Philly native and soon-to-be Chicago expat Joncarl Lachman is fast becoming a fixture along South Philly’s East Passyunk Ave., where his forthcoming Noord is beginning to take shape. When Grub caught up with him at the venerable Pub on Passyunk East, he told us he’s been keeping busy visiting the neighborhood’s ever-growing crop of restaurants, and making friends with their owners and chefs. On this latest visit, he also gained the community’s support for outdoor seating at his new venture, which he’s psyched to have opening up across the street from recently relocated Fond, and a mere stones throw from neighborhood spots like Stateside, Izumi and Chiarella's. “It’s really amazing what’s happening here,” Lachman told us about Noord’s immediate surroundings. “There’s so many great restaurants in such close proximity, it’s unbelievable.”
Adding to this excitement is the fact that Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation (PARC) started work on the 11th and Tasker corner property that will house his restaurant. He expects the renovations there to be complete by the end of April, and to be serving guests by the first week of May. In the meantime he will continue to bounce back in forth from Chicago where he recently cashed out his award-winning restaurant Vincent, and will entrust his HB Home Bistro to his loyal staff after he relocates here for good. He’s cut a deal with his new friends Lynn Rinaldi and Corey Baver to use their kitchen at Paradiso for his contributions to Taste of the Nation, and Flavors of the Avenue while Noord is in the throes of construction.
As far Noord’s focus is concerned, he told us it won’t be a Noma knockoff. It will embrace ingredients and techniques found in traditional Northern European cookery, but will ultimately be far different from the New Nordic schtick made famous by René Redzepi. He said to think of it as American bistro fare with touches of Dutch, Danish, and other Scandinavian influences. Smoked fish, pickled vegetables, and rotisserie meats are some of the dishes he rattled off as examples.