For a number of years, I was the sommelier/wine director for I Trulli Restaurant in NYC owned by Nicola Marzovilla. Nicola’s mother Dora made the pasta every day by hand and it was the most popular item on the menu.
A few months ago Nicola closed I Trulli after 27 years. Dora however did not want to retire so with the help of Nicola she opened Nonna Dora’s.
The restaurant has 24 seats divided between the bar and tables plus there is a private room that accommodates 12 people. We had a 5:00 reservation and by 5:30 there was only one empty table. The restaurant has quickly become very popular.
The menu lists a large selection of both cold and hot appetizers, many varieties of Dora’s handmade pasta such as saffron tinted malloredus, ear shaped orecchiette, and stuffed pastas, followed by a few desserts. There are no main courses.
Fried calamarı were crunchy and tender and served with a tasty tomato sauce
Panzerotti – Baby Calzones stuffed with San Marzano tomato and mozzarella. In the background is a bite of Dora’s focaccia
Pulpo Salad – Octopus with white beans, celery and black olives was a winning combination
We drank the Chianti Classico and the Grand Selezione from Vecchie Terre di Montefili. Dora’s son Nicola is one of the owners of the winery.
Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 made from 100% Sangiovese. The terrain is hilly and the vineyards are at 500 meters. The soil is galestro and alberese. The vineyards were planted in the late nineties and these were the youngest vines on the property. The training system is spurred cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is for a minimum of 15 months in 3,000 liter Slavonian oak barrels and 6 months in bottle before release. This is a wine with hints of blackberry and cherry with a touch of violets and a note of almonds. This is a fruity wine with hints of cherry and blackberries with good acidity.
Ceci e Tria- Fresh and fried pasta with chickpeas, tomato and pecorino, a specialty from Apulia.
Orecchiette with Rabbit Ragu
Vigna Vecchia “Grand Selezione” Vecchie Terre Di Montefili DOCG 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard called Vigna Vecchia planted in 1981. The training system is spurred cordon and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is rotated between 30HL and 10HL oak barrels for 26 months and 8 months in bottle before release. This is an elegant wine with red and black fruit aromas and hints of blueberries and cherries and a hint of violets.
Panzerotti with Nutella — fried dough pockets stuffed with Nutella.
We ended with Affogato — Espresso coffee over vanilla ice cream
Wine is available by the glass. The bottle list starts at around $40 and goes goes up from there. As would be expected, the whole line of Montefili wine is on the list.
In addition to the extensive wine list, there is a full bar, plus a selection of cocktails featuring Negronis 8 different ways.
Nonna Dora is open for dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:00 PM to 10 PM and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, 606 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016