Dinner at Nonna Lina on 1 January 2013
We were very bad at going on dates last year.
Like every other couple, we tried to make time to enrich our Marriage. But when you’re both busy at work and trying to get a hang of being new parents again, things just get in the way. We recognised this, of course, so when Hubba asked that we go on a Date Night on the very first day of the year I thought it should be documented. In fact, I announced that I would write down every single date night of the year so we could track our little adventures (we intend to make them as exciting and meaningful as possible, of course).
Our idea of exciting? Little places with lots of character, where the experience doesn’t cost an arm and a leg yet the food is enough to keep us talking for months. We’ve had a couple of those recently and they’re immensely satisfying as they’re such a gastronomical delight and an adventure at the same time.
I’d been to Trattoria Nonna Lina before with my colleagues, during my maternity leave. But in true mummy brain style I’d completely forgotten about the place till we literally drove by it. “STOP THE CAR!” I exclaimed. I said Hubba had to try it. My description? Unpretentious, not overly expensive but incredibly authentic. I just knew he would like it.
Chef Simone who resides over the place is from a little seaside town called Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany, on the west coast of Italy. On his very personal address in the trattoria’s menu, he says it is a sleepy town where ‘seagulls hover over fishing boats trawling up fresh Mediterranean catch’. He claims life is very simple there, and this is what him and his family try to recreate in Trattoria Nonna Lina, with its rustic, comfortable atmosphere. The restaurant is named after his grandmother (i.e. nonna in Italian) Lina.
As soon as we sat down, they served us a homemade bruschetta which was probably the best bruschetta I’ve ever had – on the house. We then ordered the Antipasti Misti, a selection of antipasti. Unlike most places, it didn’t all come in a platter. The selection was by the chef so we didn’t quite know what we were going to get but having been there before, I knew to trust the chef and his very warm family. We got served a very fresh salad caprese, an amazing tenderloin with truffle oil and herbs, and a seafood salad of sorts with clams and muscles. It was so generous that we were almost full up.
But no, we’d ordered two mains to share! The special of the day was a homemade dumpling pasta of sorts with pumpkin and porcini mushrooms. It was a really generous serving which was more than enough for two people. It was really rich but not over the top and it left us very happy. But we’d also ordered the Cacciucco, which is a really rich sort of Tuscan seafood stew. It was AMAZING. We were already full when we started having it but we just had to finish it.
And then came the dessert.
The restaurant is famous for its family lemon sorbet recipe, which you can have with or without alcohol. We could not resist ordering the profiteroles as well though, as I remember it being so good the first time I had visited. Andrew was SO full and groaned after the Cacciucco but once the profiteroles arrived, he couldn’t help but finish half the plate!
In true Italian style, we washed it all down with a good bottle of red wine.
The entire meal came up to S$122 per head. Not bad for all the above, eh?
Date #1 of the year was a success. I can’t wait for the next one, whenever that may be!
Trattoria Nonna Lina
4 Craig Road
+65 6222 0930