By Amy L. Schubert Food Writer Published Jun 18, 2010 at 8:14 AM Photography: Whitney Teska

On Wednesday, MOCT rolled out its new NOVO Urban Bar Fare menu, which the restaurant will now be serving 4 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

The popular bar and club, located at 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave., initially launched in 2004 with a full-service Serbian Restaurant, Café Fabrika, has been pretty much foodless -- save for special parties and catered occasions -- since Fabrika moved out in 2005.

But in December 2009, MOCT reopened the kitchen to shuttle out light appetizers including pizza, wings, fries and one token Serbian selection with a trio of bureks. Some seven months later, MOCT was ready on this warm, sunny evening to launch its new, full service menu under the capable hands of Chef Jeremy Hoch (formerly of The Social and Juniper 61).

With the large garage style doors open and lively music playing, patrons weren't deterred by a closed eastbound Pittsburgh Avenue in coming to experience Hoch's new menu. Bars and tables were lined with mixed bar nuts ($3) served sweet and spicy with sprigs of rosemary, and cones of truffled popcorn ($3) with essence of white truffles.

A table in the back offered guacamole ($6); chunky and flavorful with ripe avocado, tomatoes, and crisp light El Rey style adobe chips, and three chafing dishes of chevap, Serbian pork and beef sausage-style skewers with roasted red pepper drizzled atop; an exceptional take on shrimp with a tomato citrus sauce, served with cilantro rice; and surprisingly sweet, but very good Jamaican Jerk style chicken wings.

On the true menu, all these dishes appear with slight variations. The shrimp is served Mofongo ($12) over fried green plantains, the chevap ($7) appears in both mini burger or skewer forms with farmer cheese, and wings can be glazed in original, Asian mango, or the aforementioned Jamaican Jerk.

Servers also dropped off plated samples of the fish tacos ($11), soft corn tortillas with a tender piece of cornmeal crusted tilapia shining through cabbage slaw with avocado créma and chipotle aioli.

The added Serbian influence to the new menu is not to be missed. In addition to the chevaps, the bureks are now joined by Serbian pig in a blanket ($8), a take on traditional Serbian street food with Maple Creek pork tenderloin stuffed with farmers cheese and wrapped in smoked bacon; and a Serbian tomato and pepper salad laced with feta ($6). Another fun street food influenced addition welcomes pork rinds dusted with chipotle cheddar ($5).

MOCT is open early this week/weekend for the World Cup.

Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.

The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.

Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to