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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dallas Restaurant Week 2013: Nonna

Week 1 of Dallas Restaurant Week is over... I went to Nonna last Friday with some friends for their last day of participation. I had never been there before, but it came highly recommended so I added it to my list of RW restaurants this year. 

**Just some brief info on Restaurant Week for those who don't know.. Restaurants across Dallas participate every August and this spans from 1 week to some places that do it for 3 weeks. It is $35 a person for a 3 course meal. Although this year a lot of the restaurants upped their prices to $45 a person (not including tax and tip). And 20% of each check goes to the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas and Lena Pope Home in Ft. Worth. It's my favorite "charity" event!! :D

4115 Lomo Alto Dr.
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 521-1800
Price (for RW): $35 a person

The restaurant is pretty small. It's quite unassuming on the outside. Inside was rustic with a hint of modern. Dark mood lighting, seems like a good romantic spot. A little too dark for my preference though.

Most of us arrived on time for our 8:30PM reservation. There were people at our table so we had to stand around and wait for a little bit. The bar area was pretty small so we couldn't really all fit. We had a party of 8, and they only had 1 large table to accommodate. The table was located by the bar and right by the front door. Luckily the weather was really nice Friday night so the opening and closing of the door didn't bother us at all. I'm thinking in the winter, it'll be freezing to sit in that area...

The hostess was pretty friendly. We were seated immediately after the other party had left. We also got menus and waters very quickly.We were all chattering about what we're going to get so I didn't really pay attention to what's going on around me. But so far, I'm excited about the dinner and things are going well!

We were given some Olives for the table. 
And after our orders were taken we also got some Bread
The bread was yummy. It was like warm fluffy pita bread. Slightly brushed with oil (I think) and topped with some (sea?) salt. I loveeed the texture of the bread. But we all wanted something to spread or dip it into. Like hummus or tapenade or something would be cool. They kept refilling the bread btw.. we didn't really even have to ask! It might get deadly! hahaha :P

I believe the entire restaurant had the RW menu. The regular menu wasn't available for this week.

First Course
Sformatino (of Italian creamed corn with smoked prosciutto and frico). 
A few of us got this, including me. The creamed corn sold me on it. I wasn't super sure what a Sformatino was but oh well. Always up for trying something new. It was very interesting! In a good way. hehe. The best way I can describe it is like a corn mousse. And trust me, it tastes better than it sounds. haha. The corn mousse patty thing was seared on top (you can't see it under the frico), which I really liked. The frico was a tad salty but was nice against the light/fluffy and slightly sweet corn. The prosciutto added a level of smokiness to the dish. And then a genius idea!! I spread everything on the bread they gave us. Perfect!!! :P

Prosciutto Tasting (Americano and Italian speck with Texas fruits). A meat and fruit plate. I tried a piece of the speck by itself... very salty... My friend said the dish was good enough. haha.

Grilled Heart of Romaine (with roasted pancetta, avocado and parmigiano). Everyone else got this. The romaine had a nice char and smokiness to it. It's always good to have pancetta! Pretty good dish.

Second Course
Lasagnette (with ricotta stuffed squash blossoms and tomato sauce). 
This was my choice... mostly because of the squash blossoms. You don't see that on the menus very often. It was a very flat lasagna, hence the "nette" in the name I guess. haha. But I liked the charred/crisp edges on the pasta. The squash blossoms were stuffed full with ricotta and I really liked that. But it's definitely missing meat. If they had put some meat sauce in there, it would've been a great entree. I liked it enough though.

Pappardelle (al ragu Bolognese). This was the better pasta and my friends agreed. The pasta was freshly made, and quite delicate. The bolognese had the right amount of meat and flavor. It was delicious.

Wood Oven Roasted Halibut (with tomato, olives, capers and heirloom sweet peppers).
This was supposed to be a red snapper but they ran out or something and switched to halibut. It was a very small dish to be an entree... There was the fish and then nothing else really. The fish had a nice sear and was very tender. I thought it was pretty good. My friend thought it was just alright.
Porchetta (with Anson Mills polenta and cannellini beans). 
Porchetta is like boneless roast pork. It reminds me of pork belly with the layers of fat in it. It looked awesome. The meat was tender and, yes, fatty!!! The best kind! haha. The meat itself was a little salty, but I liked it paired with the polenta and beans a lot.

White Pizza (of littlneck clams, sweet onion, panna and fresh herbs). 
This sounded totally interesting. Clams on pizza? I haven't had that before... It was a pretty big pizza too. The crust was awesome... very similar to the bread we got. It had a hint of sweetness, not sure if it's from the onions or clams. But I didn't get any clams on the bite I got. I actually didn't really see any clams on the pizza either.. I guess it was all under the cheese. My friend said it was ok.

Praline Nougatine Semifreddo (with pistachios and Acacia honey). 
This was one of my choices but I ended up not getting it since I could try other people's. hehe. It was the biggest dessert out of the bunch. But it was super light. Semifreddo basically means half frozen. It reminded me of frozen whipped cream. So it was super light but still creamy. I loved the pistacios inside it. And normally not a fan of honey... this honey was a perfect pairing on top. Best dessert of the night.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
This is what I got. I thought it was very cute. The cake reminded me of the whiskey cake at Whiskey Cake in Plano. But it wasn't as good as WC. The parts with the caramel drizzle on top was yummy but the parts that didn't seemed less moist. I liked the whipped cream pairing.

Carrot Cake. Basically a carrot cake cupcake. Not bad. I liked the frosting a lot. Not as heavy as normal cream cheese frostings on cupcakes.

Fig and Raspberry Crostata. They messed up my friend's order and had to make him a new crostata. So he sat around watching us eat our dessert and then we watched him eat his. hahaha. I didn't get to try it. Looked like a pretty basic free form tart/pie.

It was a pretty good dinner. I enjoyed everything I tried but I wasn't blown away or anything... Everything seemed good quality and fresh overall. But would I go back and pay full price? For the portion... I doubt it. Our waiter was good. He was very efficient. He didn't interrupt us at all but got everything out quickly and had no issues with anything (including splitting the check). The water glasses were always refilled without asking.

Good start to my RW this year. I'm looking forward to my next location this coming Saturday!

Quality of Food:



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