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Bringing it all back home

Novo Modern Latin Table embraces homemade Latin recipes
Peruvian ceviche de bay scallops. Photo by Todd Cooper.
Peruvian ceviche de bay scallops. Photo by Todd Cooper.

A sizzling combination of flavors, cultures and communities is spreading throughout Eugene as one local restaurant — Novo Modern Latin Table — is bringing “Latin flavors and local goodness” to the area. 

Novo’s head chef, Alejandro Cruz, was given the opportunity to help design the menu. “His mom says we stole a lot of her recipes,” owner Tim Murff says. 

Originally from Oaxaca, many of Novo’s recipes do come from Cruz’s home. “We make my recipes using the family foundations and adding our own twist,” he says. 

Novo’s food is clean and light, tasteful in appearance and flavor. Currently, the menu features, “Latin food with an emphasis on Mexican flavors,” Murff says. “But that’ll change, we’ll have Spanish, Peruvian, Argentinian — everything Latin.”

The concept of the food is home-cooking — Latin meals to be eaten together. The one-page menu is designed so people can choose something for themselves, or order a few things and share.

“At home, people put all the food on the table and share and eat it together, and somewhere along the line for restaurants, that changed,” Murff says. “We love it when people come and order a few things to share with the entire table.”

When asked what he recommends, Cruz points people to his childhood favorite: the quesadilla. “I choose the thing that brings me back to being a kid — and I loved quesadillas,” he says. “The simple flavors bring me back home.”

The mouth-watering tastes that stand out among the menu are endless — black mole masa flat bread, chipotle braised chicken, avocado serrano salsa, spices and cilantro and numerous Latin cheeses are just a few. Not to mention, the tortillas and many flavors of mole are all homemade. 

Novo pairs the food with perfectly mixed kick-ass cocktails, made to enhance the Latin flavors and leave you feeling refreshed. “We want to have one of the best selections of tequilas in town,” Murff says.

The food and drinks are matched by a perfected ambience — well-tended lighting, the right volume of Latin music and welcoming service allow the restaurant to have the desired neighborhood feel.

The atmosphere is far away from busy streets, yet central enough for anyone in Eugene to come in. In such an “eclectic and diverse” area, Murff wants everyone to feel comfortable coming to the restaurant and feeling at home.

“We want our restaurant to be a place where anyone can come be a part of something,” Murff says. “Food is a bridge to neighbors, to cultures, to friends — we want people to find that here.”

Novo Modern Latin Table is at 105 Oakway Center. Lunch hours are 11 am to 3 pm Tuesday to Friday and 12 pm to 4 pm Saturday, dinner hours are 4:30 pm to 9 pm Monday through Thursday and 4:30 pm to 10 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information see novolatintable.com.

 

Head chef alejandro cruz. Photo by Todd Cooper.

House-made tortillas. Photo by Todd Cooper.

Owners Tim Murff and Mon Sutthiwari. Photo by Todd Cooper.

Huarache de NY strip steak and field greeen salad. Photo by Trask Bedortha.

Tamale pork chile verde. Photo by Todd Cooper.