One of the most consistent and lovely places to have dinner in Brooklyn is Noddle Pudding (38 Henry St., between Cranberry & Middagh, 718-625-3737). Some say the name is off-putting or confusing. It used to be quite common to hear Italian-Americans refer to pasta as "noodles" and there's a dish of the same name that uses sweet ricotta as filling. The food and service are top-notch AND they operate their own farm in New Jersey where they grow many of the vegetables that end up in their meals. It's a favorite in my family and we often go there for special dinners out, especially when friends from out of town visit. We always get an order of the Fried Calamari for the table to start. A fresh marinara sauce is served on the side for dipping, the batter is light and crunchy and the calamari fresh and tender.
My mom is a sucker for Sardines and if they're on the menu, she'll order them. Grilled whole, they're presented on a bed of potatoes, tomatoes and sliced red onion. They're flavorful and delicious, especially with some fresh lemon juice drizzled over them.
The Fried Ricotta was a special appetizer that sounded intriguing so we had to get it. It, too, was served with marinara sauce and was incredible. The mix of soft and crunchy textures and the tangy creaminess all mingled together to create a wonderful dish to share.
I can't pass up Bresaola if I see it on the menu. Theirs was paired with artichokes and shaved Parmesean to make a rich, dry, salty dish that was fantastic.
On to the entrees! My sister always gets the Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Sauce. It's a classic - simple but done so well, with fresh basil and grated cheese. Part of what makes it so good is the sauce- it's not sweet, which I hate. It tastes like tomatoes, earthy and slightly acidic, rounded out with cheese and spices.
Noodle Pudding makes great seafood dishes as well. My step-father ordered the Salmon Filet with Escarole & White Beans. It's another simple dish, but it's delicious. The escarole is braised in a mellow broth, the beans bring a creamy texture to the dish, and the fish is fresh, nicely charred on the outside, yet not overcooked.
I ordered the Pappardelle with Mushrooms (shitake, porcini & cremini) in a cream sauce. The mushrooms provide a meaty bite and the pasta, fresh-made and light, is wonderful. It's the sauce that'll put you over the edge! It was rich and decadent and therefore best shared with someone else.
My boyfriend got another fish dish but I can't remember what he ordered! It was great though, with parsley, big slices of garlic and fresh basil on top in a lemony sauce. Nicely grilled, it was flavorful and tender and delicious.
Despite being pretty full, we had to get some dessert to share. One had to be chocolate so we got the Chocolate Tart with a scoop of Coffee Ice Cream and drizzled with warm chocolate sauce. It was rich, creamy, dense and incredible.
The other dessert we ordered was a Blackberry & Mascarpone Tart. The crust was flaky & buttery, the creamy filling was subtly sweet and the berries tart, combining to make one lovely dish.
One can't say enough good things about Noodle Pudding. It's great. Quality, delicious food, attentive service in a friendly, lively atmosphere.