Very Local, Very Friendly
Noah’s on Front Street in Greenport was boisterously busy on a recent Thursday night. Small wonder, Chef Noah Schwartz has built a reputation as a North Fork restaurateur who spins high quality, local ingredients in new directions.
The décor at Noah’s is modern, spare. It’s a tasteful, cool setting that provides a marked contrast to the warm, friendly atmosphere.
Served in Tastes, Small Plates and Full Plates, there’s always something new and there’s always a Raw Bar featuring Noah’s Seafood Tower of lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams and ceviche.
While waiting for our server Dawn to bring our first items, I realized that whipped, fluffy butter makes me happier than regular butter. I also downed a Greenport Ginger, that’s Ketel One Citron, Fever Tree Ginger Beer and fresh lime. A touch sweet with a bit of bite, nice. My husband ordered up a martini of Hendrick’s gin with an olive straight up, which he found “fine, crisp.” The full bar’s many options include Blue Point IPA and Southampton Publick House’s Double White. The wine list boasts local faves from Lieb, Paumanok, Peconic Bay, Raphael, Shinn and Sparkling Pointe.
Husband was tempted by both the Crescent Farm Duck Rillette of duck confit pâté on grilled crostini and a special – Local Sea Scallop Ceviche with yuzu and chillies. He settled on the Grilled Sardines with piquillo peppers, a very lemony aioli and basil to start. He found the fishies “briny good” and crunchy. He followed them up with a Small Plate of Local Calamari Fritto Misto. Dawn suggested a glass of Anomaly Pinot Noir Blanc from Anthony Nappa to pair. It’s a white wine with a pronounced strawberry finish – quite fun. In addition to the fried calamari there was rock shrimp, fennel and green beans with the lemon aioli. He thought the green beans were a nice touch and I can attest that the fennel is surprisingly luscious. The aioli was more lemony than he bargained for, but not overwhelming.
If two or three small plates are plenty for most people, well…Husband went on to another special, the Pulled Pork Toastaditas with salsa verde, guacamole, red onion and queso fresco. He found the pork overwhelmed by the fresh mint so we swapped some food.
I started with the Warm Beet Salad of local goat cheese, arugula, hazelnuts and a tasty balsamic dressing. This is a profoundly earthy dish – I could have eaten it until the cows – or goats – came home. On to the Gorgonzola Rosemary French Fries. The fries were nicely done and not what I would call a “small” plate! I had Husband remove them to the far side of the table after I’d gobbled some – so that I didn’t hurt myself. We shared another special, a Tempura Battered Soft-Shell Crab. I’m still not sure why soft-shell crabs are insanely popular. It’s a crab with a soft shell looking back at you. But the bed the little guy was served on was fabu – asparagus, English peas, fava beans and fava leaves with a sweet pea puree, with a smoky Asian flavor profile. Love it. If you’ve never tried them: fava leaves are similar to spinach.
Woof! Those small plates add up. We were so full we passed on dessert! Maybe next time I’m in Greenport I’ll try Noah’s Warm Lobster Roll. Noah himself is so trim – does he really dream up all these dishes? I “blame” the precision and consistency of the dishes on his very German sous chef, Frank Moeller. Noah says Moeller is a yeller.
Noah’s, 136 Front Street, Greenport. 631-477-6720, www.chefnoahs.com.