“It’s more refined, less rustic,” says chef de cuisine Kayla Kenney, a French-trained chef. “It means paying closer attention to details of sauces and plating.”
The results yield clean, modern Italian flavors thanks to Kenney and chef and owner Eddie Zalar’s precise, measured skills.
The ever-changing menu keeps us on our toes with options such as the burrata cheese ($11), which shifts in flavors based on its accompanying ingredients. Currently, the fresh Italian cheese comes layered between a roasted Portobello mushroom and sheet of basil-pine nut breadcrumbs for a decadent starter that tastes decidedly new Italian.
House-made pasta can feel familiar — think spaghetti with marinara — or push the boundaries. The date and walnut ravioli (half $13, full $21) with braised beef short ribs, spinach and pickled pears deliciously blurs Nora’s Italian identity.
“We put thought and effort into every dish,” says Zalar. “We’re just trying to show our version of Italian cuisine.”
The bucatini (half $15, full $25) offers a complex spin on cioppino, a traditional Italian stew. Clams, chicken chorizo, cherry-smoked mussels and pickled apples swim happily in a rich tomato broth. 2181 Murray Hill Road, Cleveland, 216-231-5977, noracleveland.com