There is no other restaurant in Philly that’s as devoted to the pleasures of house-smoked fish and rich sauces scented with anise and mustard. The seared scallop appetizer comes over an actual mustard soup, in which house-baked pumpernickel croutons bob in broth that’s vivid orange with pureed carrot and mustard grains, then streaked green with tarragon oil. An even creamier mustard broth is the backdrop for a whole brook trout, its bones replaced with buttery Jerusalem artichoke stuffing, then topped with the peppery crunch of wilted mustard greens.
Before Lachman’s done with us, we will know our lohikeitto from our zuurkool, and how those creamy bitterballen pork croquettes clearly help foster a sense of genuine gezelligheid – even if that expression of conviviality is otherwise considered to be untranslatable abstract Dutch.
That’s because while Noord’s flavors may be distinct, it’s a kindred spirit to the legion of other 35-seat chef-owned BYOs that represent some of the best, most intimate aspects of Philly’s dining scene. With its penchant for updating rustic flavors rather than modern cuisine (sorry, no “new Nordic” crispy lichen here), I almost think of Noord as a northland cousin to Cypriot Kanella – but with herring and Smørrebrød bread samplers decked with smoked fish.
-Craig LeBan, Philadelphia Inquirer