by Carly Schorman
As an avid book lover and regular weekend bruncher, I was excited to hear about a new spot called The Novelist popping up in the O.H.S.O. Brewery complex in Downtown Gilbert. Promising inventive American cuisine in a literary setting, The Novelist offers a culinary experience that adheres to plot structure.
Don’t skip past the “Introduction” or you could miss out on the Covenant Ceviche or crispy Brussels Sprouts served with dual dipping sauces. And let’s not forget about the four types of nachos available at The Novelist, including Rojo Beef or Pastrami Nachos.
Once you complete the introduction, you can continue with the “Rising Action” (one of three adventurous salads) or move on directly to the “Climax” (the main course).
I opted for the namesake dish, The Novelist Ravioli, which combines mushroom ravioli, lobster cream sauce, garlic shrimp, baby zucchini, and paddy pan squash for an indulgent meal worth writing home about. Other highlights from the Climax range from burgers and sandwiches to Seasonal Seabass served with quinoa salad and seasonal vegetables in buerre blanc sauce.
For the vegetarians in your group, I suggest looking into the Kale & Quinoa Salad or the Arcadia Veggie Burger (guacamole included with no additional charge, obvi) while “Future Writers” can enjoy cheeseburgers, mac & cheese, or chicken tenders.
Amongst the options for “Falling Action” you’ll find Towering Chocolate Cake with raspberry sauce and fresh berries, the Liege Waffle Sundae, and a Whiskey Glazed Bundt Cake served with banana gelato. Why even try to resist temptation?
Of course, I was initially drawn to the restaurant’s bookish theme and inside you’ll find some fun nods to the written word, like a mural painted on a wall of books and thematic cocktails. I have to admit that the atmosphere is a bit more trendy that traditionally bookish… which will probably make the experience all the more enjoyable for the non-writers out there who don’t maybe romanticize the notions of dark or damp. This is more a place to meet friends for a lively Happy Hour than a dismal bar to drink away your writer’s block woes. Some might see that as a boon.
And, when it comes to drinks, you’ll find a drink to suit your fancies whether your a fan of the old classics or contemporary writers. Be it the Moby Dick (D.i.C.K. Whiskey, lemon juice, Ancho Reyes, Iconic Ginga, Murphy-Goode Cabernet), The Gone Girl (Arcadia Meyer Lemon Vodka, Hop Thesis Liqueur, Absinthe muddled strawberry, lemon, agave syrup, champagne), and the Goblet of Fire (Zicaru Mezcal, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lime & grapefruit juice, muddled jalapeño, agave syrup). Not to mention the wide assortment of on-tap beer (compliments of the attached brewery) and a special small plates menu is available for Happy Hour on weekdays from 4-6 pm.
Every weekend, The Novelist holds Champagne Brunch if you’re in the East Valley and have a hankering for Plantain French Toast, Crab Cake Benedict, or Huevos Rancheros. And, yes, you can get the Towering Chocolate Cake for breakfast.