I don’t see many short restaurant report posts here, so maybe I’m out of line in writing this but here goes:
After spending 4 months in the restaurant desert of Palm Beach County (well, there is ONE restaurant that we go to often and love), taking time out for a two-week food in Spain, I returned to my home base, NYC, this week and could not wait to try some new (to me) places, and some old favorites.
First up was last night, when two of us had an early dinner at THE NOORTWYCK just off 6th Avenue in the WV. I don’t even remember why I booked this place cause I don’t see many reviews that I might have read before booking. Maybe the fact two of the staff hail from EMP, one from the food side and the other, wine.
We arrived on time at 6pm and it was pretty empty, but an h our and a half later when we left, the place was jumping (and yes, very loud) on a Wednesday night. Design wise, the room is sublime–cream and deep blue/gray were the 2 hues I could detect; comfy but sleek pumpkin-colored banquettes and booths, and black sconces fixtures so handsome, I wish I could bring a few home. Pretty simple, lovely paneled walls left pretty bare to great effect.
I wish I could have tried more dishes but the price, and the narrow tastes of my dining partner, stymied me somewhat.
Ordered a non-alcoholic drink but it never arrived.
- Lonza. This was described as “ham from Italy, like prosciutto,” which was not entirely true. Even a Google search turns up skimpy info and I was surprised since I thought I was pretty familiar with the various Italian salumi. Turns out Lonza is a speciality of Le Marche, cold-cured and air dried, but I’m pretty sure this variety (about 8 onion-skin-thin pink slices edged with fat and dusted with sugar, black pepper and other spices, arrayed on the plate) come from La Quercia in Iowa; they (LQ) call it “lomo,” and their site says they make it with Berkshire pork.
Hope to visit Le Marche in not too long and will be sure to delve into the topic of lonza more thoroughly but for now, I’ll say it was good but partner thought there was too much spice. Be nice in a little sandwich…tramezzino, maybe?
I loved the second dish, about three lengths of fatty cured salmon draped over a white cream puree (sorry, no clue) and served with thick and crunchy pickle slices that I’m pretty sure are made in house with a laborious process. Really good; I’d say this was an essential dish while it remains on the highly seasonal menu. Just terrific.
Each of us had our own “duck bun,” Noorwyck’s version of duck bao. Only quibble is that I wished that the duck would have been pulled rather than chopped pretty finely. Bread–cross breed between pretzel bread and a Parker house roll(??) was excellent, and the scoop of whipped foie butter that I jammed into the cut side of the bun didn’t take away anything from the enjoyment.
Finally, we shared a pasta dish; I think there were two on the menu last night ( in addition to a farro with seasonal vegetables,) one with ramps which I will make tomorrow night with the Greenmarket ramps, and the other, which we ordered: Caramelle, which are pretty cut pasta shaped to look like candies wrapped in wax paper and twist tied at the ends. Mixed with a good amount of shelled, plump and tasty mussels in a lovely and spiky pureed tomato sauce. That sauce was really good, and unusual.
Bill before tax was $114.32.
Caramelle with Mussels in Tomato Sauce: