French Pasta Chain Nooï Is Now Open

Nooi, a French pasta chain opens in Midtown

With all the fuss made over the opening of Hello Pasta, we were surprised that the other empire-building chain, Nooï (on Lex btw 40+41st), opened this week, entering the pasta-to-go fray pretty quietly. Unlike Hello Pasta, which is completely new, Nooï is a French import with branches across France and Belgium. Obviously, the US was a natural next step to taking over the world…I popped in yesterday to confirm they’re actually alive and kicking. They are, and Nooï’s super chipper staff + red-and-purple color scheme reminded me of über fast food burger chains, like Wendy’s or Burger King. The prices are more on par with fast food prices too (lunch options under $5!?). To compare, Hello Pasta veers toward the $10 range. BUT, in the end, it’ll all come down to the taste, so clearly we need to do a Hello Pasta vs. Nooï showdown! You’ll hear the verdict shortly after we plow through a few more pasta dishes. Til then, early adopters should let us know what you think in the comments.

Nooï Menu

Nooï "Formulas"

Nooi, 370 Lexington (btw. 40+41st)


  • how about you hold off on mentioning new places until you try the food?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    do you get to pick your own kind of pasta?

  • @Dave, no pasta for lunch for me neither!

    bring back the no carb craze!

  • The menu reminds me of Barney the dinosaur… I just want to color in a coloring book now.

  • I don’t trust any place that tells me to eat with moderation.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    What is an “extra”? The web address on the menu leads to a french website but doesn’t look like it has anything to do with pasta.

  • I dont trust a place who’s menu looks like a cartoon.

  • The color scheme must make more sense through a haze of cigarette smoke and BO vapors in France.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    They’re handing out coupons for a free sample (1 extra small pasta cup with the sauce of your choice) outside the store (good through the end of July). Don’t expect that to be your lunch though, because the sample I got contained 10-15 bowties.

    The pastas are penne, farfalle, fusilli and macaroni, and the extra toppings include (from the top of my head): parmesan, asiago, fresh basil, green olives, black olives, fresh tomatoes, red pepper flakes, dried thyme, dried oregano, sesame seeds, and 4-5 other things.

    The pasta itself was fairly al dente. Overall, my main complaint across the board was that the pastas could use extra sauce. When they serve it to you, the pasta is lightly coated with no excess sauce at the bottom of the container, and if you decide to add certain toppings, such as parmesan, all the sauce just disappears.

    The “baconara” sauce was fairly good but a little one note. The thinly-chopped bacon and cream provide the predominant flavors, but I felt like it maybe use some extra sweetness, some extra black pepper and/or been made a little lighter. The “fredo” sauce had a strong hint of garlic, and the “bolo” sauce would have been pretty good (it has a nice balance with the tomatoes, carrots and meat) had there been more of it.

  • id eat pesto here, in fact id eat it anywhere. you really cant mess that up as long as you stick to cheese, nuts, oil, garlic and basil.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Disqualified by virtue of that “4 Magic” nonsense. Anyone who puts American cheese on pasta has no business living on Earth, much less selling its citizens food.

  • wait a minute. this looks cheap and good. i gather 26 and 32 on the containers refers to ounces? or what?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    This is the WORST lunch I’ve had all year. I received one of their free coupons and was still upset that I wasted my appetite on this garbage. I am also shocked that the French would eat this crap. I work just upstairs on Lex and no one could pay me to go back. But let’s begin with the facts:

    Mysteriously you can’t mix and match your proteins within the sauces. (Because each “sauce” is pre-made, aka not fresh)
    The ingredients listed are misleading. The Fresca is boring tomato sauce – no sign of tomato chunks or basil anywhere in site. Ragu makes a better sauce. Also, the server put about 5 shreds of asiago on top. “thanks”
    I tried the bollywood which took the cake for vomit inducing flavors. It tasted like campbells chicken soup combined with cream of mushroom, corn syrup, and curry powder. The chicken was non-existent and if I did find a piece it was a tiny bit no bigger than a pencil eraser and clearly FROM A CAN. The syrup consistency of the sauce left a film in my mouth for hours.
    There is nothing healthy about this place. My friend got their fruit cup and it was swimming in sugar water.
    Metro Cafe next door makes better pasta than this place and even that is so-so. At least you can pick your ingredients, it’s fresh, and they make it to order. Not weeks in advance in some factory no doubt.

    I just can’t wait until this place bombs and a new better lunch option moves in close to my office.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    this place is pretty awful.

    the first time i ate here they messed up my order. i ordered pesto pasta and they instead gave me a lobster pasta. when they asked me what sort of toppings i would like i even said to the girl helping me, “that doesnt look like pesto, can you please make sure it is” – and she told me multiple times it was. i wasn’t about to fight with someone on my 10 minute lunch break, so i took the pasta, only to find out once eating it that it was clearly their “lovster” pasta.

    i usually like lobster or seafood pastas anyway, but this was downright disgusting. it was incredibly salty and clearly full of preservatives. i definitely won’t be going here again, which is a shame since its so close to my office.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I have NO idea what all the bad reviews are about this place… I thought the food was very tasty, and the service was fast and efficient. As a midtown worker & fast-lunch connoisseur I give this place atleast 3.8/5. I will be coming back!

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.