‘Nona Brooklyn’ Profiles Noodle Pudding Owner Antonio Migliaccio

Brooklyn foodie website Nona Brooklyn offers a lengthy and delectable interview with Antonio Migliaccio, owner of Brooklyn Heights’ longtime fave Noodle Pudding. The Italian restaurant has been open at 38 Henry Street in the far northern reaches of the neighborhood for 16 years.

The interview begins: “Most restaurants have a moment. They arrive on the scene and hopefully, with some good execution and a little luck, generate a buzz. Most of the time, they come back to earth, a few months, a few years or a few chef changes later. It’s rare to find a restaurant that strikes that elusive combination of good food, ambiance, service and intangible charm, that has regulars lining up out the door, willing to wait 45 minutes or an hour for a table, night after night.”

The profile, “From the Docks to the Kitchen: Noodle Pudding’s Antonio Migliaccio on Finding The Recipe For Success In Forgetting Everything Anyone Ever Taught Him About Cooking,” is a delightful read about his coming to Brooklyn from Italy as a teenager and working as a longshoreman while moonlighting in restaurants, learning to cook, opening his restaurant, insecurities along the way, where he shops for ingredients and much more.

In one quote, Migliaccio offers, “When you have a restaurant, it should not be about just one thing… making good food or about making money. When people come here to eat, they don’t want to go home and cook and clean up. For me, it’s not just about making food and serving it to them. It’s almost like, you’re looking after them. You’re taking care of them.”

Read the tasty profile in full here.

(Photo: Nona Brooklyn)

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  • Flashlight Worthy

    Funny, I recnly had two people tell me that Noidle Puddibg, after being so good and dependable for so many years, has gone seriously downhill in the last few months. Anyone want to weigh in on recent meals? How were they?

  • PromGal

    Using seconhand anecdotal reports to trash a restaurant is very poor taste indeed.
    We have been dining at Noodle Pudding for many years, and find the food, service, and experience to be as wonderful as ever. In fact, one if the best things about NP is the consistency.
    Please, if you haven’t experienced a restaurant yourself, do not write reviews. It is grossly unfair to the wonderful owner profiled in the article, to all the people who work there, and the many hundreds of loyal diners. And journalistically, it’s reprehensible.

  • Neighbor Hood

    @PromGal- I 2nd your opinions. Been dining at Noodle Pudding since day 1 and as recently as a few weeks ago, and it was wonderful as ever. Still our favorite in all the Heights. Viva Tony and Noodle Puddding!

  • Neighbor Hood

    I like it so much I added an extra “d”! (That’s what happens when you post at dawn)

  • CrankyOne2

    I always found Noodle Pudding so so. Never understood all the fuss.

  • AEB

    NP’s great virtue as that it feels–and works–like a successful neighborhood restaurant, a place local people return to again and again because it answers a number of needs reliably.

    The quality of the food varies and the room can be intolerably loud. The lack of a maitre d’ has always been a problem–you enter and stand waiting for someone to acknowledge your arrival, which someone does eventually.

    Yes, it’s the best restaurant in BH, by which one means that–well, please see my opening paragraph. There’s no other place here that offers food of its quality that’s as easy to enjoy.

  • Flashlight Worthy

    Promgal and Neighbor Hood-

    I didn’t “trash” or “review” Noidle Pudding with my comment — all I did was say that several people told me that it had recently taken a turn for the worse.

    Personally, I LOVE the place — I’ve been eating there over a decade. I just haven’t been in 3 months+ (new baby) and was wondering if what I’d heard was accurate. For more opinions as to the recent decline take a look at Yelp.

  • Flashlight Worthy

    UPDATE: went and looked at the Yelp reviews myself. Tons of 5 star reviews recently… but a run of 1 to 3 star reviews last Summer and Fall. Most of the complaints had to do with terrible service. And some of those reviews came from regulars who had previously given the restaurant better reviews.

