Barely 36 hours after the last nail was hammered, chef Joncarl Lachman will open Noord - his Northern European bistro - at 1046 Tasker St., the southeast corner of 11th and Tasker opposite Fond, Chiarella's and the Singing Fountain of East Passyunk Avenue.
Thirty-eight seats, chef's counter, white tablecloth, BYOB.
By "Northern European," Lachman is drawing from his Dutch heritage and his extensive travels from the Netherlands north into Scandinavia, as well as from his work with chef Anne Rosenzweig at NYC's Arcadia and inspiration from NYC's Prune.
And though the menu (below) may have you scurrying to your Dutch-to-English dictionary, the food is actually quite accessible. He describes it as home cooking with "attention to detail."
Noord's debut completes a homecoming for Lachman, who grew up in Southwest Philly and Darby. After Darby-Colwyn High, he went off to Wilkes College and then left for New York and DC, where he worked in the front of the house at restaurants. "I traveled the world," said Lachman. "I made a lot of money and I spent it all traveling. My goal was to see 30 countries before I was 30. I saw 33."
Though waiting tables, he descibes himself as "the guy who threw the dinner parties." His friends urged him to go to culinary school. And so at age 38, he did.
While in school, he won the first San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition in 2002. That win - with its prize and PR push - sent him and his partner, Bob Moysan, on a quest to open a restaurant. But not in New York, where they were caught in the raw post-9/11 emotions.
In Columbus, Ohio.
"But I wigged out," he said. "It wasn't right."
He and Moysan moved to Chicago, where he opened HB (Home Bistro) eight years ago. The Euro-styled HB won a Michelin recommendation. He then opened Vincent, which he left in 2011 after a falling-out with his investors.
"So the birthday came up," Lachman said about his turning 50. He said he asked himself, "You going to do this or not?"
He and Moysan begen plotting the way to Philadelphia.
Two weeks after a meeting with Sam Sherman of Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp., Lachman cinched the lease at 1046 Tasker.
"I don't want to sound like a Pollyanna, but my universe has righted itself," Lachman said. "I feel like I'm back in Philly. I mean that in all the ways. This isn't the Philly I left."
Entrees are $17 to $28.
Broodjes Haring…mini herring sandwiches, cucumber, pickled onion, on a dinner roll
Bitterballen…(braised and fried pork meatballs), nutmeg, mustard, salad
Chopped Chicken and Duck Liver … atjar tjampoer, warm baguette
Seared Diver Scallop…mustard soup, caviar, tarragon oil, rye croutons
Grilled Head-on Prawns…North Sea style citrus butter, chives, dill
Pork Belly Uitsmijter…sunnyside duck egg, melted edam cheese, brioche toast, greens, pickle, sesame-truffle vinaigrette
Smorrebrod…house smoked fish & open faced sandwich board (changes daily)
Cheese…a selection of northern cheeses served with accompaniments & grilled brown bread
Lightly Roasted Spring Vegetables… sweet garlic butter, lemon, dressed parsley salad (changes daily)
Rotisserie Lancaster Co. ½ Chicken… herb stuffed, schmaltz-ey root vegetables, green salad
Grilled Lamb Burger…Suriname curry, melted gouda, roasted tomato, greens, aioli, fingerling fries
Amsterdam Style Mussels…beer-steamed, garlic, fennel, star anise, dried basil, fingerling fries
Jerusalem Artichoke Stuffed Rainbow Trout…sweet onion, mustard three ways
Seared Norwegian Salmon "Lohikeitto"…chowder, leeks, baby potatoes, coriander, herbs
Beef Tenderloin "Ossenhaas"… pearl barley, wild mushrooms, spinach, brown sugar pan sauce
Konijn in het Zuur…rabbit leg confit, smoked sausage, lardons, baby turnips, zuurkool
Shellfish Waterzooi or Choucroute…mussels, clams, shrimp, prawns and seasonal vegetables