His new restaurant arrives as welcome as spring on the North Fork. Schwartz delivers a small-plate special: refreshing, full-flavored, in sync - and very popular, whether you're dining alfresco on Front Street or reveling indoors.
Noah's, which took over the downtown storefront of the Frisky Oyster Bar, has a sleek, clean, almost industrial look, beginning with steel bar stools. But it's warmed by soft hues of green and blue. And the framed artwork is devoted to fish.
Try a few of Schwartz's addictive "tastes": mellow, nutty roasted garlic, ready to spread on thin slices of grilled bread; house-marinated olives; savory hummus; maybe the crab-stuffed deviled eggs.
Then, a trio of filleted, grilled sardines, accented with piquillo peppers and basil, attached to toasty, smoky cuts of grilled baguette by a brush stroke of lemon aioli. This appetizer reminds you why the Barge was such a welcome destination. So does the tangy, Crescent Farm, pulled-duck barbecue, set on a mound of irresistible, smoked-Cheddar-spiked polenta.
Celery-fennel slaw supports a loosely bound, mild and meaty jumbo lump crab cake. Crisp, tidy Tasmanian red-crab tacos, fueled with cilantro and jalapeño; and yellowtail crudo, finished with sea salt, olive oil and lemon, show off Schwartz's kitchen, too.
His excellent, warm, buttery lobster roll outdoes many of the East End's specialists. Dissenters can bite into the Kobe-beef burger, on a Blue Duck bakery brioche bun. The clever, sweet S'mores-capped chocolate pot-de-créme; and the poached pear with French toast lead the finales.
More than saffron, fiery harissa defines the broth in a seafood stew, overwhelming finfish and shellfish. Rosy squares of seared tuna rest on underdone white beans. Limp, forgettable apple crostata.
THE BOTTOM LINE