Location: 1724 Main St., KC MO 64108
Food: Gourmet hot dogs, house-made condiments and sides
Service: Quick counter
Price: $4-$6 dogs, $3-$5 sides
Rating: One napkin (with potential)
My life, it seems, now revolves around hot dogs.
It all started with a hankering for a Chicago Dog at the place that turned out to be Rock-n-Moroccan. That morphed into a decision to try every Chicago Dog in the city (still on the hunt - one more place to go).
Then Ink Magazine called for a quote in their latest issue, which features a giant article on the city's boldest hot dog eateries, with special attention paid to the same place this review is about: Dog Nuvo.
So what is Dog Nuvo? Well, right now it's a walk in, carry out only hot dog joint that consists of a tiny waiting area and cashier's counter with several outdoor seats lining Main St. What it will soon be is a full service, casual hot dog eatery with upscale, gourmet hot dogs, a dining room and even a full service bar. Simply put, from a concept standpoint, it'll be the Blanc of Hot Dogs.
Behind the concept and, most importantly, the food, is chef Marshall Roth who has run the kitchens in several of Cordish's P&L Establishments, as well as the nearby Hotel Phillips. His reputation as a chef precedes him. Would Dog Nuvo match up?
The outdoor seats are quite nice in that there are several tables that seat four people comfortably, and there isn't too much foot traffic on the sidewalk that might cause agitation for those trying to relax and enjoy their tasty frank.
Also intelligently planned and presented is the menu which has a narrow focus on classic and original hot dog concepts with homemade condiments and sides. I'm sure the temptation was there to play it safe and offer a burger, chicken caesar salad and club sandwich as a catch-all for the non dog lovers who might stop in, but they were deftly avoided in favor of a focused restaurant with fewer barriers in growing its reputation.
My selection on trip #1 was their Chicago Dog which I'll review as part of my upcoming Chicago Dog throwdown, but suffice it to say Dog Nuvo's Chi-Dog was a thoughtful representation of the classic with its own gourmet twist. Perfectly sufficient. Also on that trip I treated myself to a side (a large one) of cole slaw, which was creamy (maybe a little too much so) and, thankfully, not too sweet. It came with nice additions such as walnuts, sliced red grapes and thinly sliced red onion for some bite. This was a tasty slaw to be sure, the added touches giving it increased depth and textures that were appreciated.
There's more to come from Dog Nuvo. Some menu tweaks are inevitable given the youth of the restaurant, and they've yet to reveal the dining room and full service bar, which will completely enhance the entire restaurant's experience. So consider this review a sneak peak at Dog Nuvo; and so far, I like what I see.
Rating: one napkin (with a high level of potential for gaining another after the full rollout)