The Big O gives us an A-

We are pretty darn happy to share a review of Nora’s Table that will appear in the Oregonian’s A&E section tomorrow, Friday, July 9. We got a little sneak preview today in the on-line edition, and got all holy-jumpin’-up-and-down-Martha-excited when we read it. Our favorite part? When reviewer David Sarasohn writes that we have “turned the gorge from a geological statement into a cuisine.”

We despaired of ever being reviewed, way out here, especially since our local newspaper doesn’t want to take on that somewhat risky business of reviewing restaurants. So we’ve depended on diner reviews in places like TripAdvisor. And even though we’ve been the #1 Hood River pick there for over a year, we still longed for that validation stroke from Portland.

So with no further ado, go read it: http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2010/07/restaurant_review_nora.html

And after you digest that….

So here’s what our fabulous crew, all tingly and excited from reading our review, will be slipping onto your plates this weekend:

  • Seared pork belly swimming in a pool of hazelnut and Amarillo chili mole, with fresh Washington apricot and sweet red pepper salsa
  • Roasted corn samosas, sweet tomato chutney
  • Mt. Shadow pork loin chop, cheddar and fresh corn polenta, bbq onions, sauté of Zion Farm spinach
  • Oregon Chinook salmon, fresh mole verde, peruano beans, spinach radish salad
  • Manilla clams and wild prawns in coconut fenugreek saffron tomato curry with grilled naan
  • Fresh strawberry crumble with crème fraice ice cream

Kitchen math

Our incomparable dishwasher, Ricardo, introduced us to a friend who will wash dishes for us later this month when Ricardo runs a hamburger stand at the county fair. Happens that his friend is also named Ricardo, or as we call him “Ricky Dos”. And then, last week, a buddy of Nathan’s named Andrew arrived to help us cook on busy nights, and instantly earned the nickname “Drew Two” to differentiate him from our sous chef, Andrew Wightman.

Ricardo Uno summed it up best, with lots of respect: “Two Ricardos, two Andrews, but only one Nathan.”

So busy, nobody goes there anymore?

Good ‘ol Yogi Berra uttered those famous words about a previously-loved hang out. And we are hoping you DON’T think that about us, especially with the dandy review and all.

Truth is, our somewhat new “no reservations” policy is increasing your chances of snagging a table, since we’re not holding them open and empty, waiting for those reservations. So just show up. And if there’s a wait, we’ll send you off to one of our now SIX downtown wine tasting rooms to rev your engine and quaff the local stuff, and we’ll call you when your table is ready. (So what are the six wine tasting rooms? Quenett, Naked, The Pines, Cerulean, Stoltz, Springhouse. We’ll give you a list.) The restaurant looks tiny, but that’s a bit deceiving: we have 50 seats inside, and another 16 outside.

Figs, oh dears, where are you?

We called the owner of our faithful local fig tree the other day, Chris Strader of Hood River Jewelry, only to learn that April frosts have rendered his tree unfruitful this year. Same with a call to Pasquale Barone. So we’re sending a shout-out to our fig-loving fans: if you have a tree, or know of a tree, we would love some figs. Nathan is anxious to stuff them with goat cheese and mint, wrap them in Speck and grill them, and wouldn’t you love that?

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