The fussiest beverage, wine consistently complains about residing in boxes, getting spit into buckets, and being used to toast the completion of each installment of Rocky. Ignore grape-based gripes with today’s Groupon to The Nova Wine Bar and Restaurant in Hudson, Wisconsin. Choose between two options:
- For $25, you get $50 toward dinner fare.
- For $10, you get $20 toward lunch fare.
Scenically located on the banks of Saint Croix River, Nova boasts more than a century of history, dating back to pre-Prohibition years, as well as a selection of scrumptious, seasonal cuisine and more than 200 bottles of wine. For dinner, after an appetizer of andouille quesadillas ($9), traditional tastes can try hand-tossed pizzas ($12–$14), pastas, or burgers, and adventurous eaters can brawl with the Fighting Bison, a 12-ounce bison rib eye rubbed with blackened seasoning and gorgonzola to hide its battle scars ($21). Become fast friends with Johnny Boy, a pan-fried and almond-crusted walleye swimming in blueberry tarragon sauce ($18), or Georgie Porgie, a soy-braised, all-natural pork tenderloin paired with vegetables and rice ($20).
Lunch, offered from 11 a.m.–4 p.m., showcases lighter fare, such as tzatziki-topped crab 'n' tuna burgers ($8) and Chicken Duets, grilled chicken breast bathed in roasted red peppers, basil pesto, chipotle mayo, and compliments ($8).
Nova boasts a large selection of craft beers, along with rotating taps of local and specialty craft beers. With more than 200 wines by the bottle and a rotating list of 30 vintages by the glass ($5–$11), diners can explore a world’s worth of fine wine without stepping away from the crackling fireplace in Nova’s dining room. Savor a flavorful flight of three reds or three whites from the massive menu or let Nova's knowledgeable staff of sommeliers serve as guides on a quest to pair palates with tongue-titillating, thirst-quenching tannins and 30-something single tongues that love life.
- Try the “Artisan Palate” of four local cheeses, or the more hefty sausages in puff pastry, butternut squash ravioli, meat loaf, or blue-cheese mashers. – Beth Dooley, Mpls.St.Paul
- Given the historical provenance of the building, the wine bar's space is funky and fun, with lots of overstuffed couches, big tall chairs, and even a fireplace in the middle of the room. – Adam W., Yelp, 7/30/09
The Nova Restaurant & Wine Bar
When the Gaffer family describes The Nova as "an eclectic little wine bar," they're not speaking figuratively. This cozy spot was refurbished from half of the historic liquor store it's attached to, a liquor store with a cave that burrows 150 feet into the nearby hillside. The Nova is the Gaffers' love letter to wines, where chef Nate crafts seasonal menus inspired by the more than 200 bottles of wine onsite. And while pan-fried walleye with a cornmeal crust would pair nicely with a bottle of white, dishes such as the Nova dirty burger with mushroom-cream sauce would probably fare better with a craft beer from the restaurant's 12 rotating taps. As a proponent of wine, beer, craft cocktails, growlers, and all things spirits, the Nova and its sister liquor store often host events and tasting parties in the aforementioned cave.