Under the Lyle sun: A wine dinner at Memaloose Winery
Mistral Ranch, perched on a sunny, gently rolling bench above Lyle WA, is the location of our wine dinner on Saturday, July 7 with Memaloose Winery. Winemaker Brian McCormick and his parents Rob and Barbara create the beautiful Memaloose and Idiot’s Grace wines, and Mistral Ranch is home to the winery operation.
hen the McCormicks asked us to prepare dinner, they said, “We want two things on the menu: salmon and cherries.” Cherries because Brian also tends an amazing organic heirloom cherry orchard on his Idiot’s Grace farm in Mosier. And Salmon? Need a reason?
So we’re bringing these two iconic Gorge summer foods together with great wines for a six-course evening. Dinner starts at 6:00. Wine club members pay $65, and non-members pay $75 (inclusive of tip). Check out the menu here at the blog by clicking on “special events”, and call us for a reservation at 541-387-4000. Limited seats available.
Mexico meets the Punjab on your plate this week
Would it surprise you to know that in the kitchen, we don’t always eat from our own menu? Nope, we have our joneses, especially at the end of a long night. And sometimes, by happy accident, we create something that ends up on the menu for everyone to enjoy.
So this past Saturday night, Sergio decided to apply a little taco technique to our Indian grilled naan bread. He pan-sautéed some rib eye with onions, and piled it on a naan, loaded it higher with cheese and cabbage and avocado. Viola: Indian taco.
While Kathy munched away, she said, “Wouldn’t this be great with grilled lamb, red onion date chutney, cucumber raita, cabbage, radish and lime?” To which we all went, “YUM!”
And the Punjabi Taco was born. Premiering Wednesday night
Other flavors of the world explored too
We have become a giant fan of osso-bucco cut pork shanks in recent weeks. The pork is on the bone, rendering it even more luscious than usual. Slow braised, the result is juicy and tender. We’re smoking the shanks, then braising them in a bourbon molasses sauce. They’re served with corona beans and Wildwood Farm snow peas. The beans and peas swirl around in that nice, smokey sauce, and it’s a pretty happy plate to tuck into.
What else we got? Our take on an Italian salsa verde, except it’s purple. We’re subbing beautiful purple spinach from Hood River Organic from the usual parsley, and adding capers, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and bread crumbs, with olive oil and muscatel vinegar, and resting a big spoonful on our pan seared salmon filet. Which just happens to be resting on a nice plate of duck-fat potatoes, in case you’re interested.
Other new treats include a salad of Hood River Organic red romaine lettuce with grilled figs, honey walnuts and a beautiful French Roquefort, with fig vin cotto and olive oil.
Our pork belly is showing up in a hash with crispy little chunks of potato, and a nice mound of deviled egg salad. Make your own open-faced sandwiches on grilled baguettes.
Ticks to go: just another service we provide
Stu was visiting a couple at a table the other evening who had been hiking on the ticky side of the Gorge (that would be Washington). One guest brushed her hand across something annoying her forehead, only to see a little critter drop to the table.
“Is that a tick?” she gasped.
Stu peered down, “Yes, I believe it is. Shall I box that up for you?” A good laugh was had by all, except perhaps, the tick.
See you soon around Nora’s Table.