WHO’S IN CHARGE Jon P. Mooers, a former scenic designer for big-name films like “Independence Day,” wants his customers to take a break from their everyday lives.
“It’s fun to share the things that are in my head,” said Mooers as he sat at a booth inside his meticulously designed Amesbury restaurant.
Named after the Yiddish word for snacking, the Noshery quietly opened its doors this summer, and the response has been overwhelming. Mooers said the small staff has had to work long hours to keep up with the demand.
Virginia Fox, a co-owner, said she wanted the restaurant to have that “mom-and-pop” vibe.
“You can escape the ordinary here,” she said.
THE LOCALE The Noshery’s interior design is reminiscent of a 1920s American bar, but the food is mostly Parisian, centering on crepes and other small bites. In the mornings, offerings include breakfast items such as sweet crepes and croissants, along with cold- and hot-brewed coffees.
Fox and Mooers are both artists, and they’ve been meticulous about every detail in the design. The restaurant has a sophisticated look, and pays homage to Amesbury’s hat manufacturing history. Old-fashioned hats — bowlers, derbys, and boaters — are perched on the bar and dangle from coat hangers. Black-and-white portraits of men and women wearing vintage hats hang on the walls, and low-hanging lights are cut in the shapes of top hats.
The seating is sleek yet comfortable, and customers can sit at high top seats at the bar or slide into old-style booths. The bar top is a signature piece in the restaurant, which Mooers said was created with pine wood taken from old mills in the Boston area.
ON THE MENU In addition to the crepes, Mooers and Fox also serve up some vintage drinks that can be hard to find. In one corner, an old-fashioned Coca-Cola machine houses sodas like Tab and Moxie, and at the bar, customers can order a Schlitz, a beer that used to be a top seller in the United States.
Customers should be aware that the Noshery has a limited staff, which means the wait can be a bit long. But it’s well worth it.
We split two crepes, both of which come with a side of fresh greens in a light vinaigrette.
The first was a twist on the day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich ($11): fresh roasted turkey, thick, salty gravy, a heaping helping of stuffing, topped with cranberry chutney. Cleverly named after Norman Rockwell, who painted iconic scenes of everyday American life, this crepe was a creative reconstruction of this classic American staple. This time-tested combination proved satisfying and comforting.
My guest and I, both from New England, had eaten countless lobster dishes. This ranked among the best we’ve had. The lobster crepe ($15.50) was filled with generous hunks of freshly shucked lobster meat, soaked in a decadent lobster champagne sauce. The sauce, which Mooers told me takes him hours to make, consists of white wine, heavy cream, lobster trimmings, and mirepoix — a mix of onions, celery, and carrots.
For dessert, we tried a slice of the cheesecake ($4.75). The cheesecake is homemade, and is a cut above the standard airy offering at many restaurants. This dense treat is accompanied by raspberry and chocolate sauces, decorated with fresh raspberries and blueberries.
The Noshery, 11 Elm St., Amesbury. No telephone; find it on Facebook.
Katherine Landergan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.