Update: Nonno’s has closed.
What’s that phrase about not hiding your light under a bushel? I think Nonno’s Ristorante Italiano might be a case in point.
Nonno’s, a restaurant in the Hunter’s Creek section of South Orlando, features a fairly familiar list of Italian dinners, or at least Americanized versions of Italian dinners. Down at the bottom of the menu is a very small section labeled pizza. Consider the pizza Nonno’s light and the main menu the bushel.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the main menu. My companion and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. We started with the frutti di mare appetizer, which had tender calamari and shrimp plus mussels and clams, sauteed with white wine and garlic, all of it delicious.
For my entree I chose the seafood pasta, which was very good, with more of the delicious seafood that was featured in the frutti di mare but this time in a spicy red marinara that was deftly executed.
My friend had the veal saltimbocca alla Romana, a not-too-tender scaloppine sauteed in white wine and topped with prosciutto and sage. The sage flavor was dominant.
But all the time we were enjoying our food, I was watching the fellow at the far end of the open kitchen making the pizzas. He was so careful with the dough and the sauce that he looked like an artist at work.
After my guest and I had eaten the delicious strawberry Napoleon and cannoli for dessert, and sipped the limoncello that the owner, Gonzalo Collao, had so graciously offered to us, I mentioned to Collao that although I wished I had tried the pizza.
And he said, wait here, I’ll get you one. And he did.
And it was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. He brought the Nonno’s pizza, which has pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, black olives and bacon. And even though the toppings were plentiful, the pie was not top-heavy; the crust, which had just the right thinness and chew, held up under the weight. This was one fine pizza.
Nonno’s is not a fancy place but it goes to the trouble of putting white cloths on the tables. It also goes to the trouble of doing the food right, especially the pizzas.
Nonno’s is in Hunters Creek at 13586 Village Park Drive (off John Young Parkway south of State Road 417). It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-812-9990. Here is the restaurant’s Web site.