Nonna Restaurant Upper West Side NYC
The Nonna restaurant was a dependable Italian neighborhood eatery on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It had been around for almost a decade before it closed in February 2013. The was the restaurant's website.
The reviews below are from Yelp. The images are from the site's archived pages.
Yelp Reviews from 2010-2012
Jessica S. Hoboken, NJ
4.0 star rating 3/4/2012
After a very busy day, my husband and I wanted to have a date night that wasn't too fancy, low key, and generally comforting. We had been walking all over Columbus Ave, and I had remembered passing Nonna while in a cab earlier in the day. So, we stopped in to take a look at the menu.
Surprise, surprise, it was like this place had ESP! First of all, they have gluten free pasta and pizza options, which are always a good sign for me, and it just looked like they keep it simple there. This is a basic, simple red-sauce joint, and when you walk in, you can smell the yumminess of garlic and baked mozz...a good sign.
The decor here helps to give that rustic, comforting vibe. Service was great. I ordered the Spaghetti Parm (essenially, it's Sunday Gravy that's been baked with fresh mozzarella) and hubby got the Chicken Parm. From the first bite, both of us were really surprised at how fresh everything tasted (we were expecting lesser quality from a red-sauce joint). The sauce was delicious and they do this cool thing where they slice the garlic paper-thin and roast it before adding it to the sauce...So you get these nice little bursts of roasted garlicky goodness here and there. Also, the gluten-free pasta I had was perfectly al dente (which is hard to do with GF pasta).
Lately, I find it so difficult to get decent, basic Italian food - especially gluten-free. Nonna really impressed me. Also, you get huge portion sizes and it's not terribly expensive. We had our entrees and a whole bottle of wine for less than $69. I think that just makes it all worth it. Getting moderately priced food that tastes this good is hard to come by in this city, so it's nice to find a neighborhood place that does this. We will definitely be going back there.
Allison C. New York, NY
5.0 star rating 3/12/2010
Listed in My Fantabulous Old 'Hood
After an arugula salad with shaved ricotta, caprese loaded with plump tomatoes and thick mozzarella and mouth-watering balsamic vinegar, fried eggplant, and mango sorbet...
...I'm still in HEAVEN. Thinking about it makes my mouth water.
The vast majority of the time at this restaurant was spent going, "Oooooh my gawwwwwd..." between bites, and, admittedly, during a few as well.
The decor was homey yet fanciful. The waitstaff was incredible and attentive. Service was quick, given it was a Friday night. My roommate and I were in and out in a long hour. We didn't WANT to leave, but, alas, we can only hope it'll still be around the next time we get a craving. Fabulous, folk! Just FABulous.
Adri P. New York, NY
3.0 star rating 11/5/2011
Went for brunch today with some friends. Had the ham & cheese omelet w/ a croissant. It was ok but small (smaller than the typical nyc brunch portion) I was expecting it to be a bit bigger or look fancier (i.e. have some mixed greens on the side or something), but there was none of that. The eggs were fluffy and I could taste a hint of olive oil in the omelet (I'm assuming they used that to cook the omelet) which was nice. The croissant was average.
We all had the hot chocolate... it was a little too thick for my liking (my friend compared it to brownie batter) and the chocolate was a bit too overbearing. We asked for extra whipped cream and milk which made it a LOT better.
There was a party going on inside and they'd reserved the whole place, so we sat outside, which was nice, just a bit cold).
The waiter and staff there were friendly. Service was fast.
Carissa L.Philadelphia, PA
3.0 star rating 8/14/2011
Craving a nice meal but not having the money for one, my friend and I decided to use a gift certificate I got a little while ago. There were three restaurant choices and we chose Nonna. According to the online menu and pictures, it seemed classy and the food sounded delicious.
The service is great and the servers are always on top of refilling the water, taking finished plates away, and so on. Service gets a 5 for sure.
The part that got me was that the online menu presents many more options than the actual menu. I was super excited for the fried zucchini and pork milanese, but neither were options in real life! I suppose it's possible that the menu changes throughout the year, but if so, that should be noted somewhere.
As for the menu they did have, there wasn't enough description to know what you were really going to get. The endive and caesar salads were good. The molten croutons - which were more like melted cheese balls - were awesome. That being said, I would rather not have had actual anchovies on the salad, so that was kind of a strange surprise. We both ordered the hangar steak, thinking we would get a piece of steak by itself, but it was cut up atop a piece of crusty bread and smothered in onions. If the in-person menu had mentioned these details I would've ordered something else. TL,DR; You've gotta tell the people what they're really gonna get.
