Spring market opens on eve of First Friday

It’s coming. Can you hear the tomatoes going “boing!”?

When the door opens at Nora’s these days, it’s just as likely to be Caroline or Seth, Meredith, Chris, Nick, Gary, or Bryan with a basket, a bag, a bus tub or some other conveyance, filled to the top with lettuce, peas, mushrooms or spinach.  And before long, it’ll be squash, spring onions, arugula, and maybe, just maybe, someday, if Kathy’s dream comes true, someone will bring us lovage. And Andrew will get fresh, local epizote. And Nathan will run his fingers through baskets of fresh berries and cherry tomatoes. It’s here; it’s almost here.

And this Thursday, the farmer’s market opens at 4:00! Woohoo! We’re also loving the asparagus from the Yakima Valley, and the snap peas from Toppenish, which our friends at Hood River Fruit and Produce go up and get to bring home to us.  EverSummer has been bringing us luscious heads of lettuce from their hydroponic operation, and next week, our old friends from Zion Farms start lettuce delivery, to be followed soon with the biggest spinach leaves you have ever seen.

And this week, here’s what’s on our plates:

  • Mountain Shadow lamb ribs in pinot noir barbecue sauce
  • A nice little salad of fennel, radish, olive and red onion, Spanish boquerones, tarragon oil and crème fraiche, on EverSummer greens
  • Oregon spot prawns sautéed in butter and wine with saffron potato aioli with spot pawn roe
  • Mt. Shadow pork loin chop on sambhar chana dahl, curried sausage, squash, peas with apple chutney
  • Zucchini and caramelized onions, Tilston Point blue cheese and hazelnuts
  • Duck breast with oranges, green olives and fresh snap peas
  • Dessert, you say? Oh yeah: for First Friday, it’s maple bacon ice cream on French toast. And if that’s not enough, there’ll be carrot cake with rum raisin ice cream, chocolate mousse napoleons, and profiteroles.

Mentions, here and there

Check out the June issue of Oregon Wine Press in which Kathy shares a recipe and some love for her chefs, Mountain Shadow Natural Meats and Marchesi Vineyard Pinot Grigio.

Couple of bloggers were passing out “bests” too. River City Food and Wine in Richmond, Virginia wrote about a recent trip to Nora’s while out west, “The best trout (from Idaho) we’ve ever tasted.”

And this from freelance travel writer David Molyneaux eating at Nora’s on a recent Northwest swing, “That was my best plate of Salmon in Oregon.”

How’s that hope-y for a table-y thing working out for you?

OK, we’re three days into our radically reduced summer reservation policy, and you haven’t had a heart attack yet, for which we are very thankful.

Just as a reminder: for the summer, as of June 1, we will no longer be taking reservations, except for parties of 6 or more. We’re also limiting large party reservations from between 5:00 and 6:00, or after 8:00. We have nothing against large parties, says Kathy, whose parents had 20 siblings between them. We are just trying to make more seating available all night long, which will happen because we’re not holding tables open and empty while we wait for reservations. You walk in, you see a table, it’s yours! And if there isn’t one available, we will keep a nice, neat waiting list, and call you on your cell when a table becomes available. Go for a stroll downtown if you have to wait, and have a glass of wine in one of our downtown wine tasting rooms.  This First Friday, June 4, there’s even a new one to visit: Cerulean opens its tasting room just across the breezeway from Doppio.

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