Settling in for breakfast at Noah's Restaurant
Noah’s Restaurant on Water Street in Stonington Borough is many things to many people.
It’s a cozy spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner; a place with a lively bar and familiar faces; and, of course, the restaurant with the fictional “Nor’Easter Diner” mural on the side of the building from the Meryl Streep movie filmed in Stonington Borough a few years back.
I personally like Noah’s for its breakfast best.
The buttermilk pancakes come fluffy, two to a plate, and served with real maple syrup from Stonegate Farm Sugarhouse in Conway, Mass. ($6; $7 with blueberries). French toast is made from challah bread and served with the same Stonegate syrup ($6).
Three egg omelets come anyway you want them, starting at $9 and going up by $1.50 with every additional item, including Swiss, Cabot sharp cheddar, and American cheese, kale, spinach, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, Applewood smoked bacon and sausage.
Stuffed omelets look almost ready to burst as they come to the table accompanied by buttered toast and a side of home fries.
My favorite breakfast dish is the cheesy Portuguese baked eggs with linguiça sausage ($13). The eggs come served in a shallow dish with chunks of tomato and linguiça, and topped with cheese that’s been cooked to the point where it’s simultaneously gooey and crispy.
The paprika from the sausage pairs well with the tomato, and it flavors the eggs nicely. The dish comes served with a couple of thick slices of house made bread and home fries.
For the more health conscious, whose diets don’t include Portuguese sausage and oozing cheese, there’s the steel cut oatmeal ($3 a cup; $4 a bowl). Noah’s also serves Greek yogurt with house-made granola and fresh fruit ($7).
As I alluded to earlier, Noah’s is at its best when it’s doing breakfast. While the lunch and dinner menu has some bright spots and tasty options, I do think it could use a little help getting to the same caliber as the breakfast menu.
One issue is it appears Noah’s either doesn’t have a deep fryer or has one and doesn’t use it. This creates some glaring shortcomings in certain areas.
For instance, take the “Big Messy Dan Burger” with Applewood smoked bacon, chipotle mayo, avocado and American cheese ($13). One would expect this to come with a side of fries, sweet potato fries, home-made chips, or onion rings.
Instead, on my most recent trip I was given the choice of a few rather unfitting options that included griddle-made hash browns, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables.
To me, serving a burger with mashed potatoes would be like giving someone a bowl of clam chowder with a bag of pretzels instead of oyster crackers — not totally off, but kind of weird.
The “Big Messy Dan Burger” was enjoyable. The chipotle mayo had a little kick to it, the burger meat was delicious, and the avocado brought the whole sandwich together nicely. But I did wonder if Dan had cleaned up his act and started a lower calorie diet, because I was expecting something a little bigger and and a little messier out of the guy.
The scallop po' boy ($16) was another example of a meal with great potential that still needed some tweaks to be truly excellent.
It came with three broiled, buttery and crumbed Stonington Day Boat scallops over shredded cabbage, served on a house-made hot dog bun and topped with an excellent remoulade sauce that included capers.
The scallops were phenomenal, although I wouldn’t have minded a few more on there, even if it meant upping the price a little. The problem was juicy, buttery scallops don’t exactly lend themselves well to a soft hot dug bun. Simply put, this thing was falling apart on me from bite one.
And again, the side options were a tough sell. I went with the hash browns, all along asking myself, “Who eats a scallop roll with hash browns, mashed potatoes, or mixed veggies?!”
I also tried Gulf Shrimp pasta ($24) served with cavatelli, ripened tomatoes, garlic and white butter sauce. Overall, this was a good meal, with the shrimp being the highlight. However, it could have used more fresh herbs and other vegetables.
The Korean green onion pancakes appetizer ($7) was interesting but not overly impressive. It was made of mung bean formed patties and served with a spicy sesame soy dipping sauce that was a little too strong on the soy.
The kale Caesar salad ($10) was a bright spot: a mix of baby kale greens, shaved Reggiano Parmesan, croutons, and a creamy Caesar dressing that was applied a little too lightly for my taste.
The service at Noah’s is excellent: friendly, prompt and accommodating. The relaxed atmosphere and traditional diner feel is also a big selling point, as is the location.
Noah’s is a nice spot if you’re in the mood for a short stroll through the borough afterward, or a long walk down to Stonington Point.
Perfect for walking off a hearty breakfast.
113 Water St., Stonington
Food type: American breakfast, lunch, dinner
Service: Friendly and accommodating
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, breakfast, 7:45-11:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; dinner 5-9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday); Sunday, brunch, 7:45 a.m.-3 p.m.; lunch, 3-5 p.m., dinner 5-9 p.m.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
Handicapped access: Entrance is small step up; double-door entrance likely difficult to navigate by wheelchair; dining area is wide and open.
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