Approachable Menu, Great View, Surprising Flavors at Noonan’s in Newport, VT| 07.18.19
Pros: Affordable; Great View; Full Bar; Plenty of Parking; Plenty of Seating; Family Friendly; Friendly Staff; Great Outdoor Space
Downside: Smaller Menu; Sometimes Service Can Be Slow Depending on Time of Day
Mountain Rating: 8/10
We recently ate at Noonan’s Supper Club in Newport, Vermont. We really enjoy this restaurant. Located at the Newport Country Club, but it’s completely open to the public. There’s plenty of seating in the restaurant dining area, as well as in the bar space, and the entire restaurant has a comfortable atmosphere – you really do feel right at home. Best of all is the wonderful view out the back windows and from the back deck, showing off Lake Memphremagog framed by trees. And if that wasn’t beautiful enough, the sun sets just beyond the lake view making this the best spot for end of day cocktails.
This year, Noonan’s has completely revitalized their menu, choosing to stick with recognizable dishes that are more familiar to the meat and potatoes crowd, as well as some lighter seafood and salad options that hit the spot on hot summer days. Beef or tuna burgers, a few sandwiches, chicken and biscuits, fried fish, pork ribs, a cheese plate, flank steak, poke, and chili are all on the menu – giving you a sneak peek into the varied options available at this Newport, VT restaurant.
On our first trip this summer we chose to try out a few of these new menu items – starting with the appetizers.
I ordered the prosciutto board served with Boston Dairy cheese. This was served with gherkins, a pepper jam and mustard with a bowl of blended crackers. The best were the fruit and nut crackers which added a sweetness to the pairings.
We also ordered the poke – which is an ahi tuna, cut into cubes, served with ponzu sauce, avocado, edamame, and mango. Now, I am not an edamame fan, but the light tuna served with that burst of flavor from the mango was just the thing to wake up my taste-buds.
This dish is a great choice for a hot summer day. Billed as an appetizer, there is enough on the plate for it to be a light a meal on its own. But shares as an app, it’s a great introduction to other meals without being too heavy or as an alternative to a salad.
Our friends ordered the fried fish bites; these are pieces of cod deep fried and served in a basket with a little vinegar. A great sharing dish, it is like the best part of fish and chips without all those French fries. These were very enjoyable, and I could see a basket of these with a cocktail as the perfect happy hour starter.
For the main course, we really delved into the entrée options. I ordered the chicken and biscuits made from scratch. The biscuit seemed like it would be quite hard at first but after a few minutes, the rich gravy soaked in, softening it just the right amount so that the biscuit held its texture and never became a soggy mess as I ate my dinner. The gravy, which included carrots and potatoes, was thick and flavorful spooned over shredded chicken. A hearty, home-style, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, this dish brought back memories of fall days, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
On this visit, my husband ordered the flank steak served with a blue cheese crema and sweet potato fries. The steak was cooked just right and lightly seasoned. But, the crema stole the show – bringing in the earth notes of blue cheese to blend with the sweeter juices of a medium cooked beef. Delicious!
A few of our friends had joined us. I was delighted they ordered the ahi tuna burger, as it was the next choice on my list. One ordered a side of crispy onions, and the other ordered the sweet potato fries. The tuna was cooked to a perfect medium, with a beautiful pink color on the inside. The tuna was topped with yuzu (a citrus fruit), ginger, and a wasabi sauce – a great take on Asian flair without being overpowering. All of this was placed on a house made bun that was like English muffin bread, grilled to a golden brown adding a nice crunch.
I liked the crispy onions over the sweet potato fries with this dish. The onions are cut in long, thin spirals, soaked overnight before being battered and fried.
We had such a nice time at Noonan’s that we had to go back. This time we swing in for some cocktails and a few appetizers choosing to sample the steamed pork buns from the pub menu.
I was a little skeptical, worried they may be too doughy. Not here! These came out with the most interesting looking dough folded almost like a taco, but the bun was soft with a light texture that blended with the filling. The bun itself was almost unnoticeable, letting that filling shine. Filled with cabbage, pork, carrot, and onion dressed in a ponzu sauce – it was similar in flavor to a fresh egg roll but with much more substance. We really enjoyed these and I envision a plate, or two, as a full meal. They are quite addicting.
Food, a view, golf, and live music are all draws at Noonan’s Supper Club. The outdoor space offers a fantastic dining experience. It’s wonderful to sit out in the Vermont sunshine, overlooking the lake, watching the sailboats in the distance or enjoying the sun set behind the horizon – it is really one of those views that’s hard to find from a public spot in Newport.
Every Friday night, live music fills the space. The main dining room has a wonderful dance floor providing the perfect opportunity for a night of dinner and dancing. As dinner is served 6-9 p.m. Noonan’s is the perfect place to start a night out, leaving plenty of time to time to do other things after the music stops, like hit some other local hot spots, or to head home for a summer bonfire.
Noonan’s has changed their menu from year to year, so if there’s something on this season’s menu that you might like to try – swing on up and give them a taste. Then tell the staff what you think, that way, next year, a few of the favorites may find their way back in the lineup.