La Nonna, Holland Village

La Nonna website

We come here for lunch all the time because of the lunch time shuttle to Holland Village from the Science Park on tuesdays and thursdays. Their lunch offers feature 1 for 1 pastas/pizzas, as well as a set lunch that comes with a starter and their dessert. The pastas/pizzas here are around $20 each so the 1 for 1 deal is pretty worth it, especially if you come in a big group. There is limited seating on the first floor of the restaurant though, so reservations on Chope or by telephone are highly recommended. If you have a larger group (say your entire lab or entire office, they do have a seating area on the second floor).

My favourite pasta to order here is their crab ravioli in arrabiatta sauce, and my favourite pizza is ther house special, the ‘La Nonna’ pizza, which is basically an asparagus, truffle paste, and parmesan pizza baked with an egg in the middle.

You can smell this baby as it comes out of the wood-fired oven they keep on the first floor, right in the seating area, piping out all manner of lovely smells to the custom. The concept of including the wood-fired oven in the seating area has been gaining popularity; Pomo D’oro in Budapest does it too, with more mouthwatering smells.

The wood-fired does warm the place a little, which is nice in wintry Budapest, but perhaps not so ideal in Singapore because then your oven’s heat will definitely push your AC bill up.

We’ve tried their prosciutto wrapped mozzarella starter, which is really nice, and also their clams in white wine:

which is extremely flavourful but also the same price as a pasta. Their appetizers tend to be a bit on the pricey side.

La Nonna serves a complimentary bread basket to begin your meal with though, so you have something to mop up the clam broth or tomato sauce from your pasta. The bread is nice but not warmed, so can be a bit on the stale/chewy side.

I really enjoyed their macaroni bolognese bake, which was cheesy and beefy and tomato-ey all at once, done more expertly than NYDC’s lasagna (which is just next door).

While it’s not the best Italian restaurant out there, it does have its high points and is a perfectly decent spot to have lunch if you need some cheering up or want to celebrate something.

EDIT: This post was written rather a long time before today, but yesterday we went back to La Nonna!

This shares the same concept as Pietrasanta‘s scamorza – Pietrasanta does it better, though this gets an honorable mention.
Their oxtail tagliatelle is excellent, as is their cioppino,

although the best cioppino I’ve ever had is at Skipjack’s in Boston (kind of a sports bar):

The bouillabaisse at Marché is laughable next to these.

EDIT 2: Omg one of the entries on the Best Things We Ate in 2013 on Serious Eats is from the Ithaca Farmer’s Market!

I’ve never had this banh chev before – the main things I go for there are the crepes (which are only so-so compared to mine actually; the mushroom cream sauce is a little strange and gloppy) and also the chiles rellenos from the nice mexican store with the spicy salsa. I’ve had some of the breakfast sandwiches/wraps but thought they were nothing special. The main thing I enjoy there is buying random produce and also sitting by the river eating and watching the kids play. There are otherwise no kids on the Cornell campus whatsoever. Is Khmer Angkor new? I wonder what the editor was doing in Ithaca.


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