May 23, 2011

Dallas Italian: Nonna

When we're not on the road, we are more than happy to take part in the Dallas food scene.  I know that "Dallas" may not immediately roll of the tongue when you think of a busy foodie scene, but let me tell ya, we know food in Dallas!  My first example is Nonna.

Nonna is a non assuming little restaurant spot located in a strip mall across the street from my Whole Foods.  I've driven past it countless times and finally made my first reservation a couple weeks ago. Nonna has received accolades from the likes of Bon Appetit magazine, NY Times, and Dallas' own D Magazine.  I was truly looking forward to their spring menu featuring Roman dishes and couldn't have been more thrilled with what we were served.

We began with a large format Barolo (don't judge, we can handle a liter of wine very easily!).  Our favorite antipasta is a good salumi plate, so that was an easy choice.  Each table is welcomed with warm from the oven bread.  For the main course, or courses in our case, we ordered the Five Course Pasta Tasting.  The tasting was a great way to enjoy a tour of Nonna's opinion of Italian dishes. I like how Nonna made these traditional Italian pasta dishes seem more contemporary and trendy with Uni and Saffron and added a little Texas heat with fresh peppers.  Even so, the effect from the diverse pasta plates gave you a worldly, Roman feeling.

Serralunga D'Alba Barolo

Artisanal Pecorinos and Salumi: Moliterno al Tartufo, Pecorino Nocino, Pecorino di Pienza a Crosta Nera, speck, coppa and fennel salame
Bread served fresh from the brick oven

Cacio e Pepe - My favorite Roman pasta dish

Spaghettini Neri with baby Manila clams, Uni, white wine, shallot and Calabrian hot pepper

Tonnareli alla Carbonara: pancetta, farm egg, pecorino and black pepper

Papparedelle al ragu Bolognese

Saffron Pennette cooked like risotto with white shrimp, oven dried tomatoes and squash blossoms
What is the food scene like in your town?  What are some of your favorite local restaurants?  I'd love you hear your experiences and (most of all) your recommendations!

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