    Maybe they had some staffing changes? Anyway, glad to see that customers are happy again and the food never suffered. Long live Noodle Pudding!

  • Steve R.

    We started, quite a few years ago, by eating at Tiramisu on Court St. and have followed Tony wherever he’s gone. That our 2 favorite restaurants in Bklyn Hts. are next door to each other (N.P. and Henry’s End) is perfect for us, as the route is well worn and automatic and we don’t get lost getting home after eating and drinking too much. Tony is great and it’s wonderful that he’s getting some of the praise he much deserves. I think that, although the food has always been almost perfect in its simplicity & execution, the strength of the place, as someone said above, lies in it being a friendly neighborhood destination, someplace to enjoy meeting others from the neighborhood or those just wandering in after touring around the area. Here’s to trying the “trust me” dinner the next time we’re there.

  • Hicks St Guy

    NP has great specials, the waitstaff is (usually) attentive, and the wine list is very reasonable. they have a draft beer or two and you can eat at the bar. I never go there on weekends, but BH residents should realize how lucky we are to have such a gem. kudos to Tonno.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    I’m in the camp of not understanding what all of the fuss is about. Granted, we are relatively new residents, so I suspect that there’s been a decline over the years.

    Discussions about restaurants are nothing more than opinions, and my opinion is that after hearing all of the raves about NP, I was disappointed. I will however give them the utmost respect for their service: my wife’s dish was so bad (I’ll eat anything and this was borderline inedible) that without us saying anything or complaining, our waitress realized that the dish bombed and didn’t charge us for it. Very classy move.

  • Robyn

    To put it in a nutshell – food is mediocre, service – substandard.

    PS They do not accept credit cards. Cash only – I suppose this is the best way to underreport income.

  • She’s Crafty

    I’m with Robyn and CHster in not understanding what all the fuss is about; in addition to not accepting credit cards (which is bs for a restaurant except for something the size and caliber of say, Great Wall) the no reservations policy is also ridiculous.

  • She’s Crafty

    Also: not into lining up for 45 minutes, no matter how good the food is. That’s just obnoxious.

  • WillowSt.Neighbor

    I was not going to weigh in on this but I will anyway.
    I have had some good meals at NP but I have also had some bad ones. Twice my lasagna was burned on the bottom. The last time we went the food was so bad that we wondered if the chef had even shown up that night. My husband’s favorite meal was the liver.
    The liver dish that was served did not remotely resemble the delicious liver dish that he had previously enjoyed. I ordered the salmon and spent the entire meal trying to delicately pick the fish bones out of my teeth. Need I say more.
    We no longer go to NP. Three strikes and you’re out with us.
    Oh, and we 60 somethings don’t really like being surrounded by toddlers running amok at an evening meal.

  • my2cents

    I have one thing to say to Antonio: HIRE A FRIGGIN HOSTESS!
    It’s the worst feeling ever to stand there for 10-15 minutes waiting to be greeted or even acknowledged by the overburdened waitstaff. I find that the service at NP is good once you are seated, but being ignored when you walk into a restaurant just gets your whole meal off to a bad start and is bad hospitality. I don’t understand why he thinks it’s ok to make the head waiter also serve as greeter. It pisses off the customers and distracts the waiter from doing his main job.

  • EHinBH

    Went last week and it was fine. It’s always fine — consistant and reliable. Never excellent. I like it because the staff is the same and they are very nice. If you bring friends from out of the hood they are not usually impressed. Fine by me – its crowded enough as it is…

  • Jorale-man

    It’s a great restaurant, I agree, and I love the authenticity of the owner’s story. I do wonder whether Bevacco is going to give it a run for its money. I do find the atmosphere at Bevacco a bit less hectic in general, though haven’t been enough times to form a solid opinion.

