Nudel in Lenox: Exciting New Work in Progress
- BerkshireTsarina Sep 17, 2009 12:57 PM
We had lunch today at Nudel on Church Street (where Dish used to be, for those who remember). Really exciting newcomer, only three weeks open. Open kitchen (if you sit at the "bar" you can watch. Tiny place, how they'll handle fame if it comes I don't know, but they've got good stuff going for them. At the moment open for lunch from 11:30 to 3:30 Monday through Saturday, dinner on Thurs, Fri, Sat, and plans for Sunday brunch. Things will be in flux until they find their groove, so best to call or check the website, www.nudelrestaurant.com
What we had for lunch: Chicken liver and almond pate on toasted sourdough with balsamic onions and local lettuces, and Warm lentil and bacon salad, lettuce and a poached farm egg. Delish! When's the last time you saw those on a menu in Lenox?
Lots of interesting stuff: I was tempted by Bone marrow bolognese with spaghetti. There was Parmesan spaetzle with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives, and a Poached skate sandwich with marinated white anchovies, Caesar dressing, and cucumbers. Vegetarians: How about Roasted garlic dumplings, roasted root vegetables, balsamic and rosemary; or a Beet green gratin, or a Sunchoke and roasted onion soup?
I felt like I'd died and gone to a heavenly NY Times restaurant section, modest but sophisticated newcomers' division! (Of course two couples walked in while we were there, perused the menu, then walked out saying, This menu's pretty far out, they don't have hamburgers. So whether they can make it or not, who knows?
)Some dinner menu items (evidently changes at chef's whim, this was for tonight) included Potato pierogi, bluefish, shallots, cucumber and lemon; also Braised duck, cabbage, udon, spicy sriracha broth. Vegetarian: Almond pesto and sourdough gnocchi, roasted apples, pancetta, sweet onions; and Curried chickpea and hazelnut stew, patty pan squashes.
They use a lot of locally sourced ingredients, from the usual suspects.
Until they get a liquor license it's BYOB, no corkage fee. Their coffee is Barrington Coffee Roasters French press, teas from Divinitea, and sodas are G.U.S.
Can you tell I am really psyched? James Beard Foundation has a category for chefs they call Rising Stars. Too soon to tell if this will be a real rising star or just a quick-burning meteor, but meanwhile I'm letting you all know. Chowhounds have at least one thing in common: they're not gonna walk out muttering, Too way out, no hamburgers!
Bjorn Somlo is chef/owner. I knew him many years back when he was sous chef at Helsinki Tea Room in Great Barrington. Great talent matched with a solid vision of seasonally inspired locally grown food. Good luck Bjorn!!
I went to Nudel for dinner the other night; they are very much still finding their groove and it's worth checking them out...I would say I wasn't entirely pleased with my dinner, but I think it might have been what I ordered, as my fellow diners were more pleased than me. I started with the mussel bisque soup...which was alright, a bit underseasoned...and well I guess I prefer mussels in the shell. I think that the restaurant would do well by having a few dinners that aren't pasta based; such as a steak or fish dish. There were a few pasta dishes with fish incorporated into the dish-- one of which I got...and I was let down by the amount of fish in it...it was in the sauce and not discernible...I was let down to pay $24 for basically a plate of pasta. I could have gotten the smaller plate which was much more reasonably priced, which I should have done. However having said all of that, the atmoshphere is very nice, the host/server was very nice and I think the concept is good. The menu just needs a lot of tweaking.
I got a sandwich to go from Nudel last week and will give it very mixed reviews. I called and ordered the pate sandwich and when I arrived to pick it up, I waited at the counter area. There were 3 (!) guys in the kitchen, one of whom was clearly the owner, and none of them even acknowledged my presence, and there were only 7 people seated in the restaurant at that point.. The server was missing in action, so I stood waiting for someone to wait on me for more than five minutes. Finally the server came out and handed me a cardboard box and the bill, which was nearly $10.00. When I got back to work and opened the box I was quite surprised to find that there was ONLY the sandwich (I guess I thought there would be a little "go with" for that kind of money). The sandwich was okay, although didn't have very much of the pate on it, but it sure had a lot of "local greens". I love good food and don't mind paying for it, but this had a sort of rip-off feel to it for me. I'm not sure I feel the need to go back any time soon.
We've had lunch there three times now. (Not yet dinner.) I still think it's an exciting place with lots of potential, very much still a work in progress. Yes, it undoubtedly will take a lot of tweaking. I just hope it can hold out until it does find its groove. It's imaginative in conception, and when it's on target, it's really on target! As for prices --- I compare it with Haven, and it's in the same ball park. Haven will give more trimmings on its lunch plates, but it will also charge a couple of dollars more. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them.
We had lunch there yesterday and were fairly impressed. I had the white bean and cabbage soup, which was a bit bland, but improved considerably with the addition of salt and pepper. My husband had a braised Berkshire pork sandwich. The sandwich had the pork (which was tender and flavorful), pickles and a spicy mayo. I found the pickles a bit overpowering, but my husband looved it. The pork was really excellent. For lunch, it's quite affordable. We perused the dinner menu, which looks promising.