By Phyllis Stein-Novack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 16 | Posted Jun. 20, 2013

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Joncarl Lachman, an Upper Darby native who also owns Home Bistro in Chicago, moved to the avenue where he opened Noord last month.

Photo by Kathryn Poole

I have fond memories of preparing pickled herring with my grandmother. The process took about five days but the rewards were many.

Chef Joncarl Lachman, who grew up in Darby and owns a Chicago restaurant, decided to come home. At his restaurant Noord, pickled herring is one of the highlights of his Northern European menu. He is of Dutch descent and includes dishes from Belgium as well. Finally, a little-known cuisine made its way to South Philly.

The airy room seats about 40. Although the tables are covered with white cloths, Noord has a friendly, casual feel. Lachman enjoys greeting his guests and making his way around the room.

We brought a bottle of Ratzenberger 2010 Bacharacher Riesling Kabinett that would drink well with Lachman’s fare.

Edward and I nibbled on warm, thin slices of homemade dark brown and marble rye bread, which we slathered with butter.

Dinner began with Holland sliders “Broodjes haring” ($9), chopped chicken and duck liver ($11) and grilled head-on prawns ($12).

Since it is impossible to get schmaltz herrings anywhere, Lachman orders them from Iceland. They are cut into bite-size portions and packed in gallon-size jars. Lachman then works his magic, adding white wine, vinegar, sugar, dill, coriander seed, salt and pepper — his version of an escobeche. He sets them on mini-potato rolls and tops them with pickled onions and cucumbers.

Lachman achieved the perfect consistency with his pate. The pate-packed jar arrived on a long slate slab and included slices of warm grilled baguette, a portion of fried liver coated in seasoned crumbs, pickled cauliflower and a dollop of whole grain mustard. With this in life, nothing is bad. The contrast of textures and flavors hit the mark.

Don’t miss the grilled prawns. The sauce alone should win an award. Lachman said it is prepared with lemon juice, butter, pickling juice, coriander, chives, dill and cream. The sauce, which was properly emulsified, had a light, rosy hue from the sweet prawns’ juice. I marveled in the flavor and devoured every bit of the sauce.

I had to try the shellfish waterzooi ($28), the great national dish of Belgium. I have made chicken waterzooi but the fish version was new to me. It is prepared with cream and beaten egg, and if the egg curdles, the sauce is ruined. Lachman’s sauce was exquisitely prepared. A big, white bowl was brimming with mussels, clams, shrimp, prawns and tossed with sliced carrots, tiny potatoes, leeks, onions and whole baby purple and yellow carrots. I thought there were too many carrots in this version, which imparted a slightly sweet flavor, but no mind. This is Dutch and Belgium fare at its finest — each fish was perfectly cooked.

“Konijn in het Zuur” ($26) is the Dutch version of the classic French duck confit but Lachman substituted a meaty rabbit leg. It was nestled in a large bowl surrounded by bits of smoked sausage, baby turnips and lardoons, which added a smoky, fatty flavor. Rabbit is a lean meat but Lachman had a way of keeping it moist, fresh and not a bit overcooked.

Desserts ($9) truly topped off our dinner at Noord. A slice of dense, moist almond cake topped with whipped cream, a hefty portion of warm chocolate brioche bread pudding and French press coffee for two ($5) just about painted the lily. Lachman makes the sweets, but the almond cake is his grandmother’s recipe and the pudding came from Chef Anne Rosenzweig, whom he worked with in New York. During dessert, Lachman pours guests complimentary glasses of Prosecco.

Our experience at Noord was about as perfect as you can get. Each dish was seasoned properly, and the service was excellent as well (His waitress left Chicago to work with him in Philly).

Lachman said he is so happy to be in South Philly. He and his staff have achieved the right balance of service without being intrusive.

“I enjoy meeting people,” he said. “I like to make a personal connection with my guests.”

Four tips of the toque to Noord.


1046 Tasker St.

Contact the South Philly Review at

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Comments 1 - 16 of 16
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1. Anonymous said... on Jun 20, 2013 at 01:17PM

“What is the meaning of "La. Va"?”

