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  • Emily Duff

An Authentic Taste of Tuscany in the Middle of South Yorkshire

First opening its doors in 1997, Nonna’s is a firm favourite for Sheffield foodies. Serving up traditional Tuscan flavours, the establishment keeps its menu modern and fresh with interesting flavour combinations and regular item changes.

The building is much bigger than you anticipate from the outside, made up of a range of rooms with different purposes including an Aperitivi Bar which is an area of high tables opposite the bar, Enoteca-Deli which is a cosy and warm area next to shelves of interesting pastas, coffees and more to take home after your meal, and the Tavolo Del Capitamo which is a large captain’s table suitable for 10 to 14 guests - at our time of visiting it appeared this space was being used as a business meeting, how lavish!

We were put up in the ‘front room with a view of Ecclesall Road’, and started our night as I usually do, with cocktails.

Opting for something more unique to start, I selected the Dipinto di Blu (£9.50) which was made up of Bacardi, Liquor 43, Blue Curacao and Slim Juice. This was sweet, sour and refreshing. Much to my partner’s dismay, due in part to my hilarious cockiness, the bartender complimented my decision as it was one of their favourites on the menu too.

My partner opted for a more Italian Limoncello Cocktail (£9.50) which was Limoncello, of course, with gin and soda - also a very refreshing drink to begin our night with. These paired with our Stuzzichini - or appetiser - of Mixed Olives (£4.95) which had been marinated in Extra Virgin Olive oil, chilli and rosemary meaning they were deliciously moreish.

For official starters, our indecisiveness kicked in and we opted to go mezze-style with 3 plates. Our selections were Focaccia All’Aglio (£6.50) which were cheesy and delicious. Strips of toasted focaccia all’aglio topped with garlic, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, this dish melted in your mouth full of flavourful goodness, and the cheese pull was more than Insta-worthy.

As a Bruschetta fanatic, I had to give theirs a try. Opting for the Bruschetta Classica (£6.75), this was a traditional mixture of vine tomato, basil, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil - as opposed to their Al Lardo Di Collonata version which featured more unique flavours of fig, honey, and fresh rosemary. Although simple, this dish got the perfect balance between the fresh sweetness of their tomatoes and that traditional saltiness of a Bruschetta mix, complimented by the well toasted bread.

Finally, my partner selected the Fritto Misto (£11.50)which was a range of tempura battered seafood, complimented by a side of lemon mayo and a lime wedge (which I stole to satisfy my citrus obsession). This dish was jam packed with flavour too, providing a fantastic juxtaposition of textures with a crispy and crunchy batter contrasting with the creamy dip.

To cure our need for another drink and acknowledge our already full bellies, we decided to take a cocktail intermission.

As someone with a love for the art of mixology, my favourite drink is decidedly an Amaretto Sour and so I like to try one at each place I go meaning, naturally, that was our next selection. The Amaretto Sour (£9.50) was more on the sweet-side but balanced with a lovely lemon garnish that reminded you of the sour undertones. This drink was dangerously drinkable.

We also had a funny conversation with our waiting staff who knew we would be too full for mains after our starters - but we explained our urge to try as much as possible! The staff were very lovely and inviting all night, feeling as though we had been welcomed into their home rather than a large restaurant in a busy area of Sheffield’s city.

After a long break between courses to calm our carb coma, we then moved on to the third and final course. My main was the Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola (£15.50). Thankfully portioned well to acknowledge the rich taste of Gorgonzola cream, I did still end up taking this course home with me (I know, the staff were right), but I can now confirm that its taste was not lost even when reheated the next day. Featuring leeks & herb gremolata, the creaminess of the sauce was perfectly balanced by the freshness of the leeks and the crunchy textures topping it off - I’m hungry just thinking about it. As for my partner, opting for their Risotto Nduja (£15.50) this colourful dish was topped with crispy prosciutto and slices of shaved parmesan.

Forfeiting our dessert due to having enough starters to feed the 5000, we did however grab some fresh Cannoli (£4 each) from the bar on our way out as a midnight snack. We selected one pistachio and one lemon flavour but the lovely bartender, who had shared my love of Blue Curacao earlier, also very generously added in their favourite pick free of charge - a chocolatey, nutty pastry which ended up being our favourite of the three!

Host to Sylvester Stalone, I can see why this place has earnt its beloved reputation. From welcoming staff to superb quality food, I would recommend this to anyone looking for an Italian escape in the UK. The multi-award winning Italian restaurant have also since added new Lazy Wednesday Night music sessions with live artists from 8pm until 10pm every week - a perfect excuse for us to go back soon!


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