We know that the weather is changing when Noosa Restaurant on the marina in North East opens for the season. We had heard that the menu was much changed from last year, so we visited two times to check out both the new and old favorites. See our previous blog which includes an interior photo.
The interior of the restaurant remains the same, a sort of nautical industrial black and white chic (with the same uncomfortable chairs inside). The weather was not cooperative, so we sat inside; the outside seating isn’t quite ready yet, although some improvements have been promised.
We are told that the two main items that have returned on the menu are the burger and the clam chowder. We tried the clam chowder and see why it has returned–plenty of clams and a tasty broth, without either the gummy flour taste or abundance of potatoes that ruins standard examples of this chowder. We upped the ante on the burger and ordered the Kobe beef version. I was surprised that we weren’t asked how we wanted it done–and questioned the server. She told us it is medium well…I asked for medium rare. The beef was super tasty; one the best burgers I have ever had, and well worth the price.
As a reminder, all bar items are sourced in Pennsylvania, so the choices for wines and beers are a bit limited. We opted for a couple of the specialty cocktails–the Noosa Colada made with Wiggle Rum, passionfruit, pineapple and coconut. Tasty–but hard to drink with a straw with the large flakes of unsweetened coconut. The Porch Bellini was very refreshing with a sparkling Vidal Blanc, watermelon and lime. A perfect drink for a steamy evening.
For new items on the menu, we tried the Calamari (wonderfully light and crisp in almost a tempura batter), the Softshell Crab Slider (same light tempura batter, great crab..but needed a bit more sauce) and the Queso Fundido with Chorizo–very tasty and a generous portion.
We chose the Grilled Scallops in Umami Butter and Soy–perfectly cooked, moist and flavorful, and the Linguine with Prawns, Nori Butter, lemon and chili. There was a good portion of shrimp (and not too many noodles) and a tasty sauce. If you are worried about the chili…it was very subtle…a bit too much for my taste. We also tried the Barramundi Fish Tacos; which had a generous amount of fish, but could have used more of the promised romesco, chipotle and queso fresco.
A quick glance at the menu might cause concern, as it was clearly designed by foodies. The food is expertly prepared and not as fussy as the menu might make it seem. It is not extensive, but there are a good number of fish choices, as well as the basic burger and steak for the purists.
Again we recommend Noosa for those staying at the Grape Arbor. Unlike many restaurants that have a great view..and are located on the water, Noosa has food that matches the view.
Noosa Restaurant, 11950 E Lake St, North East 16428
Hours: Tues – Thurs 4pm – 9pm; Fri and Sat 4pm – 10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.