Nonna only offers lunch each Friday from 11:30 till 2, which is quite frightening for those on a mission to eat every lobster roll in the city. This warning came from the chef at Carbone’s during lunch on Thursday. Having absolutely loved everything about Carbone’s, I couldn’t wait to meet Julian Barsotti, the chef & owner of both.
Upon entry, a hostess pulled the “Only one? Just one? Wait. Did you say… one?” Growl. The one-two-hostess-punch arrived as she whispered, “You don’t have a… reservation?”
Ugh. No. No, I do not have a reservation. I am all by myself with no pre-planned seating arrangement. Didn’t even bring an imaginary friend or hide a teacup chihuahua in my purse. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Hopefully we can soon move on with our lives & eat.
This mini moment of hostess hostility ended as quickly as it began. After performing the walk-bar-point, she signaled her approval with a menu and a smile. Whew. Could it be? A real-live non annoying people seater?
This hostess turned out to possess a wealth of knowledge, which can only mean she’s not just the hostess. Any question asked was answered with an added extra at the end. By the time she left we were practically BFF’s. Her goal to help, please and cause mental ease is greatly appreciated.
With the most recent squash experience at Ketchup Burger Bar, um, there was a bit of hesitation before ordering Nonna’s squash appetizer.
Thinly sliced squash is barely cooked, to reduce the raw flavor, yet still achieve expected texture. Beets are marinated with shallots and champagne vinaigrette. Squash carpaccio with baby beets, pecorino and mint instantly cured previous taste bud torture. Nonna’s squash carpaccio is better than therapy.
Chef Barsotti came out of the kitchen wearing clothes one might see on Andy Roddick before a tennis match at Wimbledon. Extending his right chef hand for a shake, he asked if I was there for the lobster roll. He had previously spoken with the chef from Carbone’s about the quest to have a life changing lobster roll lunch. He appeared excited to take care of this task, even mentioning the new chips that would arrive on the side.
The sous chef’s details about the lobster roll with celery heart & house aioli were majorly minimal… ” The lobster roll is very simply treated. Simple.” It’s hard to stomach paying $18 for a sandwich during lunch. It hurts. Place this painful price to the side and enjoy– Nonna’s is worth every cent.
Wow. Sticky toffee pudding joy! The bartender said this is definitely the best on the menu. Nonna’s dessert menu also includes Mexican chocolate panna cotta, as well as a praline nougatine semifreddo with pistachios and acacia honey.
Although the menu is always changing, we can only hope Nonna will never remove the loveliest of all lovely $18 lobster rolls. Chef Barsotti’s unique cheffing & spot on restaurants have given this human… hope.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch