Washington DC: Restaurant Nora

This weekend, BD and I went to Washington D.C.  It was a surprise trip, that I planned for a while, so that we could go see the William Eggleston retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery.  BD loved it!  So, as far as I was conerned, our trip was a success regardless of anything else we did over the weekend.  But as it turns out, we had a delightful meal in store at Restaurant Nora.

We opted for the $60 vegetarian tasting menu, which is decidedly a major splurge for us – but I think at the end of the meal we both felt that it had been worth the money, and that it did make our evening very special, so I don’t think it was money ill spent.

We started with this salad: Hearts of Palm, Cucumber, Radish, Ramps, and Fennel, with a rhubarb vinaigrette – the dressing was deconstructed, adding to the presentation of the salad.  Everything was crisp and fresh and the dressing was very very tasty.  I hate fennel, don’t like cucumber, and could take or leave radish, but I cleaned my plate, and so did BD.  The salad was sweet, tangy, and tasted like summer!  


The 2nd course was this tart: porcini mushrooms & artichokes, with leeks, goat cheese, microgreens, and basil emulsion.  We cleaned our plates again.  This was a very earthy tasting dish, the tart was surprisingly heavy, but it held up very well to the not-so-delicate filling.  I thought this would have been my favorite component of the meal… until the main course came out.


This was the champagne risotto, which prominently featured the most beautiful zucchini I have ever seen in my life (it tasted great too), along with peas, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, and two crispy friend squash blosssoms.  I don’t particularly care for fried food, so I gave BD my squash blossoms, but otherwise this dish was absolutely perfect for me.  I love all the components, and they were each cooked perfectly.  Everything still had a bite to it (even the risotto!), but wasn’t too crunchy.  Although this was my favorite component of the meal, I did not clean my plate – knowing that we still had a dessert course to come.


I had the blueberry and peach crostada with vanilla ice cream, and BD had the double chocolate cake with coconut ice cream.  I am usually not a “must have dessert” kinda gal, but this was a very satisfying end to a most satisfying meal.  I especially care for desserts that feature fresh fruits, so that crostada was exactly the way I would have dreamed of ending a meal that was chock full of delicious fresh foods.  

I am not really all that concerned about organic vs non organic in my own shopping – I try to buy seasonally and locally when I can, and if I buy from a small family farm, I’m not overly concerned with whether they grow organically or if they are certified – we all know that USDA organic certification is a joke.  But if you are into the organic thing, this is the first, and one of only a small handful of certified organic restaurants in the country, indicating that at least 95% of the items on their menu are certified organic.

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