The Lower East Side is making quite a comeback these days. But it’s not going to be the way our parents or grandparents may remember it. It’s all about reinventing the wheel, so don’t let all the Brownstones or stories from “back in the day” keep from making the easy drive across the bridge.
When you go on a night out, it’s not just about the food. Food IS important of course don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the only thing I’m looking for. Just as the neighborhood is up and coming, one step in to Noga and I felt that vibe immediately. Clean and modish was my first impression. I was greeted and seated by the Maître d’ Sam who was as warm and inviting as the glow in the room.
Before looking at the menu I couldn’t hold back and take in the ambiance. The seating was spacious and cozy. The fine china and cutlery was modern, sharp and something I would love to have in my own home.
Let’s talk about what you really want to read about. THE FOOD! Now there’s a secret to ordering food in a restaurant that many don’t know, but I’ll let you in on it. The trick is to order course by course. Start with the appetizers. Enjoy the variety. Then move on to the entrees and do the same for the dessert. I suggest this because dining out should be an experience. If you place your whole order at one shot, you’ll be rushing through the dishes. The order is put into the system at one time, the food will be made the same way and served upon readiness. Take your time when it comes to fine dining. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the food and company.
And so that’s how my evening began. I started off with some appetizers. Now let me tell you this, each dish was presented like a piece of modern art in conjunction to the restaurants vibe.
Roasted Beets add to any dish with their delicious and rich colors of red and gold and sweet flavors. The one served was over house made ricotta cheese and house made butter pretzels.
If you know me, you know that one of the first things I look for on most menus is the raw fish. The Yellow-Fin Tuna Tartare with a side of Amarosa potato chips had divine mix of chilli oil and a citrus mixture.
The Roasted Squash topped with crumbled Goat Cheese along with the Truffle Caesar Salad were of my top favorites on the appetizer menu.
As I moved right along to ordering the entrees, I enjoyed the vibrant cocktails and Noga’s great selection of wines coming from the bar across the room. I sipped away on one of my favorites; Privilege by Shiloh Winery was a great pair to the evenings dining.
When I say wow! I mean WOW!
The Parisian Gnocchi made me feel like I was transported to a quaint side café in France with each bite. The texture so buttery I couldn’t resist putting piece after piece in my mouth.
The Grilled Black Sea Bass came apart effortlessly which made it easy to combine some fish with the crunchy Fennel and Arugula side.
I always appreciate something different. Noga gave it when ordering their Pistachio Pine Nut Crusted Halibut. Hands down UhMazing!
I try to be healthy in my food choices, and for the most part I was. But when pizza is on the menu, who can resist? The Chef’s Artisanal Pizza was perfect from bottom to top. The crispy dough was layered with house made organic sauce and topped with fresh Mozzarella and herbs. Heavenly!
When the desserts sound as tempting and delectable as those offered at Noga, you bet I’m finishing off my meal with some of their best choices. A Chocolate Glazed Crepe and Butterscotch Pudding topped with sea salt and a side of shortbread cookies and Chantilly cream were as toothsome as you would expect. My favorite of the night was their Flourless Bourbon Chocolate Tort. Woo Wee! It was abundantly flavorful.
Noga will definitely be seeing me again with more on the menu to explore. Like I said earlier, it was a simple commute from Long Island and positively worth it. With their trendy yet elegant touch, they are sure to have many more with the same experience as mine.