Monday, February 22, 2010

Dinner at Noodle Pudding

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.

Noodle Pudding on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I ate here for the first time a few weeks ago and found the pasta dishes somewhat bland. I was underwhelmed, a feeling highlighted by all the rave reviews I'd heard.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

That's too bad. I've never had a bad meal here, but I've been disappointed at places that have a lot of hype. It can be dangerous to give a place too much positive attention, as it builds up the expectations.

Anonymous said...

Noodle Pudding is the best restaurant in the Heights by a pretty wide margin (there aren't many good ones, alas). The food isn't fancy but it's solid - the service is great, the room is loud, the art changes all the time. It's packed and they don't take reservations - so you have to eat early with the grannies or wait until pretty late unless you don't mind the wait. The prices are pretty reasonable. I've always been surprised that nobody puts up a comparable place in the Heights but they haven't. Henry's End, by comparison, has ornery service and food that is interesting, but not always in a good way.

FN said...

I concur, EIB, I've never had a bad meal here. Really enjoy this place.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

FN, I tried to write a comment on your blog, but it won't let me. Help!

BrooklynReBlog said...

I have eaten there and found the food to be fresh and refreshing! Being Italian from Brooklyn it feels like eating at Aunt Mary's house 35 years ago.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've always been satisfied at Noodle Pudding. Your photos are great!