Highlight: Veggie Meatballs and Sausage
Veggie Note: This is a great vegetarian find! Menu is very specific and choices are astounding.
Stumbled upon this restaurant when cruising for some good Italian fare with an out-of-town, non-vegetarian friend.
Nonna's Italian Restaurant is a casual but still nice Italian restaurant located above a store front in downtown New Cumberland. It is a climb up a full flight of stairs to get to the dining room, but worth it if you can do it. We called ahead to make reservations since it was a Saturday night, but we did not need them. It got more crowded as we ate though, so it might not hurt. The menu had a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes with several special touches mixed in. There were specific sections listing vegetarian and vegan entrees on the menu and their soups were specifically marked vegetarian as well -two thumbs up to that, we love soup!
We had the following:
- Fresh Baked Bread and Oil - the bread was tasty - crusty and warm and the dipping oil/vinaigrette was a nice touch as well. Refills came quickly.
- Escarole Efagioli - since we love soup, we are very critical of soup. This was a well made soup; however it was a little sweet for our tastes and could have used just a bit more seasoning.
- Vegan Sausage with Peppers - This came served on Penne, and is usually topped with the house marinara sauce, but we spied fresh vodka sauce on another part of the menu and asked for a switch - no problem. Too bad the vodka sauce wasn't tops. It was a little thin and under seasoned (becoming a slight trend here) but the whole dish was still very good and the sausage was awesome! It's so nice to be able to add veggie sausage to a dish in a restaurant for a change. These treats are often reserved for vegetarian home-cooking.
- Penne with Vegan Meatballs - same deal here with the vodka sauce, it was requested switch from what would have been the marinara again (which is what allows them to list it as vegan). The meatballs were also very good. They were very familiar and we think they may have been Quorn brand, or at least very similar. (Quorn is our favorite brand of veggie meatballs, we highly recommend them). In both cases the penne was cooked well. Fresh grated cheese was on our table when we were seated, it was also a nice addition.
- Agli Olio - Our non-vegetarian friend who joined us made the most special requests of the three of us (funny since we're usually the ones swapping out ingredients and removing meat from things). The agli olio is usually served with linguini, but the waitress had no problem swapping it for angel hair (although the kitchen did because they put it on linguini anyway - it was quickly fixed however) and then adding some fresh veggies (from the primavera blend) and fresh mozzarella. This was a very tasty dish and a very full plate (it made for a late night snack for two later that night and also breakfast for one the next day - that's right, I said breakfast).
- Salad - came with every entree. It was very fresh. The bleu cheese dressing was amazing, for those who are dairy eaters. My partner said the house vinaigrette was just as good on the salad as it was on the bread earlier.
Just a few other notes:
Nonna's is BYOB. That can be a real bummer if you're not prepared; luckily we spied that detail on their website before we left the house so we took along a couple bottles of what we had in the fridge. Our server quickly brought us some glasses for those, and I noticed plenty other folks had brought along various beverages that were all accommodated just as well.
Our server was very friendly and dealt very well with all of our special requests.
Parking is on street and we drove past a few times trying to find Nonna's, their sign is not very obvious. Give yourself a few extra minutes the first time you go.
Final Thoughts: I'm guessing a lot of local vegetarians are aware of Nonna's. They clearly cater to that crowd, which is great. I'm being completely honest though when I say that we totally just stumbled on this one. Hopefully we are helping to get the word out here. We will definitely go back some day.