This past weekend we visited our good friends who live in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. The area is a bustling with many wonderful restaurants to try. We were lucky to be treated to dinner at Restaurant Nora which is just around the corner from our friends’ place. Restaurant Nora seems to be an institution in DC as it has been open since 1979. Chef and owner Nora Pouillon is a supporter of local organic food. In 1999, Restaurant Nora became the nation’s first certified organic restaurant which means that 95% of all food served originates from certified organic sources. The restaurant is situated in a converted grocery store which is divided up into several smaller seating areas. The four of us arrived about 5 minutes late for our 7:45pm reservation and we were taken outside to a side entrance to the Gallery Room. The room was decorated in a rustic manner with cozy quilts hung on the walls.
After much discussion (we are a very indecisive bunch!) of the wine list we settled on a Pinot Noir. We were a little disappointed, not with the wine, but we felt it was served on the warm side. For dinner my husband and I started with the Wild Mushroom Soup with Sunchoke & Caramelized Onion Confit, Truffled Flan, Chive Purée. The soup was wonderfully rich and creamy. The sunchoke added a great texture without detracting from the earthiness of the wild mushrooms. Our friends got two appetizers. The Asparagus & LaQuercia Organic Proscuitto Salad with Roasted Morel Mushrooms, Shaved Fennel, Chive Emulsion, and Aïoli which was well received and the Morel Mushroom & Baby Leeks Tart with Herbed Goat Cheese, Tomato, Fine Herb Sauce which was lovely, if a little on the salty side. For dinner I had the Pan Roasted Grassfed Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Red Wine Sauce. This was a beautiful piece of meat which was perfectly cooked to order and the sides were a perfect accompaniment. I was a little disappointed in the mushrooms which I felt were a little soggy and did not have the meaty, earthly taste and texture of well sautéed mushrooms. I can’t remember the details of what the others had but I know we were all extremely happy with our dishes. Overall the food was excellent! Our one complaint on the evening was that the service was extremely slow and inattentive. We were not in a rush and were enjoying ourselves so the slow service was not a problem. However, we were disappointed by the inattentiveness. At this type of restaurant wine and water glasses should be refilled promptly. The dinner guests should not be doing that themselves. Overall, the food and idea of a restaurant serving organic and local was great but the service was not up to par.
2132 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008