The Noble Fir is a new spot in Ballard — just the sort of brew pub-y place the neighborhood needs, said my pal and ‘hood resident. It’s a medium sized restaurant with lots of medium hued wood in the interior, with a sort of grey-green tone to the walls. All very consistent with its outdoorsy theme — something I caught out of the corner of my brain, as I’m decidedly indoorsy so I don’t as easily clue into these sorts of things.
They offer a seriously large beer selection, something like 15 on tap and more by the bottle. I’m no aficionado, but it seemed to be an impressive array and anyone who classifies himself as such could likely find a few interesting beers to sample.
The list of eats, though modest, produced this lovely array of meats and cheeses. In the small plate section of the menu you’re given the option to select from the list any three, five or seven items. What you see here is the five-item plate, for us consisting of the Salumi signature salami, Salumi hot soprassata, naturally farm cured ham, a Spanish manchego and the St. Andre triple crème. That last is a heart-stopper of a cheese and should only be eaten with great restraint, but man it’s good. Add some toasted hazelnuts and honey, jam, spicy mustards and Macrina bread, and you have an excellent snack for soaking up all of that excellent beer.
I say that the NF has a good chance of becoming a solid neighborhood drop-by. Sure, it doesn’t have the grit of Hattie’s or the skee ball and taxidermy of King’s Hardware, but there is plenty of room in ever-evolving old Ballard for a brew pub of just this sort.