Confession. I must admit I was reticent to review Restaurant Nora at first. I mean, it was the first organic restaurant founded in the United States, Michelle Obama had a surprise birthday party there, and it was one of three restaurants featured in Top Chef DC in a rare moment where the producers decided to spare us atrocious food puns and showcase DC food. To put it bluntly, Restaurant Nora doesn’t need SPY’s help.
However, I changed my mind. Why? Well, for one, the food was delicious. And secondly, I felt I needed to redeem the SPY name after IronCitySpy single-handedly ruined our aura of mystery and intrigue by confessing that he has lived off of $20 in cash and five-dollar footlongs for weeks on end. Jesus. It’s like I date Jared.
But fear not! For my birthday IronCityJared actually got dressed, took me to Restaurant Nora and TOTALLY redeemed himself. At the top of the Nora menu they tell you what is in season, and, assuming you like the offerings, I recommend you choose based on seasonality. It is a local and organic place you know.
IronCitySpy and I got a chanterelle, goat cheese & leek tart and grassfed beef tenderloin tartar to start, the pork shoulder and the scallops as our entrees, and the pear and Cranberry Crisp for dessert. Honestly, it was all delicious. My favorites were probably the two appetizers (they make a GREAT savory tart), but the ingredients in all the dishes were fresh and wonderful. Since I dislike overly sweet desserts, I must also note that the crisp also had an amazing mix of sweet and tart to finish. And IronCitySpy? He loved EVERYTHING. He said this many times.
The decor is very DC – conservative, classy and comfortable with nice lighting and woodwork. It is wonderful for couples or small groups. The only downsides I can think of are the number of vegetarian entrees (though this is partially offset by their 4-course $75 vegetarian-only tasting menu) and the price. Look, Restaurant Nora is expensive. Some people love it, others think it is over-hyped for the money. Personally, I think it is an excellent restaurant with fresh ingredients and a wonderful ambiance. It is nicely tucked away off of Florida Avenue and great for special occasions. Nora herself was even there when we were, which is always nice to see.
Any other Restaurant Nora fans? Haters? Advocates of IronCitySpy taking DCspy out on the town more often because she is a beautiful snowflake of wit and style?? Weigh in!Restaurant Nora 2132 Florida Avenue NW
Washington D.C., DC 20008
(202) 462-5143 http://www.noras.com/