Chef Kelly Hightower’s Cuisine to Highlight Nova Menu

Ever heard of Kessler X+? Neither has Todd Johnson, D’s art director and knower of all things Oak Cliff. Anywhoo, it is minor news to a major-ish announcement: “The first gastro-pub in the burgeoning Kessler X+ area, Nova will spotlight the cuisine of Dallas native Kelly Hightower, formerly of Hatties, The Mansion on Turtle Creek, and Kavala, among others.”  (Someone please define gastro-pub for me. I thought it involved lots of beer.) What happened to tapas for bikers? Jump for details on “walkability,” “social hub,” and “globally influenced plates.”
Nova to Burst onto the Dallas Dining Scene This Spring
DALLAS—A group of well-seasoned professionals in the Dallas nightlife and restaurant industries have announced that Nova will burst onto the Oak Cliff dining scene this spring at 1417 W. Davis St. The first gastro-pub in the burgeoning Kessler X+ area, Nova will spotlight the cuisine of Dallas native Kelly Hightower, formerly of Hatties, The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Kavala, among others. The modern restaurant and bar will be designed with the neighboring community in mind and will serve as a social hub to a number of local community organizations and events.

In addition to Hightower, who was recently named to the Dallas Morning News list of
“10 Chefs to watch in 2010,” the Nova ownership group includes Oak Cliff hospitality pioneer and artist Robert Ramirez, who opened Twilight and Quinn to much acclaim. JD Reid and Darren Scott, who, while pursuing day-job careers have also managed to amass around 20 years in the service industry at such places as The Wine Press, Star Canyon, Cedar Street, Bolla and the Green Room. Matthew Yates, another Green Room alum who also spent time at Hibiscus, rounds out the group of owner/investors.

“We’re extremely thrilled to provide a new hospitality and design offering to the residents of Oak Cliff and the nearby Bishop Arts District,” Robert Ramirez said.  “We plan on being the western anchor of the Davis Street strip and want to contribute to the walkability of the neighborhoods surrounding us, while providing area residents with great food at reasonable prices. Nova will be a place you can drop by for a bite on an afternoon walk, meet up for dinner, or come by for after-dinner drinks in our creative, mid-century inspired space.”

The food at Nova will consist of carefully crafted, globally influenced plates with entrée specials changing nightly. Chef Hightower will also feature some of his legacy menu items that were very popular in the restaurant’s previous incarnation, including brick oven pizzas and his locally renowned hummus.

Among the initial community events planned at Nova include playing host on April 11th to CRAVE, an outdoor art and music festival that is part of the Oak Cliff Art Crawl. More arts and community-related events are planned and will be announced, along with specifics about the menu and an official opening date, in the coming weeks.

5 comments on “Chef Kelly Hightower’s Cuisine to Highlight Nova Menu

  1. I was always under the impression a gastropub is a pub that emphasizes quality food beyond typical pub fare while retaining the pub atmosphere. These places usually have a strong beer selection.

  2. Hey, I’ve always dug Hightower’s food. I don’t care if it’s in Kessler XYZ+. I’ll be there.

  3. You’ve heard of the Eagle in London (Clerkenwell)?

    Gastropubs were so a decade ago. But not as retired as Marco Pierre White.

    Ever notice we’re a few behind on the culinary curve. So it’s just about time to get around to a gastropub. And I guess I’ll continue to wait for a Portuguese restaurant around here.