Food, service, atmosphere -- excellent. Just had the best time at Caffe Nonna's in Sylvan Park. A friend requested eating at an Italian restaurant for her birthday, and after a thorough search, I decided that Caffe Nonna's was the best choice. I was right. The chef and staff were so accommodating, pleasant, and fun! (Our wonderful server John Michael seemed to enjoy the surprise Italian serenaders as much as we did.) Oh, and the food was delicious. I ordered cappellini with white clam sauce and almost licked the plate clean! We especially appreciated John Michael's wine suggestion -- a wonderful chardonnay at a VERY reasonable price. All in all, a perfect and memorable evening.
Step it up...
6 of us went to dinner at Nonna for a birthday celebration. It has been 3 years since I was last there and used to love the place. The restaurant was not packed, but all tables were occupied. After being seated, it probably took at least 15 minutes to even be greeted by an employee. We brought our own wine, and immediately placed it on the table in anticipation that someone would soon offer to open it for us. Unfortunately, I bet it took 25-30 minutes before someone actually came to the table and got us started. For the rest of the night, our waiter basically gave us the minimum amount of attention required to keep us from walking out..No refilling of the water, no follow-up on the entrees, etc. You could definitely tell that we were not a priority.
The menu was limited and the specials were average. Although this was not a terribly expensive experience, I was displeased with the service and the menu. I am still not sure what is so difficult to understand about good service. Customer is seated...Customer gets greeted...Customer gets water...Customer gets food...Customer leaves happy..Seems simple
Wonderful Surprise. Our trip to Cafe Nonna was afterthought and we had no expectations from the start. When we were there for lunch, we were among only 4-6 customers. We were seated right away and brought our drink orders and bread. If I had a complaint about anything, it was that refills were never offered, but since I don't need to drink 3 soft drinks anyway, it was not a big deal. I ordered pasta, which I thought was overpriced once you added on chicken. My husband got a pizza with procuitto. The pasta was above average and I was pleased with it. Most "Italian" restaurants have sauces that can surely be found at Fazoli's, but this was definitely homemade. What put the food over the top was the pizza. The review that didn't like the pizza is probably a fan of chain stuffed crust , canned sauce and 15 toppings. The pizza was the best that I have had outside of Italy, and resembled it the most closely of anywhere we've been in the US. You can taste the fresh cheese and tomatoes, and that makes all the difference. This is what real pizza tastes like and we will be making many more trips to Cafe Nonna just for the pizza.
horrific restaurant experience at cafe nonna. appalling..
My best friends who have their birthdays within days of one another decided to have a small birthday dinner at Cafe Nonna. They made the reservations about a week in advance and were very excited to try the food at what seemed like a great place with a lovely atmosphere. When the day of the dinner rolled around and we arrived at Cafe Nonna, our impression of the place changed 100% within just a few minutes.
First off, we waited for about 10 minutes just to get acknowledged and our drink orders taken. When the waitress finally arrived with our beverages, she began reciting the specials which she did not seem to know very well. She was stumbling over her words and repeating ingredients of a dish several times. We ordered our food and waited for almost an hour for it to arrive to the table. In the process, our drinks were never refilled and were never offered anymore bread so one of us had to get up and go on a scavenger hunt to find our server in order to get some service. The restaurant was not even busy to say that perhaps our server was being overwhelmed. Finally the food arrived, and we were all bummed to find out the food was not even worth the wait; all the dishes were overpowered with salt and the portions were extremely small for the price. Our frustrations were through the roof at this point and we did not feel that the 18 percent gratuity that would be added to our checks due to the fact we were a party of 6 was deserved.
At the end of our meal, we received our checks which were extremely expensive and asked to speak to a manager. Our intentions were not to ask him to remove the gratuity but to inform him that for such high prices and an 18 percent gratuity charge the service should have been much better, just for future reference....His answer? That they had been in business for 11 years and their service is excellent; That they do no wrong, and he is "on to what we are trying to do". Oh and...to never come back to his establishment. Trust me sir, we never intend to come back to your terrible restaurant and if you'd like to be in business for 12 years than you outta get your act together because you def. do not know how to convice first time customers to come back.
