Winter people, gumbo dating, holiday parties and too many tasty temptations

The tail end of the summer people

Well, they’re all gone now. They’ve locked up their houses, stowed the windsurfers and kites and mountain bikes, and slipped away.

But are we sad? No! And why? Because you year-rounders are all still here, and we’re still here, and the Gorge is showing off just for us.

It’s so beautiful: the slow, languid return of green to the hills, the way the clouds slide in and mass against the cliffs, how everyone has time for you in the wine tasting rooms, and might even bring out a special bottle. (Thanks, Joe, for that preview of Maryhill’s soon-to-be released Cab Franc.)

Everyone goes about with a sort of Cheshire cat grin, snagging any parking spot they want, taking time to chat outside the post office, and not thinking for one minute of Christmas decorations or studded tires. Not yet.

It’s that moment of stasis, where nothing moves forward or slides back. A sweater or that beat-up jean jacket in the back of the closet is all you need. No reason just yet to struggle into the Gore-Tex or dig out the snow shovel, or even turn the heat up much. The grapes are fermenting, or just past. Mike’s Ice Cream is shuttered until April. We’ve pickled the green tomatoes, and they are good, and just enough.

In the dating mood? Get some gumbo

As promised, our Wednesday date night special is here again. So tonight (that would be Nov. 17), plan on two big bowls of duck, andouille sausage and shrimp gumbo with rice. Two bowls, we might add, for $14. They say we’re going to get hit with an arctic blast by Thursday, so you might as well fortify yourself.

Holiday party in your future? We can help

So, not to spoil that nice, peaceful mood we created above, but you might want to think a little bit about the holidays. Small groups are welcome here in the restaurant, and if you want a special lunch, we’ll do it, just for you. Our catering crew is also more than happy to travel off site, too. You can visit the web site of our Gorge Catering division, click on “menus and pricing” and then “holiday menus” for some ideas of what we can do. Our dates are filling up, so put down that hot cocoa and give us a call.

What’s up the rest of the week?

And here’s some of what you’ll find on our menu this week.

  • Whole leg duck confit with a duck tamale, red corn posole and red chili mole
  • Crispy rice prawns, red onion date chutney
  • Mountain Shadow 6 ounce-ribeye, sauté of fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts and pancetta, blue cheese butter
  • Smokey tomato soup, orange crème fraiche
  • Seared scallops, leek and carrot pancakes, wasabi beurre blanc, jasmine rice
  • Hot Asian slaw of julienned pumpkin, brussels sprouts, ginger, and fresh grated coconut, rice noodles, lime chili sauce
  • Gnocchi with oxtail, roasted heirloom tomatoes, jus, grana and herbs

See you around Nora’s Table.

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