Oh the bones, the salmon, the watermelon!

Alaskan Copper River salmon with Windflower Farm sugar peas and baby squash, on fregola pasta

Alaskan Copper River salmon with Windflower Farm sugar peas and baby squash, on fregola pasta

Where the flavor is: the bone edition
Christiaan loves his meat, and never more than when it’s still on the bone. So this weekend, he’s taken some Mountain Shadow beef ribs, and cooked them up in what he calls “pastrami style.” Yep, he spiced and brined them, smoked them, and then finished them in the oven. They are about as succulent as you can get. And what else do you do with pastrami style beef ribs? Serve them up with cabbage and mustard, of course. Get a small plate of them for $8 while they last.

And then there’s the pork shank. It’s braised nice and slow, and served on polenta with a generous swoosh of pork jus, and of course, whatever vegetable that wanders in the door Friday afternoon from Windflower, Tuckered Out, Dancing Moon, J&B, Dickey’s, Hood River Organic, or any of our wonderful farmers.

Of course, if your taste buds long for salmon, man, have you hit the jackpot.  The wild Alaskan sockeye is so sweet and delicate that we don’t even mind the smell on our hands as we cut it. We’re serving it two ways: with fresh snap peas and fregola pasta, or on Zion farm greens with lemon dill vinaigrette.

We’ve got two great steaks this week, both from Mountain Shadow. The 12-ounce rib eye is served up on red chili posole, and heaped high with chipotle onion rings, for $19. And for smaller appetites, or for someone who wants to double-down on three or four of our small plates, there’s the smaller dry-aged-chuck eye with Windflower arugula and truffle fries, for $10.

And of course, dig into the seafood and chicken curries, the rockfish tacos, the pulled pork fritters, and lamb kofta. Our plates runneth over.

Finally, something good to do with watermelon
Nathan and Kathy are agreed on one thing: they hate watermelon. So what is a melon salad, complete with watermelon, doing on the menu, and why in heck would Nathan create it? Well, turns out when you take watermelon to India, it’s delicious. Toss in some mint, pickled red onions, and an Indian spice mix called Chaat masala, and we’re going for seconds.  If you already love watermelon: bonus! Get it this weekend, and we just have to add … while it lasts.

How to sell your wine: don’t drink it all, and other winemaker stories
Franco Marchesi is sitting on a case of wine in Kathy’s office, and she is complementing him on his delicious new Dolcetto. “The acid is just right! It’s so perfect with food,” she says.

Franco agrees (of course). “It’s becoming my favorite wine; I love to drink it, but I only made 70 cases.”

How quickly can Franco drink through that 70 cases? Don’t wait to find out. You better head up to the tasting room before it’s long gone.

Last week on an early warm evening, Kathy was sitting with Dick and Christie Reed in the Wy’East vineyard. (Sounds like Kathy does a lot of sitting, but she only wishes it were so.) They were drinking Wy’East Pinot Gris, eating cantaloupe and prosciutto and talking about the Wy’East and Nora’s Table wine dinner August 8, which will take place right there in that storied and gorgeous vineyard, tucked out in the east hills of the Hood River Valley.

And Kathy muses what a great white sangria she could make with that Pinto Gris. “You wouldn’t be offended if we made sangria with your Pinot Gris, would you?” Kathy asked Dick.

Ever the stockbroker at heart, Dick did a double take, and then laughed. “I just want to sell it!”

So come in this weekend, and give our Sangria a try. The perfect quaff made with a perfect Gorge wine. It’s what goes so well with our spice-alive plates.

It’s back: Maple Bacon Ice Cream
The magic whirr of the ice cream maker was heard throughout the land last night (well, at least in the Nora’s Table kitchen) and that can only mean one thing. Yes, Maple-Bacon-Ice-Cream-on-French-Toast Fans, it’s back. Nathan just wanted you to know.

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