Want a great lunch at a decent price? Go somewhere else!. My coworkers and I live for lunch--we eat out every day. We're accustomed to paying fairly steep prices and don't ever mind if the food's worth it. We'll head back to the Yellow Porch for a lunch where the food is worth the price, because Cafe Nonna's definitely isn't. Want pasta without chicken added? Get your $10.95 ready. Oh, you do want chicken with that? Add another $3. That's $14 for lunch, assuming you're only drinking water. I settled for their Margherita pizza instead, which was, ummm....let's just say it was less than stellar. My coworker ordered the shrimp po' boy--three (!) shrimp and a severely burned bun later, she was less than satisfied. And don't get me started on the cheap , overpowering olive oil they bring to dip your bread in. We were the only people in the place and it still took almost 40 minutes for our food to make it to the table. When you're on a lunch hour, that's a problem. CN may be a great dinner spot, but I'll never find out. My lunch experience soured me on the place altogether.
Great neighbourhood trattoria. Only can say great things about CN. John Michael is the best. Pasta and entrees are always stellar. Book in advance, though - very small.
Unbelievable food, great service. I took my wife to Cafe Nonna for her birthday, and we were both very impressed. In fact, I've never written a restaurant review of any kind, but I was inspired to do so. The food was awesome, the atmosphere was great, and the service was fantastic. The cheese sticks (not your traditional cheese sticks by any means) were possibly the best tasting food I've eaten. Gnocchi was great! Chianti was great! I will definitely be back. This restaurant is very quaint and is both good for a special occasion or non formal get together. Some people were dressed up, some were in jeans, but it all worked. Couldn't have been better. I'm very glad I made the decision to go here and so was my wife. We are planning on bringing her Aunt's there in a few weeks when they come from the Washington D.C. LIke I said, couldn't be better!
Simple Atmosphere, Impressive Food.
This was my first visit, and I couldn't have been more pleased! The small restaurant space was rustic and simple -- the kind of ambiance you find at below-street-level restaurants in Manhattan. Candlelight provided some additional atmosphere, but it was clear that the food and wine were the main event. It was all incredible! All of the sauces and ingredients were homemade and fresh, and the chef paid great detail to delicately layering flavors like sundried tomato, garlic, and pine nut; nothing was overdone, and everything was delicious. It's rare to have such attention to detail paid to vegetarian dishes in Nashville.
For dessert we had a banana-cream cheese cake -- phenomenal, and clearly made on site!
It was a crowded night, and clearly our waiter initially wanted us to take a quicker pace. However, once he saw we knew what we were doing (and would tip well), he slowed down and let us linger without a problem.
I will definitely be back!
Fabulous Dining Experience!. A friend recommended Cafe Nonna to us as a great "date night" restaurant. However, after reading a few of these reveiws I was a bit skeptical of our choice. Fortunately, our friend was right and we had a fabulous dining experience!!! We had 8:00 reservations on a Saturday night, we were seated immediately, waters were delivered (without asking) within 2 minutes, our waiter was at the table within 2 minutes and immediately suggested a perfect wine. Basically, the service was perfect and we also received service from at least 3 different waiters. The atmosphere was not too crowded or intrusive, but a quaint lovely experience. The food was AMAZING! We have been to Italy twice and we loved both of our pasta entrees (Seafood Angelina and Penne w/Arrabiata and Meatballs). Without the wine our bill was less then $50 for the 2 large entrees and a side salad. I would definitely reccomend this place to anyone.
Nothing remarkable compared to Nashville's other great choices. I really wanted to like Cafe Nonna. It's within walking distance and its atmosphere and surroundings are charming. My wife had the lamb special, I had the Hunter Chicken. Both dishes had very little taste. They weren't awful, but for the price I expect some flavor. The bread pudding we had for dessert was absolutely fantastic and was definitely the high point of the evening. Service was good also, so we'll probably give it another shot in case the kitchen was having an off-night. For now, though, my opinion is that Zola wipes the floor with this place.
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