A Noble Night Out

There’s something about The Noble that feels more like home than a restaurant, you know, if you had an awesome chef in your kitchen. The space is small (just six tables) and cozy, not cramped. It oozes warmth and casual charm. Roses made of book pages sit on the tables, the bar is lined with books, vintage illustrations grace the bathrooms and there’s a typewriter and croquet set keeping watch over it all. As soon as you sit down, you know you want to stay awhile.

The Noble wrapped in books

The Noble wrapped in books

While a few appetizer and salad items are always available, entrees change daily – the thing I happen to love most about this place. There are always “Hunter,” “Gatherer” and “Middle of the Road” options (meat, vegetarian and something else, often seafood, respectively). You never know what you’re going to be offered when you come in (unless you happened to check Facebook), but you know it’s going to be good – very, very good.

Promotions Director Ryan Schleicher and I were lucky to experience a wide range of what the fine folks at The Noble are capable of. Every soup I’ve had at The Noble has made me want to lick the bowl, and if you’ve been to the Rockabilly Chili Contest you may be familiar with the genius owner David Kressin puts into his chili. We started off with a little of both; a super fresh gazpacho with dill and a slice of avocado floating in it and a pork chili with big chunks of veg and a nice kick. God bless them, a perfect white-bread-and-American-cheese grilled cheese kept the soup company. Their food is always inventive, interesting and well executed, but damn! That grilled cheese! That is the kind of thing that can fix a really bad day. Ryan offered unheard apologies to the chef and dunked his in the chili, because that is a Ryan thing and he cannot help himself.

mussels luxuriating in a bath of curry

mussels luxuriating in a bath of curry

The curry mussels were served with grilled bread for which I was very thankful. What is the point of all that gorgeous sauce in the bottom of the bowl if you don’t have something to sop it up with. For the main course, Ryan had a flat iron steak with spinach truffle cream sauce, roasted root veg and kale. “I don’t often say this, but the kale is really good,” Ryan said. It was earthy and green with very little of the bitter that makes Ryan shy away from it. The steak was done perfectly, the veg were like candy and the sauce linked everything on the plate together with its spectrum of flavor.

Ryan contemplates his next bite

Ryan contemplates his next bite

I had the Asian noodle bowl, just the kind of thing to eat on a summer night bursting with heat and humidity. Tender and sweet shrimp, scallops and calamari steak were nestled in amongst the noodles, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, all of it wading in a light mushroom broth. It was so good we were wishing for a big tongs to feed ourselves, especially since there was some trouble getting the noodles to stay on the fork; the entertainment with the meal.

juicy seafood in an Asian noodle bowl, tongs not included

juicy seafood in an Asian noodle bowl, tongs not included

Once it is dark out, the place glows with low light and a certain tucked-in pleasure. The staff has the laid-back friendliness of people you’ve known forever, adding to that feeling of being at home. And though there are often folks waiting for a table, you are never rushed out; they know the value of taking a few minutes after a meal to bask in the satisfaction and joy of it. The Noble is the perfect place to do just that.

Ryan’s musical pairing: Belle and Sebastian – “Wrapped Up In Books” “I’m not one to constantly bemoan the loss of analog, but because physical books are not as ubiquitous as they once were, you don’t see design that incorporates books – shelves, nooks, cases – much anymore. Physical books, especially old ones, are beautiful objects and The Noble sets them perfectly within the restaurant design. We were indeed wrapped in books.”

by Frood Slam blogger Steph Kilen

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