  • Heightser

    We were once-a-month diners for almost 12 years. Changes have been made at NP in the past year. The chef, Alfredo Miccoli left and is now at Al Mare in DUMBO (great food). Ari, the wonderful host also left, and several of the great waiters that had been there for years are not there any more. We are fans still, but it has changed. The food isn’t quite as good as it was when Alfredo was there and the service has seriously declined. The waitstaff is less professional than it used to be. We still go, but less frequently.

  • PBL

    Heightser, thanks for the info, didn’t realize that Ari left — he was always a gentleman and a joy to chat with before being seated.

    My wife and I used to LOVE Noodle Pudding — we would go there once a month on average I would say. Their Osso Bucco was legendary, and their pasta always hit the mark (especially the special with the seafood and orange zest).

    That being said, I have seen a noticeable decline in the quality of the food the past few months. Do I still enjoy it? Certainly, and I plan to go back. But it is no longer a “must visit” for dinner, and my evenings there have been scaled back to 2-3 times a year tops now. Al Mar, sad to say, is superior.

  • Flashlight Worthy

    Interesting. So a number of regulars says it’s the same as always but a number of other regulars say its taken a turn for the not as delicious lately.

    I hope they can get back on their game. Matching tge quality of the food might be tricky but it shouldn’t be too hard to get the front of tge house in order.

  • Andrew Porter

    There are other good restaurants in BH that do not accept credit cards. Teresa’s is one.

  • x

    I believe Teresa’s takes credit cards actually.

  • She’s Crafty

    Teresa’s does take credit cards, but even if it didn’t, it’s way cheaper than NP. For an expensive restaurant to not take credit cards is ridiculous. Not all of us like to walk around with a wad of cash.

  • EHinBH

    To me, Teresa’s is just a diner with the addition of pierogies…

    I agree — the explosion across all of NYC with the ‘no card’ policy gets to be annoying. Dont like carrying cash — AND, want to get those points from using plastic!

  • http://pistachiopony.com maria

    Yeah Teresa’s is a great Diner. Not a restaurant.

    Noodle Pudding is fantastic. I find that the food is consistently great. I know that when I want wonderful food and ambiance I can depend on NP. I recommend the specials of the night. Tony always creates those with the freshest seasonal items he can find.

    We are lucky to have him here in Brooklyn Heights!

    For those of you upset about having to use cash…I understand you want the points, but some things in life must take you out of your routine. This one is worth walking across the street to the ATM machine.

  • She’s Crafty

    For what it’s worth there isn’t an ATM within a couple of blocks of there, you’d have to go up to Gristede’s I think and pay a hefty fee to use a non-bank ATM.

  • Brooklyn Tea

    I avoid restaurants that accept cash only. I don’t appreciate the fact that they are unwilling to pay taxes like everyone else. Some people are so concerned that the 1 % are not paying their “fair share” but they are also willing to look the other way when small businesses not only don’t pay their “fair share”…they pay no taxes because they are running a cash business and/or claim huge losses and then write off their so called “losses” to avoid paying taxes. It’s criminal and they don’t deserve my business.

  • epc

    Wow, reject credit cards and the 5-10% overhead you have to eat (or raise prices 10% across the board) and you’re a tax cheat?

    There’s perfectly valid reasons to reject credit cards. Those points you’re clamoring for are paid for by the merchants who take credit cards. Those high prices you whine about in other threads are partially due to the surcharges required to accept credit cards.

    If you genuinely think that all cash businesses are tax cheats, do your loyal stasi duty and report them to the government.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Brooklyn Tea, Like most of you “tea baggers” you are an ignorant, assuming a**hole. You have no proof whatsoever NP is cheating on their taxes or that is the reason they are “cash only”. One the reasons many businesses are dropping credit card sales is, the credit card shylocks charge the business 3 to 5 % on sales. Who do you think pays for the points, miles or cash back? Also they don’t release the funds to the merchant for a couple of weeks, which can be very tough on a small business, especially a restaurant. Besides aren’t you supposed to be against unreasonable taxation sounds like you might be a hypocrite as well