Since 2013, No Coast Reserve (aka NoCo) has been serving up fresh and appetizing seafood to its customers, but its new location on College Avenue is a killer addition to Bloomington’s Town Square. Owner and Head Chef Seth agrees, “it’s not that easy to get seafood in the Midwest, but it’s not impossible.” With 18 years of cooking experience, Seth has created a delectable menu for everyone’s palate. NoCo’s menu is seasonal, and is currently serving up some dankness.
SpoonTip: If you are considering going with a few friends, order a bunch of things off the menu because it will give you the full NoCo experience.
Firstly for the appetizers, caesar salad is a must. Simply because there are avocados in it and the dressing goes perfectly with the greens and avocado. No worries, there is no chance of smelly anchovy breath after eating this salad.
For a final appetizer, I also recommend trying the olives. These juicy mediterranean olives come with warm bread that tastes like it was made in Italy.
SpoonTip: They also offer two soups made daily. Ask your server for the details.
Shrimp cocktail is a must because you can never go wrong with a classic, and there are three types of cocktail sauces. (I went the unconventional route and just ordered the appetizer in a larger size to have as my main course.) These honestly were some of the biggest shrimp I had ever seen, which at first surprised me. After the first bite, I knew it was love.
Besides the classics, there are many other options for dinner. If you like shrimp, but don’t want it as your entire meal, I would recommend getting the linguini. It is served on a plate with egg paste, cooked in a lite yet savory scampi sauce, and the plate is surrounded by rock shrimp.
If you aren’t interested in seafood at all, NoCo is prepared to cater to your needs. I would recommend getting the Vietnamese meatballs. Although this is an appetizer, it is a big enough meal if you get another appetizer such as a salad or soup. These meatballs are served up in lettuce wraps in a variety of flavors. They were not your average meatballs.
And to top it off you can never go wrong with dessert. The dessert menu had some classics like sorbet but also had some international favorites like bûche de noel. I would recommend getting the chocolate mousse and the lemon tart.
The chocolate mousse is topped with fresh made whipped cream, which made the experience of eating it that much better. Also, there was a chocolate covered cookie in the mousse.
And the lemon tart had a perfectly baked crust. It was served on a plate with raspberry sauce. The inside of the tart tasted like a lemon bar – it was the perfect texture. On top of the tart was a marshmallow-esque topping that was gooey, but not too gooey.
SpoonTip: Scoop the mousse on the cookie with the whipped cream. It will taste like heaven just got served.
NoCo is a restaurant you must check off your Bloomington Restaurant Bucket List. I guarantee you will love their broad seasonal menu. Don’t be nervous to try seafood in Bloomington, if I can do it anyone can do it. And remember one thing, seafood in the Midwest isn’t impossible!