New Restaurant: Il Nonno Ristorante

The warmth of Fernando Pliego and Grissel Garcia, the father/daughter duo that opened Il Nonno Ristorante (25-17 Astoria Blvd), emanates through the vibe and food of this newly-opened (in May) spot.

The cozy Italian restaurant welcomed us with delicious thinly sliced garlic bread and the classic olive oil and vinegar duo. We were a hungry bunch, so we ordered two appetizers to share: Zuppa di Caroffi and Caprese di Bufala. Zuppa could have been eaten as a soup, but artichoke puree and shredded goat cheese sounded like it could have been a dip to share, so we ate it like that. The caprese sat on thinly sliced slightly-seasoned tomatoes. It was very refreshing on a warm June evening.

Our table looked out on a large open window and the bambino in our party enjoyed staring out of it, waving to passersby as she happily munched on some French fries.

The adults each ordered different main dishes from Penne Arrabbiata con Salmone (nice kick, not too spicy) to Pollo alla Martini, a chicken breast breaded with a white wine lemon sauce and mashed potatoes, to Pasta alla Sicilian, to the lightest fluffy Gnocchi this side of Queens! One of us balanced out the carbs with an Insalate Mista (a simple salad is one of her favorite palate cleansers, and the dressing was delightful).

Everything was great, but save room for dessert. With the exception of the gelato, all the desserts were homemade. We fell in love with the tiramisu! While we were all chocolate lovers, there’s something special about the tiramisu here. Perhaps it’s all the love and care that Grissel and Fernando put into creating a beautiful new restaurant in our neighborhood.

P.S. While this is written in the “we” voice, the person that penned this is a single straight woman in her early 40s who is eager to return on a date for tiramisu and wine. It’s a super cute date spot! But also great for family meals or a night out with friends. If that sounds like a fun date, slide into her DMs.

Text and photos by Emily (IG: @anecdotally.em)