Mid-summer check-in, the tourist edition

Dine in the vines with us and Wy’East

August 11 is our fourth summer preparing dinner in the Wy’East pinot noir vineyard on the steps of Mount Hood. Dick and Christie Reed continue to make the dinner spot ever so much more lovely, and we are thrilled to be back. There are still seats available, so please call Keely at the Winery at 541-490-4534 now at reserve a seat. Here’s the menu:

  • Gorge summer salad rolls: candied salmon, cucumber, scallions, mint, basil, Wildwood Farm greens, sweet peppers and toasted macadamia nuts in rice paper wrappers, lime chili dipping sauce,  Tilly Jane white blend
  • Chilled peach soup with basil coulis,  Pinot Gris
  • Grilled figs and grilled lamb and pine nut crepinette, Zion Farms arugula, fig vin cotto, Reserve Pinot Noir
  • Grilled New York steak, creamy Dickey Farms corn, Italian salsa verde, Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Double chocolate cake with almond crunch, raspberry coulis, with Cloud Cap

We’ve neglected our blog since late June, and for one very good reason: AAAAAAKKKK! Do you have any idea how many people show up here from Paris each summer? Paris, Texas; Paris, California; and yes, even Paris, France.

The good news is, we’re still cooking and we made it through July, and here we are on the first day of August. And we miss you! There are some nights when we don’t recognize anyone in the dining room. And while we are tremendously thankful for our visitors, we do miss regular faces. If you’ve been staying away to avoid the crowds, August does slow down, so come see us.

A few scenes from the kitchen and dining room from the past month:

Kathy is quickly slicing through a huge mound of Azure Farm cucumbers for our cucumber gazpacho. Justin is cutting corn off two dozen ears of corn. A few years ago, a chef who worked for us told us as he was slicing mushrooms, “Do you know the sign of a great chef? It’s a guy who can slice these mushrooms without looking at them.”  We all thought, “Really?”

So Kathy tells Justin, “Hey Justin, do you know the sign of a great chef? It’s slicing these cucumbers without looking at them.”

ustin looks up … for just a moment … from his corn duty. “Really? I think the sign of a great chef is someone with all their fingers.”   Ah, the wisdom of the culinary school graduate.

Two tourist tables, two stories: Had a couple in from somewhere in the fast lane last week. Not sure where, but they were in a big, darn hurry. They were seated next to a couple from North Carolina. The big-darn-hurry customers joined us during the 7:00 rush, and had to wait for us to serve an 8-top. Well, actually, they didn’t wait. They left … just as their meals were heading to their table. We hate it when that happens, we truly do. The North Carolina couple came up to the kitchen bar after dinner.

“Chef,” says the fella with the big vowels, “We have been in the Pacific Northwest for 15 days, and that is the best meal we’ve had. Thank you so very much.” And then the Big-Vowel fella says, “I told that guy next to us, ‘Just chill! This food is amazing! It’s worth the wait,’ but he just couldn’t settle down.”  We love North Carolina.

What’s to eat around this joint?

And just in case you’re hungry, here’s some of what’s on our menu this week.

Wildwood Farm tri-color beets, Hood River Organic red romaine lettuce, Gabrielle Coulet Roquefort, beet chips, lemon chive vinaigrette

Seared scallops, roasted Gorge tomatoes, basil pesto

Pork belly hash, deviled egg salad, grilled crostini

Fresh Oregon albacore, dashi broth, smoked shitaki mushrooms, crispy house-made noodle nest, dry sauté of summer squash and eggplant, ginger and pickled peppercorns.

Tomato fenugreek curry, organic Gorge summer vegetables, rice and grilled naan

And from Rainbow in the pastry perch: Frozen lemon mousse with blueberries and crispy oat cookie; Chocolate tart with Gorge cherries; Pinwheel peach cobbler with cinnamon ice cream; Salted caramel crème brulee, chocolate dipped shortbread cookie

See you soon around Nora’s Table



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