Photo by brandon hurd

Unpretentious with a technicolor flare, Nerdvana food+spirits is whole-heartedly devoted to video game culture. Also it’s an upscale restaurant and bar with craft beer and a bold kitchen led by Chef Mike Junio. The experience feels futuristic and yet classy. Almost a year out from their opening, tableside gaming and a play-inspired menu still stun visitors. The food remains not only delicious but really fun, like The Third Melt: Crab, a blackened crab sandwich topped with fried green tomatoes, roasted red pepper aoili and provolone cheese.

But once it’s time for dessert–what they call the “cheats” menu–Nerdvana takes a sharp left into Wonderland. And it is awesome.

The cheat menu includes such legends as Eternal Hot Chocolate, Claptrap’s Strawberry Shortcake and Bad Ass Boss Monster. Eternal Hot Chocolate appears like the fountain of youth: sipping chocolate topped with espresso cake, chocolate ganache frosting and a white-chocolate straw. Claptrap’s Strawberry Shortcake sugar-dotted shortcake is clearly homemade, as is the tall staircase of vanilla cream which finishes it. The Bad Ass Boss Monster is appropriately chocolatey and badass.

But months later, I recall S’Mores Duval  with perfect clarity. Let’s break it down: a graham cracker crust bottom layer, softened by a whipped-weightless chocolate mousse. These two mix together at the bottom, chocolate coating graham cracker bits until a strange alchemy occurs and they fuse into their own layer with the delicacy and richness of a truffle. It’s all topped with a heaping of torched marshmallow cream–not marshmallows, exactly but something silkier and a little less sticky–and what you’ve got is an airy masterpiece. Voilà.

Nerdvana food+spirits


  • Monday | Closed
  • Tuesday–Thursday | 4–10 p.m.
  • Friday | 4 p.m.–12 a.m.
  • Saturday | 10 a.m.–12 a.m.
  • Sunday | 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

Where:  5757 Main St. #112, Frisco

More:  214.618.9732 |

The Dish: dishes and drinks in Collin County you’ve got to try.