The Seoul of the South
Noona Fine Meats & Oysters
Much has been written and said about Duluth's downtown development. The city has done a wonderful job of integrating new businesses, particularly restaurants, into its revamped historic downtown. The newest addition is possibly one of its most interesting. Noona, the Korean word for older sister, is a combination of a steak and seafood house with refined Korean influences throughout its menu.
While the owners maintain Asian roots, make no mistake, Noona is a full-fledged steakhouse with a creative menu and a hardwood grill to cook up some of the most interesting and tasty dishes in Gwinnett.
The steak menu boasts a selection or traditional cuts, as well as fish and poultry. Our strip was well seasoned and cooked beautifully over a hardwood fire, something that is not easy to do based on experiences in other restaurants. We really liked the shiso and gochujang butters to provide a little Asian influence.
Entrees come with great side dishes, like the cabbage—a very creative take on a deconstructed kimchi, with fire roasted cabbage at the center. The kimchi fried rice with a farm egg was another favorite, and a perfect accompaniment for my meal.
Noona also offers an impressive wine list, craft beers and house cocktails. The location in the heart of Duluth offers a great evening of things to do before or after your meal. Noona's interior is very neatly designed giving a contemporary and classic feel. The local staff was wonderful and really took to time to learn about Korean customs and cuisine while still providing the classic steakhouse experience.
What stood out most to me is that this is not a fusion restaurant. Many times that experience can lead to some strange dishes and an odd overall experience, but you do not have to worry about that at Noona. The owners kept its root as a steakhouse with nods to their Asian American culture and did so beautifully.