I finally made it to Nonna last night with my family to celebrate my fathers birthday.My report will be a little biased since my father had such a good time.Also,I would make a terrible food critic since I have a tendancy to try to find all the good things first.I selected Nonnas as a direct result of the feedback I received on this board and I want to thank the Chowhounds that recommended the place.
Ambience-It was a perfect place for a larger party of 7 looking for a fun casual dining experience.The space is well layed out with plenty of room between tables.It has a very nice and inviting feel to it.
Service-The manager was very helpful in putting aside the perfect table for our party and I was very surprised when he told me that he did not book the table for the next party until 8:00 pm,our reservations were for 5:45.I thought it was a nice when he said that since it was a birthday celebration that he wanted to give us more time.They were booked and it would have been very easy to push us through but they did not.The owner checked up on us repeatedly and our waiter was very friendly and helpful.The one problem we did see was that as friendly and helpful as everyone was, the service seemed a little slow.It looked like there was too much territory for each waiter.
Appetizers-You can pretty much just live off of these for your dinner.We had a large antipasti which included everything from cheese to salami to roasted vegetables to octopus and everything in between.It was brought out on a 3 plate tower.Very good.We also ordered an additional salami and cheese board since we all wanted some more of both.The Arancini(rice balls) were scary good and a little too addictive.We ordered several plates of these.Very light.I almost wish I did not have them because I can't stop thinking about them.The garlic bread was also amazing.They also brought out a plate of fresh focaccia which was delicious.Did I mention the arancini and garlic bread?
Entrees-Almost a second thought after the starters.The pappardelle with forest mushrooms was interesting with truffle oil and butter.The pasta with short ribs ragu was fantastic.They use an interesting pasta called Strozzapreti.The birthday boy was in the mood for spicy and got the Rigatoni Arrabiata.He loved it and it was spicy.He was sweating as he ate each bite.My mother got the Brick Chicken but honestly I can't comment on it since she was at the opposite end of the table.She liked it.My only disappointment was the hanger steak I ordered.It was very lean and tender and served on a garlic crisp with carmelized onions. Unfortunately the onions were VERY sweet and as a result the steak was sweet which did not quite work with the garlic.I might order it again but not with the onions on it.Personal preference.
Desserts-We were so full but had to carry on.They really excel in the desserts.They brought my father a molten chocolate cake that needs some preparation time since it is served warm.They put a candle in it for him after I completely forgot to ask.The ricotta cheesecake was ordinary.My wife ordered the Tirimisu Grand which was served in a GIANT glass.Nice presentation and quality.It was cleary enough for 2-3 people.The best dessert,however,was the almond zeppole served with honey.Wow! These are not the heavy,sometimes nasty stuff you get at a fair.These were incredibly light.Very tasty and addictive.
The total bill was a great surprise as well.All the appetizers,7 entrees,5 desserts and numerous mixed drinks and soft drinks came to $275.00 before tip.Great value for a perty of 7.It was a great birthday dinner experience for all of us.The antipasti is outstanding but the arancini,garlic bread and zeppole will unfortunately stay in my mind for too long.Thanks again to all the Chowhounds that recommended Nonna!