One of the hardest-to-get reservations these days is at Little Nonna's, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's latest 13th Street food establishment. With only 40 seats, the cozy Italian-American spot has some tough competition with long-time South Philadelphia Italian classics like Villa di Roma and Ralph's. However, the duo do a little updating to the classics, bringing us 21st century Italian food. Since our visit was over a month ago, we'll review some of our favorite dishes in mostly (heavily filtered iPhone) pics.
|on the specials menu: soup of the day|
|insanely large veal porterhouse-- that leafy thing on the left is actually an enormous oyster mushroom ($26)|
|another dish off the specials: grilled lancaster vegetables, including leeks, onions, carrots, radishes, and beets ($6)|
One of the small complaints we had was that bread isn't brought to the table gratis. Usually we'd be fine with that, but at an Italian restaurant, bread is king. Plus, you need a little extra something to mop up every delicious sauce! We recommend splurging an extra $5 for an order of the garlic bread for the table- with a roasted bulb of garlic to squeeze and spread onto the grilled Sarcone's loaf.
|garlic bread goodness|
The pasta dishes at Little Nonna's are not to be missed. These dishes will fill you up and save you a few dollars compared to the higher priced entrees. We didn't get the spaghetti and meatballs but the table next to us had a couple of orders and man did it look epic.
|linguine vongole: fresh pasta in a spicy white wine sauce with plenty of cherrystone clams ($16)|
|pan seared potato gnocchi ($14): soft but crisp, with soppressata, olives, tomato and arugula|
The desserts are also quite nice, if not a little bit on the pricy side compared to the rest of Little Nonna's menu. The apple crostata was picture perfect, and kicked up a few notches with cinnamon spiced caramel, surprisingly bright vanilla-thyme ice cream, and a little shaved pecorino for kicks ($9).
We also recommend the house made "water ice" (and gelato-- see above), with seasonal flavors that will blow your mind. I really appreciated the addition of fresh herbs in many of the options.
|concord grape-prosecco.. and sage? ($6)|
1234 Locust Street