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Little Nonna's

1234 Locust St. (S. 13th St.) Send to Phone
215-546-2100 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
Italian-American classics from the team behind Barbuzzo and Lolita.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner nightly

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Little Nonna's Restaurant Review

: Little Nonna's, a paean to Philadelphia's traditional "red-gravy" Italian restaurants, is the latest from prolific partners chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran (Barbuzzo, Lolita, Jamonera). The noisy and convivial storefront conjures up a party at grandma's "house," which is stocked with rustic wooden tables, gold-framed mirrors and shelves bursting with retro serving pieces and bric-a-brac. There's also a secluded back patio for seasonal dining. The open kitchen turns out reliable versions of Italian-American classics. Meatballs --- whether as an appetizer, in a sub-style sandwich at lunch or paired with spaghetti --- are the next best thing to mamma's, while traditional mussels in red sauce get their kick from a long hot pepper and pepperoni. Simpler pasta dishes such as linguine with vongole work best, while the textures of pan-seared gnocchi with soppressata, blistered tomato and arugula don’t quite marry. The wine list includes ten vintages offered at $10 a glass or $40 a bottle, while the house bottled cocktails --- including a Mulberry Street Sazerac that substitutes a Strega wash for the usual absinthe --- offer a powerful way to get the festivities going. No visit to nonna's place would be complete without dessert. Choices include a satisfying apple crostada made savory with vanilla-thyme ice cream, tiramisu, and the ultimate in comforting finishes: (Italian) cookies and milk.

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