FOLLOW OUR MYSTERY RESTAURANT INDUSTRY INSIDER AS HE (AND HIS FRIEND) SAMPLE THE CUISINE OF
Friday night in February and feeling like Springtime. Wrapping up my weekly tasks I head out with my beautiful best friend for some light fare & libations.
It is approaching 11 p.m. in Rockland so we spin the alphabet dice…U Noodles it is!
Located on 14 Main St. And just after 10 p.m. the sounds of live music can be heard through the open front windows (February??)
Walking in we are approached by an employee and are offered a table or bar seats. Feeling like a beverage or two we decide on the bar.
First impressions: My GF: great vibe. Smiling people and a very cool girl behind the bar. The band was just starting and sounded great.
Me: Parking could be an issue. Was lucky to find a spot on the street but if the area was packed it could be a “situation”. Entering the band was just starting and provided some inspired ambiance…
GF: visually it is clean & shabby chic…decent wine list, some fun cocktails and a couple of empty bar seats at a mostly occupied bar.
Me: Very warm feeling…we were offered a table or bar seats upon entering and chose the bar. It was late so we (I) decided on some strong adult beverages…
Me: I grabbed a Jameson neat and an ice cold Amstel Light. Both right on time…
GF: I had a Sangria that was crisp and flavorful that left me wanting another..
Me: We were starving (because of her getting caught in stupid conversations) so we ordered off of the solid bar menu (available until 1 a.m.). Chicken dumplings and chicken wings are ordered first.
GF: Music is good…everyone in the place is nice and in a good mood…I let him order the first two because I kept him waiting for a bit…
Me: I am a guy so I had another Jameson neat. Bartender (Ashley) is attentive and very welcoming. Solid pour on the Jameson.
The ambiance: It’s Haverstraw so what is it like? Clean design. friendly servers and great people at the bar. Fun. It is a mix of English & Spanish speaking clientele…
GF: He is still pissed we were late so I sip my cocktail and observe…well-trained staff, friendly patrons, many couples & thank God we are not one of them.
Me: The first two Jameson are making me slightly understand her…so I order another with an Amstel light to ride shotgun. There are two rotating beers on tap but the eclectic bottles are served ice cold.
I worked at Buddakan in Philadelphia and the chicken & ginger dumplings were an award winning staple…I found the lightly fried twin here. Great dumplings.
GF: I was in a conversation that I could not leave…but yes the dumplings were amazing. The wings were crispy and seasoned well but should have either been dressed or offered with more sauces (Buffalo!).
The main floor is open and can entertain large groups or two tops & there is a very stylish second floor for private parties. A very happy woman’s birthday party was leaving around this time..
GF: I ordered the pork sliders and Mc Grumpface ordered another plate of the dumplings…
Me: Whatever. I spent years at one of the busiest spots in this country and the dumplings here are as good or better. We only had the bar menu (available until 1 a.m.) to choose from & these dumplings are world class. Wish we could have ordered from the entire menu.
GF: Well! The pork sliders were savory and delicious. Tender slow cooked pork, a pickle and a tender bun…and yeah the dumplings are INCREDIBLE.
Me: I will be back. I would not come with my boys here…it is more of a date-type place. The chef is incredibly skilled. Really friendly staff…and that means a lot…live music every Friday is a nice touch.
GF: I will be back. I will take my friends here. The food is surprisingly tasty & I saw at least two groups of girls celebrating while we were here…
Rating scale: 0-4 Rocks
3 solid Rocks…Being in the trenches for over 20 years I know how hard it is to bring the “friendly” on the back end of a shift. In the kitchen sometimes standards slip too during the late hours. UNoodles made us feel welcome and for me brought back a taste sensation (dumplings) that is every good as the big city.
GF rating: Sorry we were late…He is right though. Was not what I expected. Every morsel of food was delicious, service very friendly and fun atmosphere. I will agree with my annoying buddy: 3 solid rocks. One tip: Transportation-wise there is a cab stand next to the restaurant but I would not wait around for an Uber there…