DINING OUT; A Seafood Stop on the Way to the Cape
By: Patricia Brooks
August 27, 1995
NOAH'S Restaurant in Stonington is no secret to those who make a regular
summer run along Interstate 95 to Cape Cod, as Stonington is a sensible place to
make a mid-trip meal stop.
Noah's has been a local hangout for many years. In recent times, though, it
has acquired a fresher edge, making it an even better choice than in years past
and better value than some of its fancier neighbors. Seafood, usually
premium-priced elsewhere, is a fairly priced staple.
There's certainly nothing fancy about this storefront restaurant, lodged in a
frame house on the corner of Water and Church Streets. Inside, the only nod to
modernity is sound-absorbent gray paneling on the upper walls and tiny garden
bouquets on each pink cloth-napped table. In addition to a small printed menu, a
large board hangs above the bar with daily specials (a few starters, 9 entrees,
Most specials and many regular items are seafood, as befits Stonington's
water-edge location, and are among Noah's best. A big bowlful of steamers, for
instance, evokes the best of summer and sea -- flavorful, briny, totally
satisfying. A shellfish appetizer, mussels Josephina, was also simple, but
deeply appealing: more than a dozen fat, sassy pearly pink mussels (though
several shells did not open), served with a bowl of herbed, garlicky broth for
dipping and sipping.
Garlic resonates in many of Noah's dishes, as in sauteed sea scallops (tender
and tasty) in a white wine and garlic sauce. Baked mahi-mahi, an evening
special, also sang of garlic. The fish itself was nothing special (with so much
good regional seafood, why bother with this?), but the herb-garlic sauce was
Cajun char-grilled catfish sounded right up our alley, fond as we are of this
fine-textured, sweet-tasting fish. But the wide black-charred stripes
obliterated the fish's innate delicate flavor. Buttery carrots and potatoes
boiled in their skins accompanied most of the entrees.
Spicy Chinese noodles, with scallions, sesame and a fiery red pepper sauce
made a palate-tingling starter. And as a lunch or dinner entree, consider the
daily quiche. Ours was green bean almondine with Swiss cheese, smooth and
custardy with a first-rate, buttery crust. At lunch, the bacon-lettuce-tomato
sandwich on whole wheat bread had the wholesome homemade taste that makes Noah's
a pleasure in an era when so much food tastes homogenized.
Desserts also have that Mom-made quality. This being the berry season, we
enjoyed blueberry-enhanced bread pudding and blueberry crumble, with a crunchy
streusel topping. Both were served cold; their flavor would have been enhanced
if they were slightly warmed, but the fresh-whipped cream was a welcome bonus.
Noah's is a real sleeper for those in search of knowledgeably prepared food
at fair prices in a simple, unpretentious setting. A three-course dinner for two
came to $41, before tax, tip and drinks. Entree prices include salad (with a
good mix of baby greens and ripe tomatoes), a vegetable and starch. A limited
wine list (mostly French and American vintages) begins at $11, with many
attractive choices under $25.
A LA CARTE
To judge by a recent experience of ours, it would be wise to carry a
calculator when dining out, to be put to use when confronted with one of those
bills in which tax is added, not at the end, but after each item on the bill.
When this happened to us recently, the tax total seemed high, and turned out to
be $5 more than it should have been. Diner beware!
Noah's Restaurant - Good
Water Street, Stonington. 535-3925
Atmosphere: Down home, garden flowers on
Service: Unsmiling, no-nonsense, efficient and quick.
dishes: Steamers, green bean-almond-cheese quiche, BLT, spicy Chinese noodles,
mussels Josephina, sauteed sea scallops, blueberry crumble, blueberry bread
pudding, creme caramel.
Price range: Lunch $4.95-$8.15, dinner $7.50-$17.25.
Credit cards: Mastercard and Visa.
Hours: 7 A.M.-11 A.M. Tuesday through
Saturday, 7 A.M.-noon, Sunday. 11:30 A.M.-2:30 P.M. Tuesday through Saturday,
12:30-2:30 P.M. Sunday. 6-9 P.M. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday.
Wheelchair accessibility: Street-level access, restrooms
through a work area and up a step.
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