No one could ever accuse Anoosh Shariat of being a wallflower. During a recent visit to his newly opened, decidedly casual Noosh Nosh eatery, I can’t help but smile as Anoosh leads me to a table. It is lunch time and the restaurant is quickly filling up, a buzz of laughter, chatter and clinking plates filling up the tall and airy room. He extends his hand and greets diners as we walk, a natural grin spread across his face. The sense that he is comfortable in this large and colorful space is apparent and the ease with which he tells me about his newest venture indicates that he bares all of the stripes of an industry veteran.
Noosh Nosh is located in Brownsboro Center and just opened in May, 2016. I had to ask Anoosh what made him want to take on a second project when his neighboring flagship restaurant, Anoosh Bistro, maintains a popular reputation — one that surely keeps him busy.
“The Bistro is a bit more formal and not a place families tend to bring young children,” he shares. He wanted to create a neighborhood restaurant that was casual and unpretentious, a place where families could gather with their kids to enjoy a meal crafted with fresh, healthy ingredients. Indeed, the surrounding suburbs of Northfield and Windy Hills did not have a local restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner service seven days a week, and Anoosh determined that he would be the one to make a change.
The dishes at Noosh Nosh are varied, with many small plates anchoring the menu (Sharing is highly encouraged.). The walls are painted a bright butter yellow and decorated with pastel wooden pizza peels. These peels speak to the pizzas and flatbreads offered at Noosh Nosh, each creation taking a spin in the large and glamorous domed oven on full display in the back center of the restaurant. “That oven is my Ferrari,” laughs Anoosh, telling me that the decorative red tiles glittering along the oven’s exterior cover volcanic stone. The oven is used to put the finishing touch on many dishes across the menu — not just pizza.
I had the opportunity to sample several items from the menu, including a piping-hot shrimp scampi loaded with garlic and white wine — as any good scampi should be. Topped with lemon and Parmesan cheese, the shrimp had taken a quick spin on the rotating stone within the oven, creating a delicious crust with just the right essence of burnt cheese.
Sticking with the oven, I also enjoyed the braised brisket flatbread, its crispy crust topped with shredded brisket, crumbled goat cheese and a barbecue sauce drizzle.
The Noosh Nosh menu has an obvious international flare and I asked Anoosh how he went about compiling such an eclectic group of dishes. “It’s all of my favorite food,” Anoosh chuckles, sharing that he also listens to his regular clients at Anoosh Bistro, taking to heart their opinions of what’s missing in the area, what they wish they had available. “The menu is also inspired by childhood favorites,” he continues, “like mac-and-cheese, for example. We don’t have to stop enjoying this type of food when we grow up.”
While I resisted the temptation to sample what I am sure is a deliciously nostalgic macaroni and cheese, I did find myself enamored with the black bean cakes, which are set over a cashew aioli and topped with a bright and fresh salsa verde. This dish will satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers, alike, and is one of many vegetarian and vegan-friendly offerings on the Noosh Nosh menu. For meat eaters, the slow-braised baby back ribs hit the mark, with the barbecue sauce coating the surface of each rib — offering just the right balance of sweet and spicy.
Having sampled dishes from the “All Day” section of the menu, I merely scratched the surface of the multitude of meals Anoosh has created for Noosh Nosh, including his extensive breakfast and brunch offerings. I did have the pleasure of finishing my lunch on a sweet note, dipping into a bubbling cup of peach cobbler with house-made vanilla ice cream slowly melting on top. The cobbler had taken a ride in Anoosh’s “Ferrari” stone oven as well, leaving the edges crispy and the sugar caramelizing just so.
As Anoosh shared the story of Noosh Nosh with me, he stopped to say hello to guests at neighboring tables and was approached by diners who were clearly regulars, embracing this veteran chef’s latest creation. Anoosh’s comfortable and congenial spirit is simply contagious and has set the tone for every aspect of the Noosh Nosh experience. This sense of welcome and a lack of intimidation infuses the restaurant’s ambiance and is at the heart of the menu offerings. You feel like you belong, that you are a part of the neighborhood. We don’t know about Anoosh but we consider that to be a beautiful success!
Noosh Nosh is located at 4816 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY 40207. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Learn more at (502) 205-2888.
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