I love Italian food, much to my own demise, pasta just goes straight to the stomach... as I guess where all food does, but takes a lot more effort to get rid of again. However, damn it all, I throw caution to the wind, and indulge my passion.
So with family in tow, we went down to try something familiar, somewhere different, La Nonna.
The restaurant itself is down a very non-assuming side street, an area I have never been before, with limited parking, so expect some challenges in parking near the restaurant. The interior itself is designed just as you would expect an Italian restaurant to be, subtle lighting, old bottles of wine, and chalkboards with specials.
We were seated towards the end of the restaurant, obviously seeing us with Oscar, who still likes the sound of his own voice, though we know not what he says, something peoplem say about me as well. The seating situation didnt bother us too much anyway.
The menu was pretty straight foward, not overloaded with choice, but seemed to focus on good quality dishes.
We started with some appertizers to share, a plate of calamari and a plate of beef carpaccio. The calamari was nice, lighlty battered and had a nice tomatoe dipping sauce with it. It also had some mayonaise on the side, which seemed a little bit lazy, it might have been nicer with some tartare sauce instead. The beef carpaccio presented very well with nice red beef, olives, shavings of parmesan cheese and rucola. The dish came off a little disappointing, in that it seemed that the beef may have been placed in a hot dish, and as such slightly cooked around the edges, resulting in slices of beef sticking to the plate. Or as my wife suggests, may have been on the plate a little too long and dried up around the edges.
We then proceeded on to the mains, in which I indulged in some gnocchi. I love, really love gnocchi. So my choice was obvious, and it paid off, the result was great, the gnocchi was cooked great with that right level of dough-iness. However the sauce did come off as a bit oily, as in between the sauce there were pools of golden liquid. Still I enjoyed what was offered. Celeste (my sister-in-law) had the veal, which I didnt get a chance to try, but was assured it was very good. My wife and mother-in-law had the lasagne, which was ok, nothing special, but also came off a little oily.
So finally we got to deserts. I indulged in the Lemon tart, and yes... this was the highlight of the evening! The tart was cooked fantastically, the pastry soft and crumbly, yet not so much that you had a mess on your plate, and the tart filling absolutely delicious. If there was one thing that would keep me coming back, it would be this dish... very very tasty.
I need to say something about the service, before the end of the review. The staff at La Nonna, were really nice, they are pleasant and fairly attentive. The interacted with the family well, and with Oscar, keeping him entertained. A restaurant can have the best food in the world, but if the service is bad, or not engaging, then it can all come down. La Nonna ensured that not only was the food good, but the service was great.
All in all, La Nonna, is a good restaurant, not great, but good for a very casual meal of Italian with great service, for the rest of the family. If someone asked for a recommendation, I would certainly say its worth the visit, I didnt get to try the pizza, which I have since understood is the highlight.
Thanks Team La Nonna for a good night out!