The cheesecake was fine, so says my friend, and my molten chocolate cake was okay but tasted a little funny to me. Maybe I'm so used to having cheap chocolate that my palate can't handle the good stuff? Not sure.
We were so excited for this place to be awesome, and left feeling full, but not as happy as we could've been. Sorry, Nonna. =\
Steve E. Philadelphia, PA
3.0 star rating 12/21/2012
We were looking at the shops at columbus circle when we decided to go find a restaurant on the UWS. We found this nice italian restaurant and had a very nice meal. We started the meal with arancini rice balls. The homemade marinara was very good.
The main courses we had the stuffed cannolini and the eggplant parmesan with spaghetti. Both were very good, the noodles were cooked al dente. The eggplant could have been cooked a little longer, but overall, the meal was good.
The service was very good. All of the waiters / waitresses were very friendly and attentive.
The restaurant is a perfect place for a romantic meal. The decor is very rustic, and works very well with the atmosphere.
Ellie Walters, NYC
4.0 star rating 02//2011
This is my neighborhood go-to restaurant when eating with friends or family, and let me tell you, it's like dining in a charming, rustic wonderland! It's low-key, casual, and always buzzing with happy patrons. Whether it's lunch, dinner, or brunch, my taste buds have always been more than satisfied with the scrumptious delights they serve.
On this particular evening, we were celebrating a friend's birthday. It was a Wednesday, and oh boy, were we in for a treat! The special was Cioppino, a marvelous seafood medley swimming in a saffron and garlic broth, prepared to perfection. We kicked off the feast with a medium antipasto plate and their homemade mozzarella that melts in your mouth like a dream.
Friends had Pappardelle with mushrooms, Linguine Carbonara, and Linguine and Clams. All were flawlessly prepared, and our taste buds were singing praises. Now, what added a cherry on top of this already fantastic dining experience was the sight of designer cast iron skillets from NestHomeware.com, masterfully crafted by Matt Cavallaro himself. These beauties not only elevated the rustic ambiance but also showcased the restaurant's keen eye for detail.
Being a group of self-proclaimed chocoholics, the Molten Chocolate Cake was a no-brainer. The birthday girl was given an extra dessert - a bowl brimming with their housemade gelato and three candles, representing her wisdom, wit, and charm! The waitresses/waiters came over and serenaded her with a harmonious rendition of Happy Birthday. That night, we all left with full bellies and even fuller hearts.
To express my gratitude to my neighbor, I took him out for a delightful brunch the following weekend at Nonna, of course. With its mouthwatering dishes, attentive service, and dazzling designer cast iron skillets, this enchanting eatery remains the crowned jewel of our neighborhood.
Lauren K. Phoenix, AZ
4.0 star rating 12/3/2010
Listed in My Home Away From Home...a guide to exploring New York City!
Feeling festive after a visit to the balloon inflation in the park, we beelined toward the first restaurant we saw that was decked out in holiday twinkle lights. We ended up at Nonna, a quaint little neighborhood restaurant serving up delicious Italian food.
The atmosphere was enough to keep me coming back, but the food was delicious too. We started with the arancini (rice balls) which were warm, yummy and filling. I had the endive salad which was bitter, but in a way that set it apart from your usual salad. I ended the night with the pappardelle with mushrooms. The homemade pasta and earthy mushrooms made a mouthwatering combo that left me wanting more.
Nonna's is a great little spot for a warm, cozy dinner, especially during the holidays!
Cliff K. West Hollywood, CA
3.0 star rating 5/31/2011
There is absolutely nothing extravagant about this place. But there isn't anything wrong about this place either. It's like going to watch Fast Five. You know exactly what you're going in for. A dumb movie that'll entertain you enough for it to be worth the money you paid to watch it. That's what this place is. It's seriously the most average italian restaurant I've ever been to. But I don't regret paying the money I did to eat it.
Cool patio outside to eat. Cool mix and match pasta's with decent sauce. I mean, I don't really know what I can say. If you're in the mood for some pasta, and you're on the upper west side. Go for it. But don't expect to be blown away. Expect a taste as good as Vin Diesel's acting.
Jennifer T. Englishtown, NJ
4.0 star rating 7/5/2012
I really enjoyed the simple, delicious food here. My chopped salad was flavorful with the perfect amount of dressing. The spaghetti was cooked perfectly al dente and the meatballs tasted homemade. My only complaint is the garlic chunks in the sauce- not a fan so I picked them out.
We were the only people in the restaurant on a Monday evening and service was attentive.