I was pleasantly surprised. The food was quite good. The wine list was almost all French – snob that I am, I loved that. So all these years, I had snubbed Nora for no good reason.
The space is big. It looks like a small corner from the outside, but it seems to go on forever inside. A cozy bar when you walk in and a nice table in the window. Then you walk up a few stairs to the main dining room. There look to be two – or maybe more – private rooms along the side.
At a time when every other restaurant seems focused on stuffing in as many diners as possible, Nora was refreshing. We were seated at our table – not in the lap of the people next to us. It was appropriately dimly lit (with great track lighting from Artemide or one its brethren – I think we’d looked at these lights at Illuminations).
The walls were decorated with framed quilts – so that made me think of my MIL. She would love this place – for the quilts alone.
The crowd was younger than I would have thought. A few couples and groups celebrating birthdays. Yes, I tried to convince G to say it was his birthday so we could get a sorbet sundae with a candle … alas. The dress code says “business casual” which I took to mean no jeans, but there was a young man in a t-shirt and workout pants. To be fair, he had very nice arms …
The best dish was probably dessert, which is odd for me to say because I’m not a huge dessert person. Perfect texture, great balance of salt and sweet.
My appetizer of beet salad was delicious – so fresh, perfectly composed.
My main, a steak, was good, but not great. That’s probably my fault – if you want a steak, go to a steak place! And I didn’t love the pairing with sweet potatoes, although the sweet potatoes were amazing … Meanwhile, G was practically licking up his ceramic cassoulet dish – I guess a tad better than the one I made a few weeks back …
Our wine, an Esprit de Beaucastel, was a great match with the food. Not so powerful as a Beaucastel, a bit more tempered, and so good with steak as well as cassoulet.
Not sure why we waited so long. Next visit? Most likely with my in-laws.