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2. Fred said... on Jun 20, 2013 at 01:31PM

“This review is what it's all about. Someone who is knowledgeable about exotic "foreign" cuisine, sharing and educating us on the terminology and what to try. And it's in the heart of South Philly. Those who say this reviewer can't write can eat their words. Me, I'm saving up for a trip to Belgium. At 11th & Tasker no less!”

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3. Horst said... on Jun 20, 2013 at 05:05PM

“Why didn't you mention Bitterballen…(pig balls with mustard)? They're my favorite.”

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4. angie said... on Jun 21, 2013 at 12:46PM

“If I'm not mistaken this place was a bar where just a few years ago a robbery occurred and one of the staff was shepherded to a back room and murdered.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jun 21, 2013 at 01:14PM

that is incorrect.
the place was an apartment, and before that a motor cycle accessory shop...and long before that a small grocery.
perhaps the murder occurred elsewhere...but really nice thought

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6. Downtown Donna said... on Jun 23, 2013 at 12:31PM

“It's my opinion that readers from South Philly don't have the sophistication or experience to truly appreciate a column like this one. Sure, there are a few yuppie types who live below Washington Avenue who may have completed four years at Brown University or spent a week in Brussels with his/her parents. Otherwise it's hoagies and cheesesteaks and Stogie Joes and Los Caballitos and Broad Street Diner that form the culinary data base for this Survivor-watching cigarette-smoking muscleshirt-wearing crowd.

Phyllis, find yourself a more upscale audience or else start reviewing the likes of Tony Luke's.”

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7. sean said... on Jun 23, 2013 at 05:02PM

“good review. good comments...but, pig balls? LOL.”

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8. Marty Medals said... on Jun 23, 2013 at 06:13PM

“I will be very busy this summer, but I wanted to say that I resemble Donna's remarks.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Jun 23, 2013 at 08:42PM

“is it true Edward and Sandy had a, er, fling?”

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10. MS said... on Jun 24, 2013 at 10:44AM

“Downtown douche.

Your comments were arrogant and nasty.

Franky the menu items make me want to puke but who the hell are you to make those comments. You can address the yuppies but south Philly was a working class area before the enlighted moved in.

I don't want to read in the Inquirer about some midwest kid who moved to Philly to make the world better for city youth. Go back to MN or get shot in the head. may have figured that she's an elist in the same boat as this restaurant.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Jun 24, 2013 at 03:29PM

“South Philadelphia is arguably the best restaurant neighborhood in the city.
East Passyunk has a great combination of classics (Mara's, Mama Maria's, Tre Scalini....mixed with "newer comers" of all stripes, from Paradiso to Fond to Stateside, to Noord...
what a great neighborhood to live in and be a part of.
Not sure what all this negative stuff is all about.

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12. domenick said... on Jun 24, 2013 at 04:05PM

“I saw Edward Snowden at his laptop in Noord last night. He was with a British girl and a heavy-set man. How the hell did he get past immigration at PHL? My wife said, "Look, a chicken eating chicken waterzooi!" Ha ha. Big guy mumbled "Nyet" and started to come after us, so we fled to Marra's to seek asylum.”

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13. MS said... on Jun 26, 2013 at 08:57AM

“Anony- I think part of the issue is the food. In my opinion doesn't sound very good and more importantly it doesn't sound like a wide group of readers would eat there or like the cuisine.

No comments about the review.”

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14. Anonymous said... on Jun 27, 2013 at 04:53PM

“just seems that people kind of enjoy going for the negative...kind of sad.
nothing elitist about the restaurant.
friendly service
laid back vibe...”

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15. Anonymous said... on Jun 28, 2013 at 11:51AM

“i had a meatloaf wrapped in bacon at Noord...other than a vegetarian, who wouldn't like that?? they also have roast chicken, filet and salmon. Just because the names may seem a little unfamiliar - doesn't mean the food is unappealing to the masses...people should try to be a little more open-minded and not so dismissive.

p.s. it might have been the best meatloaf i've ever had...”

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16. ingrid said... on Apr 30, 2014 at 07:51AM

“I live in Chicago Born in the Netherlands and have lives there for 38 years Bitterballen should be made from beef I make them every Christmas”


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