I have been waiting (excitedly) for the new waterfront restaurant in North East to open. I have always loved the dining space there, and have found it the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail and one of our gorgeous Great Lake sunsets. Now we have a restaurant that is worthy of the view!
Noosa ( I know, I thought the name was odd…but is is apparently a beach in Australia, not something used in a hanging or an odd breed of spotted horses) opened a week ago on the marina in North East. The space is still laid out the same as the prior restaurant, with a dozen or so small tables inside along with the bar, and a large outdoor patio right on the water. Those with boats can pull up and go directly into the restaurant.
It has been updated, and now has a crisp clean contemporary feel, all in black and white with modern industrial style lights, and spare succulents for greenery. Seating is new both inside and out (a small caveat that the inside seats are definitely not designed for plus sizes), and everything pays homage to both the view and the food.
Knowing a loving the chef’s restaurant in Erie (1201 Kitchen) I was looking forward to some innovative, fresh, flavor forward eating. And on the whole I was not disappointed. The restaurant wants to cater not only to picky foodies like myself, but also folks that just want to sit on the water and have good food. That’s a bit of a tough tightrope to walk, and I will wait to see if and how the menu changes over the summer.
For now, the menu gives us 6-8 choices in appetizers, salads/greenery and main dishes. We have tried four of the appetizers (Hummus, Grilled King Shrimp, Shrimp Ceviche, and Fish Tacos), none of the Soups/Salads (although word from two guests was that the Chowder was very good with a generous portion), and three main dishes (Kimchi Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken Sando, and Salmon and Grains).
The bar offers wine and beer from Pennsylvania, with good choices and variety. We tried several of the crafted cocktails–enjoying every one. There was a Vodka/Kiwi/Mint cocktail served over shaved ice, a “Gumnut”, which is another vodka based cocktail with cherry based juice, and their version of a Colada, again with cherry.
Appetizers range in price from $8 to $14. The ceviche was bright and fresh. The king shrimp (served with smoked prosciutto, saffron butter, baked lemon, basil and fresh cheese) was perfectly cooked with nice savory elements. The hummus was good, but not remarkable. The fish tacos (with swordfish, napa slaw, pork skin, lime and avocado aioli) were well presented, but had a smell that I couldn’t place…maybe it was the pork skin.
The main courses range in price from $12 to $26 (burgers to steak). My favorite was the fried chicken sando (old bay buttermilk fried chicken, shaved onion, pickles, noosa hot honey on toasted potato bread). The chicken was perfectly fried..crunchy but not dry and the accompaniments added good crunch and sweet heat. The salmon and grains (olive oil poached salmon, quinoa, roasted potato, lemon vinaigrette, herb salad) sparked some conversation between the diners. It was perfectly cooked and wonderfully presented, but I found it a bit bland (maybe a bit more vinaigrette) although my dining partner found it perfect. The kimchi grilled cheese (salsa verde, double smoked bacon simple salad, housemade pickles) was good, but slightly overpowered by the yummy salsa.
I will definitely be back to try the fried oyster po boy (which I saw walking by and looked great), shrimp fried rice (which a guest has told me was wonderful) and the steak and frites (again the word on the truffle salted-malt vinegar fries is awesome).
Noosa is open daily–except Tuesday for lunch and dinner, and is planning on some entertainment on the weekends.
11950 E Lake Rd, North East PA 16428