Hendersonville – Many may think that Nora’s Italian Eatery in Hendersonville at Plaza North is just a pizza place. Yet after talking with chef Johnathan Lavoie, one will quickly realize that he is a gourmet cook who has specialized in Italian dishes throughout his 15-year career. Lavoie is offering his clients some incredibly bargain-priced gourmet meals daily.
Nora’s Italian Eatery is a local restaurant with black and white tablecloths, a tin backsplash and home-style fresh Italian dishes. This is a place where your family will feel comfortable, welcome and can relax. You don’t have to search out a big Italian chain to find delicious food.
Yes, there are pizzas to be had—Noras House Special, Greek, Chicken Parmesan and many others. Select by the slice, three sizes or Sicilian either for take-out, delivery or eat-in. However, the overall menu is filled with a wide array of culinary dishes. They’re all prepared daily, in-house by a gourmet chef and his helpful team: Mariah, the General Manager and backbone of the operation, and Colby Pace, the apprentice chef. The children can enjoy their pizza while the parents can enjoy a gourmet dinner.
Lavoie opened Nora’s in July 2020 after moving here from New England. After attending New England Culinary in Vermont, he became a sous-chef and delved into culinary positions at various Greek/Italian restaurants, learning all aspects of culinary skills. This allowed him to open his own business in Hudson, Massachusetts. When his wife Alanna got a job as a kindergarten teacher at Johnston Elementary School in Buncombe County, they moved to this area. Johnathan then Nora’s, naming it for his 6-year-old daughter, Nora. The Lavoie’s are active in the local community. This past April, they sponsored the WNC Wheels Car show by providing a special meal for the day. They also help the Blue Ridge Humane Society and sponsor local football teams.
Opening a restaurant during a pandemic, with all the state’s rules and regulations, has made life difficult. Fortunately, pizza is certainly an item that is often picked up or delivered, so Lavoie was able to keep his restaurant open while keeping socially distanced. Nora’s uses the delivery services of Doordash and UberEats. Now, fortunately, full-service dining is allowed. Besides classic Italian entrees such as Lasagna and Ravioli, there are weekly specials offered twice a week. This week, you can order a sweet potato and cilantro ginger bisque as the soup du jour, or a 12-ounce prime rib served with creamy garlic mashed potatoes, zucchini, and local horseradish. All the pastries—lemon squares, tiramisu and cannoli—all the sauces—pesto, marinara, alfredo and marsala— all are made by qualified staff with only the freshest ingredients. In addition, they offer catering for special events, such as graduations, weddings and anniversaries.
Just call the restaurant (828) 595-9245 or visit their website www.norasnypizzeria.com to order ahead. Nora’s is open Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 am – 8:30 pm; Friday – Saturday 11:30 – 9 pm; and Sunday 12 – 8:30 pm. It is located at 2111 Asheville Highway, Sta. # 9, near the Goodwill Industries.
Opposite Top Left: A plate full of Steamed Mussels is accompanied by garlic crostini’s. Photo courtesy of Nora’s Italian Eatery.