazing; I only wished they sold them to take home.
The scallops were served with pico de gallo and also topped with piri piri sauce. Piri piri is a Portuguese sauce, made up of crushed chilies, a handful of seasonings, some citrus peel and juices. If you’re a hot sauce person, then you’ll love it—piri piri is made to give you heat but doesn’t linger on your tongue forever.
Speaking of hot sauce, next I had the pleasure of trying the very popular entrée, Piri Piri Chicken. Nuno’s serves you half an organic chicken seasoned and basted in a mild piri piri sauce. It was paired nicely with lovely fried potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Last but not least of the dinner dishes was the Paella Valenciana, a traditional Spanish paella of mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, chicken breast and linguiça cooked in saffron rice. Every component of the dish was very well seasoned and flavored.
The dish was beautifully crafted and was one of the better paella dishes I have had in the area. The dish was almost too beautiful to eat . . . again just almost, as it didn’t stand a chance and was much appreciated for all its fresh seafood. Now that the meal had come to an end, Joey served two excellent desserts for me to try.
As I’m typically known as a savory person, this New Year might have me converting to sweets, because the two dessert dishes at Nuno’s had me in shock at how delicious they were. First I dipped into the Queijo Da Serra, which is a sweet cream pudding with cookie crumble layered in it. This dessert was very mildly sweet and very creamy and silky—it was just the right mix to help you calm down after a large meal.
If you’re more of a chocolate fan, the Brigadeiro was one moist chocolate cake you don’t want to miss. It is also covered in a chocolate sauce, which to me tasted more like a salted caramel glaze. It really knocked my taste buds away and had me eating cake the rest of the day.
Nuno’s offers a great selection of craft beer and a beautiful wine selection, so no matter if you have someone in your party who wants a nice alcoholic beverage. With other tasty drink options like a Tropical Iced Tea garnished with a blood orange or even a really nice cup of coffee, Nuno’s Bistro & Bar has something for everyone and will be sure to satisfy your taste buds all at the same time.
This impressive dining experience served testament to why Nuno’s has a loyal fan base. With fresh and fantastic dishes coming out of the kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I see this new gem only growing from here. I think 2016 is going to be a great year for food, as nothing we’ve tasted has disappointed in our community up to date.
Nuno’s Bistro & Bar, 2440 W. Arrow Rte., Upland, CA 91786. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 8a.m. to 10p.m, closed Mondays. The menu is limited from 2-4p.m. Call (909) 624-0500 or visit this website for more information.
Full Disclosure: This dining experience was provided complimentary by Nuno's Bistro & Bar, however all opinions expressed are 100% our own.