According to the poet T.S. Eliot, April is the cruelest month. Ol’ T.S. wasn’t a restaurant owner in the Gorge, or he’d know the cruelest month is really November. It’s always our slowest month of the year. And last year, we nearly despaired. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were hearing financial advisors tell millions of Americans not to eat out. And boy, did America pay attention. November ‘08 was a scary month, while we all hid our wallets, and wondered if it wasn’t the downward spiral of doom.
What a difference a year makes. Thank you all so much for giving us an amazing spring, summer and fall. In our first two weeks of November, we served more of you than we did ALL of last November. So now, instead of worrying over the post-summer slump, we’re just enjoying the quieter kitchen, and being creative. And you, dear diners, reap the rewards. Here’s what we’re eating this week:
You know it’s winter when the Dungeness crab comes in, and we’ve got some sweet ones from Washington chillin’ in the wings. We’re serving the legs in a coconut curry with green curry leaves and a touch of vinegar, with grilled naan bread. And we’re tucking some into our big seafood curry dish.
Andrew, true to his word, is bringing a wealth of south-of-the-boarder delish to the menu. Our flat iron steak is served with a pasilla negro mole, rice and roasted sweet potato spears.
Nathan has been perfecting his ravioli technique, and this week, we’ve been feasting on lamb and golden raisin ravioli with a delicate lamb and fresh coriander sauce. This weekend, it’ll be an oxtail ravioli. Don’t raise your eyebrow. This is beyond succulent. You know we wouldn’t steer (pun intended) you wrong.
We’re also serving up some fall-off-the-bone tender pork ribs in a chipotle tamarind sauce, with a mighty spicy chili slaw.
Five courses, $30. Yikes (or two for $50)
Want to come in and eat shanks, claws, tails, curries, and throw in a little caramel, chocolate and fried pie? That’s sorta what we had in mind when we created the Chef’s Tasting Menu a year ago. And then, we took it off the menu this summer because it was too popular, and too time consuming to serve during a busy summer night. But … it’s back! But only on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday … and maybe Friday and Saturday, if we think we can pull it off. You just let us be as creative as we want, and you get five courses for $30. We’ll pair wines from our locals-only list, for another $20 per person. It’s an amazing deal, and a lot of fun. If you want to bring in a group, please make a reservation.
Wednesday is two-for-one tacos
That’s right. This year, our Wednesday 2-for-1 applies to our fish tacos. That’s four tacos, on our hand-made tortillas, grilled to order, for $8.
The cake and the small world
And finally this week, a little story that reminds us what a small and interconnected world we live in. Recently, we were asked to bake a cake for an auction to benefit The Dalles Civic Auditorium. So our cake baking queen, Rainbow McIntyre, set about to create a lovely, eye-catching tiered cake, packed it in the back of her Subaru, and took it off to The Dalles. Where a local chaplain felt strangely drawn to it, bid on it, and bought it. And took it, a few days later, to share at a meeting of The Chaplaincy program in Tri Cities. Where Rainbow’s dad, the Rev. Wes McIntyre, is the director. That’s a long route to bake your Dad a piece of cake, but then, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Have a great week, and see you around Nora’s Table.