The worst thing about Nonna Tata is that it’s in Fort Worth. I just don’t make it to Cowtown that often and this is the kind of place you would really be lucky to have in your neighborhood. I believe if it were in Dallas, I’d eat my way through the entire menu. Hubbard had to be in court in Granbury. So, we made a deal. I’d tag along and keep him company if he would take me to Nonna Tata for lunch.
The first thing about it that reminded me of Italy is that it is very small. I’m talkin’ really, really tiny. Bill Addison said in his review that it seats 21 people. Luckily, we got there at the end of the lunch rush and only one other table was seated because 21 people would get to know each other pretty well in that space.
Hubbard and I both started with the pea and salami soup. Sounds a little different. Just think of the salami as a substitute for diced ham. It was very tasty. With grated Parmesan on top, the soup was a little on the rustic side, not strained or silky. Bits of pea and salami lent some texture. The flavor was savory and the cheese gave it a nutty bite. It clearly tasted homemade. We slurped up every drop.
The soup was followed by a Caesar salad. The dressing was good. But, the Romaine was a bit limp and the croutons weren’t very crunchy. It was the least impressive dish. I still ate it, though. I’m not saying it was awful, just unimpressive.
Then came the main event. I got the bresaola and Hub had the orecchiette and meatloaf. My plate was simple and full of Italian elegance. Bresaola is basically a dried, salted beef made from the loin. It is often used as part of a salumi offering. Super-thin slices of the beef were arranged on the plate and topped with olive oil, arugula, shave Parmesan and a simple potato salad. It was a perfect lunch. I made sure I had a little of the greens and Parmesan folded into each bite. The flavors were a marvelous mix. The potatoes were dressed with a little olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Very typically Italian. I could easily imagine myself on the patio of L’Angletto in Rome.
Hubbard’s pasta was obviously hand made and coated in a creamy tomato sauce. The pasta was good. The meatloaf was outstanding. It was a mixture of beef, turkey and veal, wrapped in slices of mortadella. Again, Italian seasoning of the meat made it a perfect partner for the pasta. I couldn’t put my finger on what was flavoring the meat, making it taste so ethnic. Hubbard even said, “This isn’t like any meatloaf my mom ever made.” The plate was piled so high with pasta that he couldn’t finish it all. Of course, that didn’t stop him from having dessert.
Hubbard had almond ricotta cake topped with a lemon sauce. He said it was very good about four times. So, I’m guessing it was pretty good. I had a bite. But, I don’t really like lemon flavored sweets. If you like lemon, you’d probably like this.
We split a bottle of wine that we brought in. No fees for that. The entire lunch cost about $46 before tip. Excellent value, considering the quality of the food. The service was great. Everyone is very friendly and unpretentious. Nonna Tata has an casually comfortable atmosphere. Now I’ve just got to think of 20-25 good reasons to go back to Fort Worth and taste everything else on the menu!