Jfood was able to wander over to Osteria I Nonni this evening for an absolutely great meal. From the moment he walked in until the walk out the door after his meal, the restaurant, the staff and the food were as close to perfect as possible.
With no reservation on a Wednesday night Jfood was a little nervous. Then he walked in and saw the sign that there was a private party. Oh no, not again (it happened the night before at 112). He looked around and saw an empty bar and several empty tables so he breathed a sigh of relief. The room itself is beautiful with vaulted ceilings, wonderful lighting fixture, soft lighting and a sound level where people can hear others at their table.
They sat him at a nice 2-top and brought over some nice, warm bread and butter. The waitress arrived and offered water or wine and asked if Jfood wanted to hear the specials. They were perfectly presented and she even mentioned the price of each. She also presented the tasting menu, described each dish nicely and then gave Jfood time to decide.
When he was ready, he ordered the House-Made Gnocchetti with Ragu of Braised
Goat and Parmigiano Reggiano ($14) for an appetizer and the Braised Beef Short Rib alla Cacciatore with Turnips, Cipollini Onions and Mustard Greens ($26) for an entrée.
The gnocchetti arrived and the first thing that Jfood noticed was the abundance of the braised goat. The dish was basically 60% goat and 40% gnocchetti. A little fresh ground pepper was added and Jfood first taste produced a wonderful smile on his face. The goat was tender (well there were a couple that were tougher than others). The only disappointment was the lightness of the gnocchetti. They were a little too dense and they could have been more “pillowy”. All Jfood could think of was the episode of Top Chef and the description of “pillows” that was discussed. Jfood would rate this a strong 9. Too bad they were not lighter as a 10 was what Jfood really want to give this dish.
The short rib arrived and it was large, placed atop the mustard greens with the vegetables circumventing the beef. Jfood is a huge fan of cipollinis so that was his first bite. Perfect flavor, but they could have been a little hotter. His first taste of the beef also brought the second large smile of the night. The flavor of these ribs rival any other Jfood has eaten. The turnips were a bit undercooked and likewise could have been brought to a higher temperature. But that is a personal preference. So once again Jfood would rate this dish a strong 9.
The server was about as professional and on top of her game as possible. She knew when to arrive, knew the dishes, and was pleasant and efficient. She gets a 10 for the evening.
So if you would like a great meal in a beautiful restaurant with fantastic service Jfood wholeheartedly recommends Osteria I Nonni.