Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 24: Nova

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Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

You could almost visit Nova for its dining room alone. The drab space offers an eclectic mix of '50s kitsch and post-modernism, while lamp fixtures explode with bursts of color and liven the mood.

It's simultaneously romantic and cool. Nestle into one of the booths that run the length of the restaurant if you're on a date. The lighting is low here, and it's easy to talk. Or pony up to the bar if you've come in alone or are feeling more social. Nova is one of those neighborhood hangouts where the beer-swillers are always ready to engage.

Outside, bicycles fill the racks and cigarette smokers commandeer the patio. Seeing them might convince you that Nova is more of a bar than a restaurant but you'd be very wrong -- there's actually some great food here.

For starters, the pizzas top many of the rounds served at comparable bars around town, and the rest of the bar food follows suit, often with a quirky spin. You want potato skins? Try them topped with smoked salmon and horseradish creme fraiche. Or maybe you'd like house-made gnocchi or a pan-roasted chicken breast. There's a burger here too, if that's what you're craving, but Nova isn't a burger bar at all. It's a great neighborhood restaurant, and you'll fall for it the second you visit.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern No. 26: El Ranchito No. 25: Cafe Urbano

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