Famous. Again.

We are so pleased to show up in the October “Portland Monthly” not once, but twice. First, as part of a story about wine tasting in the Gorge, in which Nora’s is the recommended dining spot: “Have dinner at Nora’s Table in Hood River. The eclectic, highly localized menu offers dozens of small plates as well as entrées (like Goan seafood curry with rockfish, prawns, scallops, and mussels) all dreamed up by Nathan Morgan, former chef of Portland’s popular Indian restaurant Vindalho.” And second, a piece featuring Nathan’s Oregon black cod and pear dish, which just happens to be on our menu right this very minute, with scallops instead of cod because that’s what the ocean gave us this week.

Yes, famous once more, since our star turn in The Oregonian’s A&E, and then This Week magazine. And yes, we are digging it. Very happy to be recognized beyond our borders, even though you, dear diners, make us feel very happy every week.

Four fine eyes on Hood River

Just in time for First Friday, photographer Blaine Franger and wife Bethany bring their insightful eyes-view of our lovely Gorge to our walls for a month. To see more of their work, visit www.beautifulhoodriver.com

We’d also like to thank curator Marty Rudolph for arranging last month’s show. Marty will be bringing new and exciting artists to us each month from now on.

Oh yeah, we still got great veg, and ‘shrooms too

Just because we’re officially past summer and into fall, don’t think we’re forced to order in   California carrots just yet.  On this week’s menu, we’ve got local meats, fruits and vegetables on the menu from: Mountain Shadow Natural Meats, Pussywillow Farm, Hood River Organic, Querces Farm, Mosier Valley Organic, Dickey Farms, and Windflower Farm. Plus which, there are locally foraged mushrooms: both chanterelle and matsutake.

And what might we be doing with these? You had to ask, didn’t you.

How about Green Eggs and Ham? Yep, we’re breading and frying thick, luscious slices of green tomatoes, topping them with Nathan’s cured, then crispy-fried pork belly, adding a farm egg, and letting the whole dish have a wallop of green chili béarnaise. Yikes.

We’re enjoying our last few weeks of fresh salmon with Willapa Bay coho, fingerling potato and artichoke salad, sautéed spinach, and warm roasted tomato almond puree. Mountain Shadow’s thick cut bone in pork chops are getting roasted garlic potato puree, sautéed spinach, and matsutake mushroom pan sauce. (Note: these dishes change on our whim, sometimes nightly, depending on what vegetables walked in that day. You remember that joke, right? “A vegetable walks into a bar …”)

If you can hold on until Saturday night, Nathan will have a braised pork shoulder with roasted tomato amarillo chili sauce and cucumber mint pica de gallo.  What else would you want after several hours at Hood River Hops fest, which, we might add, is walking distance (two blocks) from us.

October brings a return to reservations. Sort of.

If you’ve been bummed that we didn’t take reservations this summer, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. We will once again be taking reservations, beginning this Saturday night. However, we will still be a bit reserved about big tables. If you are 7 or more, we will want to see you early in the evening on weekends. On  weeknights,  you can pretty much have your choice of dining times.

And guess what? The Chef’s Tasting Menu, five courses for $30, is back. But only weeknights: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. We want you to enjoy that at a leisurely pace, right?

One closed, one still open

We are venturing out into the world to cook two wine dinners in the months ahead, but alas, we understand one has already sold out, at Domaine Pouillon on Oct. 16.

However, Franco Marchesi has asked us to come cook Italian on November 6, in his wine barn. And he tells us there will be live opera singing, complete with accordion. For more information, contact Marchesi Vineyard.

See you around Nora’s Table.

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