Nonna of Italy Dinner – Dec. 13, 2011

When I was in Italy in 2006 I enjoyed so much bounty, but nothing was better then having the great hospitality of my appointed Italian Grandma Nonna. I was with my friend Jeanne and her daughter Elena when they visited their Nonna, Renata Chiavacchi, so by proxy she became my official Nonna while I was visiting Lucca, Italy. Since that time Renata has passed away and I have never had another Italian Grandmother, until now. Look no further Nonna of Italy on Sunset in West Hollywood is the replacement for any of your Grandmothers cooking. With it’s great food and homey atmosphere you are guaranteed fond memorories of your Nonna.
The ambiance is very homy and comfortable. With a brilliant red chandelier, red candles. Very handsome floor to ceiling wine cabinet kept at 65 degrees, for Red wines. The huge windows on Sunset reveal the slick bar and fantastic pizza oven. I was there on a cold and breezy night in Autumn, but you could see a warm balmy nite would be perfect for their outdoor patio.
I was in very good hands with manager Oscar Rios. He was born in Mexico City, coming to Los Angeles he worked for Wolfgang Puck and Michaels Restaurant.

I tried lots of delectable food:
Focacia with Olive oil with basil and sliced garlic. Mushroom Soup – Portabella Crimini Porcini mushrooms, red wine, lots of rich meaty flavor. Warm Shrimp Salad – Special Wild Shrimp salad with Aragua. Pop in your mouth salad. Roasted Capreses Salad with Balsamic basil Oil. Beet Salad. Tartara di Tonno Sashimi grade Hawaiian ahi tuna with avocado, red onion, extra virgin olive oil. Pizza Pera e Prosciutto ,Prosciutto, mozzarella, and Asian pear. Pizza Americana, Tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni. Pasta Rigatoni Napolitana Rigatoni, chicken and shiitake mushroom, herbs de Provence, parmesan, so rich, sage butter sauce. Pasta Ravioli di Riccotta e Spinacci, Spinach and ricotta ravioli, butter, sage, parmesan. Pasta Spaghetti Vongole Saltate, Spaghetti, sautéed manila clams, garlic, chopped cherry tomato, parsley, white wine. Pasta Linguini Scampi, Linguini, Hawaiian prawns, arrabiata or pomodoro sauce. Entrée Branzino alla Griglia, Grilled filet of Mediterranean Sea Bass, roasted potatoes and broccolini, white wine, Meyer lemon sauce. Ossobuco , all day braised Veal Ossobuco, gold whipped potato, roasted beets. Filet Mignon Cozze e Vongole,  Spanish black mussels, manila clams, spicy tomato broth, garlic, parsley, extra virgin oil.
My favorite food items were:
The Warm Shrimp Salad was very garlicky, with the shrimp cooked and served warm on top of the salad. Cozze e Vongole had a great light tomatoe sauce, it had just the right amount of flavor and the seafood was cooked tender and light. Pasta Rigatoni Napolitana very tradional with great shitake mushroom and chicken flavor. Pasta Spaghetti Vongole Saltate had a nice red sauce with great clam flavor. Pasta Linguini Scampi presented with a split very large schrimp on the top and a generous amount of butterflied shrimp in the sauce, a wonderful take on this great staple. Entrée Ossobuco is like mothers milk, a must have, so worth every bite.
When they say “All day” braised, they mean it, it falls of the glorious bone. Entrée Filet Mignon so tender and flavorful, another must have dish.

These are the wines I tried:
Spumanti Prosecco, Chardonnay Chateau St. Michelle Columbia Valley, Sauvignon Blanc Honig Napa 2010, Fruili Latisana , Zellina  Pinot Grigio. Primitivo Del Salento Passion 2006, Chianti Classico Piegaia 2006. The Chardonnay paired great with all of the fish dishes, added just the right amount of acidity that added to the great flavors. The 2 reds paired great with the Filet and The Chocolate Fonant. It added another dimension of flavor, without taking away from the great Filet flavor.

The 2 deserts were extremely yummy and a nice way to end a fantastic meal; Apple Tarte, Chocolate Fonant.
Over all the food is exceptional, this is what I call a sleeper, not a lot of people know about this great food. With all the Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, this one can keep up with the best of the best.


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