A taste of Veneto, Italy is what you will find at Casa Nonna. Tucked nicely on West 38th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in NYC, this is a great place to spend an evening with family, friends or your significant other.
The Vento region is the home to Venice, Verona, Murano, and Treviso. This region of Italy is credited with bringing such specialties as polenta, the panini, and bigoli (an extruded pasta) to the world’s stage. Along with valpolicella, soave and prosecco wines.
The rustic and spacious ambience of Casa Nonna is the first thing that catches your eye. Then the smells from the kitchen as you stand by the hostess’ podium permeates your nose that in turn starts your mouth to water. You know you are for a good meal.
Under the direction of Executive Chef Julio Genao, the flavors of the northern most corner of Italy are brought to life. His menu is a limited, but with a varied selection (as a good menu should be.) It is divided into simple categories of salami and cheeses, salads, appetizers, first course pasta and second course meats and seafood selections and sides. Each item has the simple ingredients listed below it that seemingly excites your palate.
The food here is exceptionally good. From the appetizer to their main dishes as are their portion sizes, which are very northern Italian meaning that they are not two portions masquerading as one human portion (something more restaurants should be doing.)
Chef Julio’s pastas as his sausage, ricotta and everything else are made in-house. From the first bite of his pasta you can taste the doughy texture reminiscent to the pasta an Italian grandmother would make. [His] flavors are bright and bold and you can see the freshness of those ingredients on your plate. That is the hallmark of an accomplished Executive Chef.
The dessert menu was the typical array of sweet plates, sorbets and gelato. Nothing too fancy, but any of them will place a nice finish to your meal.
This review would not be complete without a mention of the wait staff. The staff knows the menu items inside and out. They are attentive and willing to please. They were all presented with a dash of charm as if you were in Venice. The staff makes you feel welcome and special. Notably, Anjelica was an absolute delight. She was so helpful and more than enthusiastic about describing the menu to you and making suggestions.
There were so many good things on this menu it would be nice if the Chef could make half portions so that you can try two dishes instead of just one. But that is merely a suggestion.
So, if you find yourself in Hell’s Kitchen (the Westside of Midtown) hungry for Italian flavor think Casa Nonna.