|Address||2132 Florida Ave., Washington, DC 20008|
My wife and I have wanted to try Nora for quite a while but hesitated because of the price tag. We finally bit the bullet this week and were quite disappointed.
First nothing in the menu really sounded exciting, nothing made you think "I really want to try THAT dish". Second the food was good but not too the point of commanding the price charged.
My wife had the degustation menu. She enjoyed her soup but found her goat cheese and mushroom tarte and her filet mignon average. We switched desert and she enjoyed the pear and Quince cobbler but the accompanying ice cream was bland and disappointing.
I ordered from the menu and my tartare was too spicy. I could not really taste the meat. In most restaurant in France tartare comes with little piles of condiments on the side and you choose what you want to mix in this was not the case here and it was over-spiced.
My duck confit was decent enough so was the accompanying rissotto but nothing to write home about. That said the chocolate desert from the degustation menu was delicious, but being such a chocolate whore, it is hard to disappoint me as long as you use the dark kind.
Service was great but I would not expect less from this kind of place. In the end the whole experience with tip and a glass of wine each threw us back $200.
I don't mind paying a premium for organic stuff. I actually do buy organic meat and vegetables on a regular basis. But, I expect something in return for that premium in term of taste. At Nora I didn't. I could have dine at Chef Geoff for 1/2 the price and similar food.
Sorry to say but you'd get better bang for your bck somewhere else. I know it's organic, I know the Clintons were (and may be still are) regulars but IMHO this place is overhyped and overpriced.
The best organic restaurant in the city. Excellent wine list. Service was good. A superb meal, slightly on the expensive side.
we came here as a treat, and we had an amazing experience. very few times I have eaten and enjoyed food so much in my life.
I was skeptical about Nora, which my boyfriend had raved about. We ate once at Asia Nora and I was not impressed. After moving here from New York, I've found many DC restaurants overpriced and underwhelming, if not mediocre. But Nora delivers. The quality of the ingredients is unbelievable - the foie gras is among the best I've had in my life, and I eat it every chance I get. Smooth as sillk, like butter on the tongue. The crab and avocado salad was surpassingly fresh and delicious. The lamb main course was cooked to perfection, the meat tender and juicy and coated with a light mint sauce. The only misstep was the veggie risotto, packed with spring peas and other veggies, but not as spectacular as the meat dishes. The service was attentive and friendly, and the experience a real pleasure. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
This was an absolutely fabulous anniversary dinner. The service was warm and soliticious, but not obtrusive. As soon as we sat down, our waiter plunked down two glasses of sparkling wine for our "special occaision" which did not appear on the check. I'm afraid I've waited too long after the meal to write a detailed account of the food, but I will say that it was easily my best meal in Washington (which often disappoints me, coming from San Francisco). Rest assured that this restaurant is not resting on its plaudits from years ago -- it is still at the top!
Nora is a spectacular organic restaurant on the west side of Dupont Circle. The wine list is superb, the food eclectic, and the service attentive but not obtrusive. A wonderful, but expensive meal.
When going to Nora's make sure you make a reservation and also be prepared to wait. We had a reservation for 8:45pm and we were not seated until 9:15pm. It was a little frustrating. The food is top notch and the wine list is extensive. The specials disappear quick when is a busy night so be prepared. The dinner was very good but the buser cleared the table along with full glasses of unfinished wine.
The reason you would go to this restaurant is for the outstanding organic food. Food is superb, some of the best in the city. The waitstaff can be stuffy, however, and the prices are very expensive for smaller portions than most places.
Nora Pouillon broke new ground in D.C. by opening America's first certified organic restaurant, helming the organic food movement that is currently sweeping the nation. For years, this establishment and its Asian sibling, Asia Nora, have made best-of lists around the city, lists that have praised not only its ethical approach to food, one too-seldom seen on restaurant menus, but also its consistently high quality and originality.
The restaurant is still a hallmark of the organic food movement, and the ingredients are still top-notch, but the consistentcy and originality have fallen off a bit.
The restaurant itself is lovely, as always--just that perfect combination of chic and precious that appeals to the organic food set. Nora's collection of Amish quilts that adorn the walls testify to a homey authenticity and purity recontextualized in a tony urban setting.
So far, so good. We're still in Nora's spell. And the wine list keeps us there, featuring just enough organic bottles to exceed token status, enough half bottles and budget-conscious choices for frugal diners, and enough trendy selections (an array of Austrian Gruner Veltliners will satisfy this season's trend watchers) to maintain an aura of chic.
The food itself, though, falls short. Oh, sure it's tasty enough. I'd be hard pressed to find a better raw fish appetizer than the piquant ahi tuna and mahi-mahi ceviche, with just the right bite to complement the delicate fish without overwhelming it. And the red pepper tart was certainly admirably executed.
But when you've ordered the tasting menu, (purportedly those dishes that the chef wants to show off, the nuggets on the menu that show the chef's real aptitude for cuisine) you expect flair, not subtle variations on dishes that have been appearing on D.C. menus for at least five years.
Nora's featured salad this evening was a standard baby lettuce affair. The roasted apples ended up mushy instead of delicate, the whole hazelnuts too unweildy to eat in a bite with anything else, and balsamic vinaigrette? Please! I was bored with that ten years ago. The highlight, Morbier cheese in dainty slices around the plate, wasn't enough to revive the rest of the tired dish.
Among our entrees, an asparagus and wild mushroom risotto was passable, although the risotto was a bit toothy for my liking. The three-peppercorn-crusted filet, though, barely tasted of pepper, and the accompanying potato puree and asparagus offered little to spruce up the dish. Yes, the beef was beautifully cooked, and the oxtail sauce was a rich complement to the beef, but all told, I'd hoped for something more from D.C.'s foremost organic chef, something that would merit a trip back to Nora's beyond the organic label itself.
Desserts, a warm chocolate souffle cake, was as good, but no better than those served at most upscale restaurants around town, and the rosemary creme caramel was a bit clumsy, revealing little of the brisk flavor of rosemary beneath the caramel.
In short, Nora uses many of the freshest, most ethically-produced ingredients available. If only the presentation were still as fresh.
Nora is the first certified organic restaurant in America so I was expecting it to be wonderful. Although the food was good, as a vegetarian I would have liked to have a bigger variety. As a nice touch because it was my birthday there was a personal message on my menu which is changed daily. However, there was an error, they misprinted the message, although when we brought it to their atttention, it was changed immediately. The biggest let down of the night, was the hair I found in my appetizer. I told the waiter and he took the meal, but nothing more was said about it. When you spend this kind of money at a restaurant, you expect the best. I should have gotten an apology, an offer to discount the food, something. I got nothing and it overshawoded everything else. Including the lit candle in my chocolate souffle cake. Needless to say, I will not be going back. I can get a much more satisfying meal for much less. I was not impressed with the service or the restarant's decor.
Nora is an absolute delight. Kudos for finally making fine dining a wonderful experience for vegetarians. I went on New Year's Eve and the five-course menu had interesting vegetarian options at every course (my only criticism is that each course had only one vegetarian choice). Of the five courses, all were great but the tempura. It was a bit plain and didn't go well with the others.
Phenomenal execution! The squash soup was the perfect texture, with swirls of creme and truffle. Every dish was a compilation of complementing ingredients.
Best restaurant in DC - service, food, wine, ambiance are all amazing!
If you can get beyond, or laugh at, the incredible pretentiousness of Nora's organic credo (the menu tells us that the waitstaff's shirts are made of organically-grown cotton), the food is just wonderful. My toasted quinoa side dish was heaven.