Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: Italian La Nonna in Brixton

La Nonna offers artisanal plates and simple Italian cuisine at Market Row in Brixton…

Photo: La Nonna

London’s love affair with Italian cuisine has been going on for a long time, but many of the latest additions to the capital’s dining scene seem more focused on interiors than food.

While Insta-famous restaurants gain traction on social media, I often find the menus overly ambitious and the food mass-produced – a far cry from Italian neighborhood trattorias.

That couldn’t be less true for La Nonna, the humble new Italian restaurant that pasta lovers everywhere have to try in 2022.

La Nonna was created with authenticity in mind. Priding themselves on simple, honest cooking, the menu was inspired by the grandmother of founder and chef Daniele Pino (otherwise known as Nonna), with the team reworking her original recipes with the aim of “creating the dishes of the freshest pasta that symbolizes tradition and love”. of a Nonna’.

Although she may not be present in the restaurant, you will see pictures of Nonna scattered on the walls and her influence on the food served.

La Nonna’s story began in 2018, when longtime friends Daniele and Eduardo teamed up to bring a fresh pasta concept to London Bridge’s favorite street market.

After proving popular with punters, the opportunity to open a permanent home in Brixton presented itself at the end of 2021, and with it the possibility of expanding its menu and wine offering.

The restaurant is located on Brixton’s Market Row, a stone’s throw from the foodie names Kricket and Salon, and fFrom the bustling tables, it’s clear that La Nonna has the power to rival the big guns.

Inside, things are laid back. The restaurant is a bit smaller, with a comfortable seating capacity of around 50 people.

Interiors are soft; with pastel pink hues and playful wall decor. My favorite feature is the open kitchen, where you can see all the dishes being prepared in front of you; completely settling the previously mentioned issue of mass-produced food.

The menu is simple with a Roman accent (this is where Chef Daniele was born) and contains many dishes that any Italian food lover would want to order.

There are nine antipasto options available; including burrata and insalata di pomodori datterini, followed by eight pasta options (highlights include ragu della nonna pappardelle and cozze e n’duja tagliolini al nero di seppia) and a list of gelato-based desserts.

The venue has a healthy Italian wine list and a limited selection of no-frills cocktails – I chose an espresso martini which quenched my thirst nicely.

I kept it simple and ordered the burrata to start, with the cacio e pepe for my main course, while my guest ordered the focaccia and the tagliatelle funghi selvatici e tartufo (i.e. tagliatelle with a creamy wild mushroom sauce).

The burrata portion was generous and had that perfect consistency, and the cacio e pepe was deliciously simple; fresh and not loaded with too much garlic.

My friend really enjoyed her main course, and after performing a taste test, it was not overpowered by the mushrooms and the sauce was the perfect consistency.

Our main courses left us happy and full, but of course there was room for dessert. The only thing missing, in my eyes, was the sorbet option from the dessert menu. I think after such a large meal this would make a good palette cleanser and is something I was really in the mood for after our main course, however, in the absence of this we shared a scoop hazelnut ice cream and a scoop of peanut butter ice cream.

As you’d expect from an Italian restaurant, this was one of the best ice creams I’ve tasted in London (Gelupo fans, argue among you), and was certainly of a different caliber from overly sweet ice cream options from restaurant counterparts and competitors. .

All in all, La Nonna is definitely a must visit for pasta lovers, and even just for those looking to try a new restaurant.

Brixton has cemented its status as a south London foodie destination, and La Nonna stands out among fierce competition.

With fresh ingredients, modest prices, authentic tastes and friendly staff, punters will leave full and happy, and La Nonna will remain a top choice for those craving Italian cuisine.

Address: 7 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LB
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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