Friday, August 17, 2012

Chez Nora: Covington’s Venerable Standby

Chez Nora in Mainstrasse
     There are a few establishments in the region that always offer a quality experience based on good food, efficient service and fair prices yet are rarely on the foodies’ radar.  I immediately think of the National Exemplar in Mariemont, The Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell, and Ron’s Roost in Cheviot.  They’re each pretty unique in terms of menu and
ambience, but what they have in common is a loyal customer base because of their level of service.  I’d add Chez Nora in Mainstrasse.  We’ve been there on a number of occasions for lunch, catered parties, and for drinks on the upstairs deck.  It’s not the place I think of first, but it’s always been fun.

     Katy and I went out to lunch a couple of weeks ago and wanted to go somewhere close and a little different. Why not Chez Nora?  Why not, indeed!  Although there is an extensive lunch menu from which I’ve enjoyed the Cod Sandwich and the Reuben in the past, the special was Sea Bass for $9.  Neither Katy nor I could believe it so we both ordered it.

Sea Bass with Sautéed Squash
     I’d forgotten to bring a camera, but fortunately Katy had her phone and kindly offered to snap away.  The Sea Bass was tender and a generous portion, but I didn’t cut all the skin away so I found myself munching on some fat.  The squash accompanying the fish needed some seasoning especially because it was a little watery.  I don’t know if it was steamed or not, but I would have liked a quick, vigorous sauté.  

Red Velvet Cheesecake and Butterscotch Pie
     The dessert list is extensive and it’s pretty great.  All are homemade, though not necessarily on the premises.  Katy ordered the Red Velvet Cheesecake, which was enormous, densely textured and richly flavored.  It was enough for two, but I ordered the Butterscotch Pie anyway.  This is the best, most purely butterscotch flavored dessert I’ve tasted since that served at ZZ’s a decade ago by the dearly departed Tom and made by his dearly departed mother.

A Blurred Picture of the Bar,
but You Get the Idea
     There’s a beautiful, antique bar to complement the friendly, knowledgeable service. Chez Nora is a fine place to hang with friends, listen to some live music on select evenings, enjoy some good food for lunch or dinner or host an office event.

Chez Nora on Urbanspoon

I may need to check my hearing (or my French) as I thought Eric was saying "chat noir".  Pardonne-moi!

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