I love finding independent restaurants that have great food, a great atmosphere and are local. One of my most recent discoveries (and one I wish I had discovered earlier!) is Nonna’s in Woburn Sands. My Mum mentioned this to me several months ago, so when it came round to decided on a destination for Mother’s Day, it seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go.
Nonna’s is an Italian restaurant with a very cosy, friendly atmosphere. At the front of the building is the Brasserie, where they serve cakes, coffees and light lunches. At the back is the restaurant which is reminiscent of a little grotto! The decor inside is classy without being too much – think candles and fairy lights combined with luxe furnishings. They often have two menus on offer: a classic menu and a seasonal menu. As we went on Mother’s Day, we had the special Mother’s Day menu, but you are not confined to choosing from one or the other, you can mix and match dishes from both which means that every time you visit you can have something different.
We were preparing ourselves for a feast, so to start we decided to go for Nonna’s Sharing Platter (£15.00) from the classic menu. This anti-pasti board was packed with freshly baked bread, a selection of cured meats, Maltese sausage, marinated olives, sundried tomatoes, ricotta stuffed peppers, grilled marinated peppers, mozzarella, garlic butter beans, rocket, olive oil and balsamic dip. Between four of us, the food went a fairly long way and was just enough to whet our appetite. The stand out bits from this board had to be the Maltese sausage and the garlic butter beans. The sausage was full of flavour and the garlic butter beans were mashed into a pasted with the garlic. They had a real kick to them!
After much deliberation, we were finally able to make a decision on our main courses – everything just looked so amazing! Mum decided on the Pollo Romana (£19.95) from the classic menu. This was the chicken breast was wrapped in parma ham and sage, baked in a white wine and butter sauce. It was served with green beans and garlic roasted new potatoes. This was a stunning looking dish and was an incredible fusion of flavours for spring. The chicken was very tender and juicy and the sauce had a wonderful fresh flavour.
My Dad and I went for the same dish – the roast venison gnocchi bake from the Mother’s Day menu. This was made from local venison and was a really hearty dish. The sauce was rich and you could taste a little red wine in there! The meat just fell apart and was so full of flavour. The gnocchi and bread crumbs topping the bake provided a great contrast of textures. The only criticism I had was that it needed some fresh vegetables like green beans or something to go with it as it was slightly samey. Apart from that, a really great dish.
My brother, George, had the spicy meatball pizza (£12.95) from the classic menu. It was topped with, (you guessed it!) spicy meatballs and fresh chilli. He skipped the peppers and onion!
Amazingly, we had room for dessert! We all went for something from the Mother’s Day menu. My Mum had the vanilla panna cotta which was served with fresh raspberries. A very simple dish, but stunning all the same. The panna cotta was smooth and creamy, with a sweet vanilla flavour that left you wanting another mouthful!
My Dad and George eventually decided on the Nuts about Chocolate dessert. Vanilla ice cream, caramelised hazelnuts and chocolate mouse all married together to make a very nutty, chocolatey dish that went down a treat!
I went for a true classic – a lemon meringue tarte. Its pretty difficult to go wrong with this dish but I think this could be the best lemon meringue tarte I’ve ever had… The base had almond in which gave it a nutty twist. The lemon curd was sharp, and the meringue pieces it was topped with were sweet and chewy. It was served with vanilla ice cream and a limoncello and ginger puree. I never wanted this plate to end! We then finished off the meal with some teas and coffee.
Well, seeing as I’m already trying to work out when my next visit can be, I’d say this was one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Nonna’s is a perfect restaurant for those special occasions and I think I’ve already found my birthday restaurant!! The food and service was second to none, and we felt well and truly welcome there. I think Italian restaurants can sometimes fall into the ‘boring’ category, whereas Nonna’s puts interesting twists on all their dishes, modifying the classics into something mind blowing! If you are looking for somewhere new to treat your tastebuds, look no further!
To view the menu and book a table, visit: www.nonnaswoburnsands.co.uk.