Hubby and I decided to dine on Sunday for Valentine’s Day versus during the week. He took charge of the reservations and surprised me with dinner at Noah Grant’s – a grill house and raw bar in downtown Zionsville.
Decorated in blues and browns, the restaurant is comfortable and inviting. Subtly coast side in feel but extremely comfortable chic, we dined in the main dining room at a small table near the bar. On Sunday’s, patrons have the opportunity to dine on half priced oysters and bottles of wine. After ordering a bottle of La Posta Malbec, we sipped our way through the menu to preview all the options available. The menu was quite impressive, ranging from pastas to seafood, meats to raw bar. We ordered and munched on the fresh baked bread served with a garlicky pesto while we waited for our first course.
I knew I wanted oysters the minute we walked in the door and at half price, the Blue Point oysters were my selection. The oysters were presented with a spicy tomato based sauce with sharp pepper seasoning. In addition, a small cup of horseradish allowed you to customize the spice level of your oyster to your own taste. The oysters were smooth and fresh, both of large portion. And for under $3, I enjoyed them both to my taste. Hubby ordered a Long Island roll, which I shared a few bites. The thinnest cut of succulent salmon was wrapped around a thin layer of rice. Inside were layers of flavor, including a rich cream cheese, flakes of fresh cilantro and crisp cucumber. Jalapenos were also part of the roll, but I didn’t get any flavor of spice from them. There was a subtle sweetness from the sweet chili sauce that was drizzled over the top. The roll was only one out of the customized options – I would have easily tried more if we hadn’t ordered dinner.
After the appetizers, I also ordered a salad. Noah’s house salad didn’t compare to our appetizers – I was disappointed to find mushy tomatoes adorning an over dressed salad that was sharp in red onion taste. The basil vinaigrette was a disappointment as it tasted more of a balsamic vinaigrette. Pecans were finely chopped and lost in the greens. The only item true in flavor were the cranberries. Even the blue cheese wasn’t pungent. But I wasn’t discouraged from the disappointing course – it is an raw bar, not a salad bar – and looked forward to our main dish.
Hubby ordered the special, halibut cheeks. The tender pieces of fish were delicate in flavor and texture, flaking like a piece of crab. They were thin and distinct in a rich flavor that wasn’t over powered by anything on the plate. The fish shined leaving you wanting more. I was happy that he was even willing to share – they were fantastic and lightly dressed with clarified butter and served over a citrus salad. I had ordered the sesame seared tuna and was surprised to see the large portion I received. Seared perfectly, the raw tuna was smooth and clean in flavor. The grade of fish had to be superb – the ‘crust’ of the tuna was slight in sear and thick in sesame seed taste. The wasabi cream was spicy and a perfect accompaniment to the tuna. The rice was sticky to perfection on the side.
We hesitated to order a dessert, but decided on the butter cake souffle. This may have been one of the best decisions of the evening. A slight lemony taste, the cake was served warm and garnished with whipped cream and strawberries. The cake itself was tender and baked to perfection without being dense, just light. I don’t know if I would have qualified it as a layered souffle, but the butter cake was something I would order again (and again..)
The meal was fantastic (sans the salad) and I would absolutely recommend an evening at the restaurant. They have a happy hour that I would be interested in trying. I would return just to keep eating the sushi and raw bar options – it was divine and is truly a hidden gem in the downtown area of Zionsville. Lastly, the halibut cheeks shouldn’t be a special – it should definitely be made a permanent menu option as it is now hubby’s favorite food.
Noah Grant’s * 65 South First Street * Zionsville, 46077 * 317.732.2233