Nomad’s charcoal-fired grills add additional pizzazz to bistro dishes

Gary Seman Jr.

Even Patrick Daly has a hard time describing his own restaurant, Nomad Hot Kitchen & Cool Spirits, which he thinks is more of a French bistro than an upscale one.

“I just think we’re more of a good restaurant,” said Daly. “There is something for everybody. I think there is a hole in the market that a bistro would be in. “

No story about Polaris-based Nomad would be complete without mentioning the two Josper grills, which use a Spanish technique of levers and vents to control heat. Both are charcoal-fired for high heat, but the Basque also used wood for a smoky accent.

Daly said a great example of the Josper and Bistro amalgamation is the steak frites ($ 38), a ribeye that’s seared crispy and dusted with salt. He said the oven draws the fat away from the flame so there aren’t any bumps that could affect the taste of the meat.

It’s coated in potatoes that have been cooked in Spanish olive oil, mixed with vinegar, parsley, and garlic, and finished in the Josper for a quick, hot finish.

“We really threw it out of the park with the steak fries,” he said.

The vegetable board ($ 15) features grilled asparagus, artichokes, green beans, and goat cheese with rosemary whipped cream, lemon, grilled bread, and Romesco, a toasted red pepper dipping sauce.

“It’s a lot of food,” said Daly. “So it’s great when a group of four splits up. If they want to try something they are not full before ordering something else. “

A layered bowl ($ 22) contains grilled Alaskan sockeye salmon, saffron rice, coriander mojo (an emulsion made from coriander, olive oil, and garlic), arugula, and onion with charcoal, red pepper, and tri-colored carrots.

The vegetable board

Not everything on the menu spends time on the grill. The salmon cake ($ 6) is paired with andouille cheddar semolina and a flavorful aioli. Burrata ($ 7) is served with crispy polenta and simple marinara sauce.

Still, the grill adds a thrill to most dishes, such as the $ 16 steak sandwich, which features the infinitely tender ribeye cap, cheddar, arugula, tomato, and dijonnaise on an artisanal ciabatta bun from a bakery in Pittsburgh used.

Sometimes simplicity reigns supreme: prawns ($ 9) grilled on a tray with olive oil and garlic are topped with a dash of paprika and served with toasted focaccia.

“It sounds so simple, but people say, ‘You have to fill the sauce,” said Daly.

At a glance

Where: Nomad Hot Kitchen & Cool Spirits

Address: 2050 Polaris Parkway, Polaris area

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed on Mondays

Contact: 614-505-8466,

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