By Linda Bladholm
Nonno’s ("Grandfather’s") is a neighborhood Italian gem serving creamy risotto, fresh fish, pastas and more, but this being Miami, there’s a Latin twist. Two partners from Central America opened the restaurant three years ago. It’s not well-known outside Doral, and if you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop.
Servers are happy to explain the daily fish and meat specials, and the pastas are handmade for the restaurant by a Nicaraguan woman. One partner, Edwin Leiva, was raised in El Salvador by his grandmother, who taught him to cook. He does the cooking at Nonno’s while partner Harold Martinez works the front, waiting tables and recommending wines.
The bestselling appetizer is the mixed seafood tostones, two fat balls of mashed, fried plantain specked with bits of roasted red pepper, tiny mussels and bits of fish smothered in melted provolone cheese. It’s not on the printed menu, so ask. The night I stopped by, there was pan-seared salmon fillet with mashed sweet potatoes and truffled bechamel sauce topped with a large ravioli filled with shrimp mousse. The other fish special was a
plank of Chilean sea bass on a bed of asparagus risotto topped with mushroom sauce. Be sure to get an order of puffy bread brushed with olive oil and served with pico de gallo. With advance notice, you could have exotic meat like ostrich, kangaroo or shredded rack of venison tossed with porcini, arugula and pine nuts.
Do not miss the "Passion of the Chef" dessert, made by layering cookies, passion fruit sauce and fluffy zabaglione to make a sort of torta topped with melted chocolate. Nonno would approve.
Nonno’s Fine Italian Cuisine, 10802 NW 58th St. (near 107th Avenue), Doral; 305-599-0019. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon-Fri, 6-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, until 11 p.m. Fri and Sat. Lunch specials $9.95-$14.95, antipasti $7.95-$10.95, risotto and pastas $12.95-$18.95, chicken and veal $15.95-$17.95, desserts $5.99
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