Life after Valentine’s Day?

We got a kick out of seeing so many of you Friday, Saturday and Monday this week … one long bacchanal of lovers’ celebrations.

As is often the case, however, you seem way too fatigued by the whole thing to even venture out for a week. So we’re crafting some great food we hope will cause you to appear on our doorstep this week.

Let’s start with Cheap Date Night (if you didn’t blow it all Monday): Come in for two nice, hot bowls of Canadian savory clams with our house-made pancetta, white wine, garlic confit and herbs plus grilled crostini, for a massive $10 (Yep, TWO bowls for $10.)

And for the rest of the week, here’s some of what’s on our menu:

  • Pepper-crusted seared scallops, house-made linguine, chiffonade of winter greens, pancetta, preserved lemon cream
  • Beef steak roulades filled with rosemary caramelized onions, sweet smoky pepper beef  jus, horseradish and crème fraiche
  • Grilled brochette of 6-ounce rib eye steak, button mushrooms and sweet onions, on smoked cheddar and chive gnocchi
  • Kashmiri-style Pork ribs, cherry gastric and cashews
  • Mountain Shadow pork chop, honey balsamic glaze, farro risotto, mushrooms and winter root vegetables
  • Kitchadi wraps with ginger tamarind chutney and grilled naan (Kitchadi, our vegetarian friends, is a wonderful blend of basmati rice, lentils, spices and caramelized onions that you can top with chutney and wrap up in crisp bib lettuce leaves.)
  • Beef oxtail pot pie with caramelized onions and leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms
  • Idaho Sturgeon, charmula sauce, pan roasted mussels, potatoes and tomatoes

Sounds tasty; we’ll have some

Come to the Gorge this weekend, and in addition to eating at Nora’s, 30 of our winery tasting rooms will be open Presidents’ Day weekend with open houses featuring decadent chocolates, live music, new releases, artisan treats and other surprises.

A special tip of the toque to Marchesi Vineyards which just won “best wine tasting room” in an on-line survey from the Gorge Guide. Great job, Franco, making us feel like we’re in Italy!

Other tasting room news: Our friends Alexis and Juliet Pouillon of Domaine Pouillon and the McCormick family of Memaloose Wines are just weeks away from opening a new, beautiful wine tasting room in downtown Lyle, with killer views out over the Columbia.

And watch for the groundbreaking of a new Viento tasting room, visible from I-84. We’ll let winemaker Rich Cushman fill you in on the details … soon.

Nibbles too small to make a main course

Only because Chef Kathy Watson has too much in her brain at one time, we offer these inane observations for your amusement:

  • We are obsessed with keeping the outside of our pots clean. We have thought about this a lot this week, and we’re not sure why. Do they cook better when the outsides are clean? Does anyone notice if they’re not? We’re still pondering.
  • What exactly does the word “reservation” mean to most people? We wondered this a lot when, at 4 pm on Valentine’s afternoon, we were still getting calls from people looking for a table smack dab at 7 pm, a spot which had be sold out for five days. We can completely understand that hope springs eternal. But we aren’t sure we understand the gasp we heard when said late-callers were told there were no tables available until after 8:30. “What? Really? We can’t eat that late!”  And we can’t manufacture more tables at 7:00, so if you are really, really inflexible about what time you want to eat, you may want to call sooner than three hours before. We’re just sayin’ …
  • We are thankful for Sam the Gorge Electric electrician, husband of our server Jacqueline Cannon. He passed by the other day as Kathy was stapling some new twinkly lights around the windows and doors. “Let’s unplug those while you staple, shall we?” Sam asked. It takes a guy who’s had a few shocks in his life to figure things like that out. The lighting project also took the help of Mike Kitts, because Kathy could not figure out how to open the back of the big stapler. Mike, our landlord and general contractor, bumbled around a bit and told Kathy about how he was not actually a handyman, and it was only lucky for her that he’d used the same stapler before. Right, Mike. Does that excuse usually work for you? But we have lights now, and they do indeed shine all the way around, eliminating the squatty acres look.
  • And isn’t it great? You step out on the sidewalk to do anything in this town, and sooner or later (usually sooner) someone will stop by with a word of encouragement, harassment or assistance. We love our Hood. See you around Nora’s Table.

 

 

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