Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dinner Club Hits Noodlecat

Last night, the CLEDinnerClub hit up Chef Sawyer's downtown Noodlecat. Chef Jen Plank whipped up an excellent four course meal for us, highlighting the restaurant's Japanese-American style. Their standard menu includes noodles (made by Ohio City Pasta), steam buns, appetizers, salads, and desserts. We were treated to a little bit of everything last night. Except for a steam bun, so it looks like I have to make a return trip immediately.

First, out came a little gift from the kitchen- clam shooters (photo courtesy of Noodlecat's Twitter feed).
We shared some pickled vegetables at the table, and then started the four course menu with a chicken liver rice ball.
While the flavors were great, it was a little difficult to eat. The rice was tough to chew through. Next up, a standout course with the orange, avocado, matzuna, and trigger fish crudo with ponzu and toasted hazelnut.
This dish had everyone licking their bowls and wanting more.

The last savory course was just what I wanted- NOODLES! I was ready to get my slurp on. Lemon ginger dashi with a splash of garlic garam with clam and pork sausage dumplings, udon, and kale.
It was everything that I had hoped for, and more. The portion was huge, filling, and so packed with wonderful flavors. The pork sausage dumplings were perfection, but I could have done without the clam dumplings. It was an intense shot of fishy flavor with every bite. Luckily, there were only a couple in each dish.

At Noodlecat, slurping is encouraged. The cat told us so.
The CLEDinnerClub's fearless leader, Joe G., showed us how it was done.

Last course, was dessert from Greenhouse Tavern's pastry chef. Chef Danko created a gluten-free dish for us with all sorts of light and airy summer flavors. My favorite part? The first of the season Ohio strawberries.
Thanks for coordinating the dinner, Joe! And a big thank you to Chef Jen and her team for putting together a memorable meal. I am certainly kicking myself for waiting so long to get over to Noodlecat for the first time, but it won't be long before a return trip to test out their regular menu. The dishes featured last night are, sadly, not on the menu. However, they do offer specials each day.

The club's next outing is most likely going to be at Luxe, to see Chef Brian Okin's changes to the menu. Follow the club on Twitter (@CLEDinnerClub) for updates and to be added to the mailing list. Joe is also planning a more casual summer happy hour. It's such a fun way to explore restaurants, let the chefs have some fun in the kitchen, and meet new people that share your love for good food and good fun.

234 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114


bonnjill said...

When you do go back, be sure to order either the octopus or the pork miso ramen. Both are outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Do not make a return trip just for the steam buns. Unless its happy hour, they are overpriced and unsatisfying.

Bite Buff said...

Thanks for the tips, you guys! Yes, I would hit it up for happy hour. I know they are small, and catching a deal on them is wise. I do want to try them, but I mainly just want more noodles. Yum!

Amanda said...

I'm really glad you went and enjoyed! Those clam shooters looked really good (honestly, everything did, but I'm in a clam mood today).

If you ever need company for a Noodlecat Happy Hour, let me in - I love it!

Bite Buff said...

Amanda- wish that you could have joined us, but I'll happily meet you for a slurparific happy hour anytime!