We love an Italian but we’ve set the bar pretty high after spending a month in Italy. For this reason, when we say that Nonnas in Sheffield is one of the best Italian eateries we have ever visited, you can rest assured that it’s high praise!
Located in the outskirts of Sheffield city centre towards the Hospital and University area, Nonnas looks like quite a nice but pretty standard Italian from first glance. When you bear in mind that there a few other chain restaurants and even a Taco Bell in the surrounding area, you could be forgiven for wandering straight past this restaurant.
Appearances can be deceptive though. Having booked a table for 6.45, we found that we were too hungry to wait, and so rang to ask if we could turn up earlier. The staff were very accommodating, letting us change our plans at a busy time. In truth, this set the scene for the high levels of service we experienced throughout the course of the evening.
Simply by mistake we found ourselves arriving during the ‘pasta offer’ time, where full size dishes are reduced down to the exceptional value of £5.95 per bowl. This meant that my starter actually ended up costing more than my main course!
Whilst this review is unashamedly positive as we felt the service and food were exceptional for the price we paid, I will still note that the offer by a waiter to bring us bread and olives at the start of our meal was a rather sneaky ploy that cost us £6! It might seem petty but it’s something that could catch out families on a budget. Moving on from this, the olives and bread were actually very tasty (not quite £6 tasty but not far off!) and were drenched in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
After demolishing the stuzzichini, we then ordered our starters. I opted for the intriguing asparagi alla griglia (asparagus, poached duck egg and parmesan), whilst Charlotte went for the classic (and easily ruined) bruschetta classica. With my dish bursting with flavour, the duck egg really did make it that bit richer and more interesting, especially when combined with the well seasoned asparagus. The bruschetta was well seasoned, well balanced, and overall a real winner of a dish. We felt that this boded really well for the rest of the meal.
For our main courses, I opted for the tagliatelle salsiccia, which was essentially beautifully cooked sausage meat seasoned well and combined with a rich tomato sauce that had a chilli kick to it. Charlotte went for lasagne della nonna, which in the simplest terms was just a meat lasagne! In reality, the combination of pork and beef mince in the ragu helped to create a moist, flavoursome meat base that was wonderfully enhanced by the freshly made pasta sheets.
Although my dish was excellent, the lasagne was exceptional and showed why people pay to get take out portions. Could it have been improved? I think not, other than maybe for it to come with a side salad!
Full to the brim with great food, non alcoholic beer and feeling rather beaten, we nonetheless felt that we simply could not leave without trying dessert. For those of you who read our blog on a regular basis, you will know that we often give up before pudding, so the quality of this food really was exceptional to force us into pud!
Charlotte opted for the classic Italian pudding Tiramisu. It came presented in a nice style (as you can see from the picture) and was chocolatey and creamy enough to offset the bitterness of the coffee.
I opted for the trickier to pull off torta al cioccolato, which was essentially a chocolate mousse with vanilla cream and lavender jelly and some chocolate crumb (sorry, soil…). I am not a chocolate fan and only one chocolate pudding has ever blown my socks off and that was at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town, which happens to be in the top 50 restaurants in the world.
This dish not only blew my socks off but left me amazed that it had come from a non-Michelin star restaurant. The mousse was light, full of flavour and went well with the lovely vanilla cream, intriguing but well done lavender jelly, and the texture difference of the chocolate crumb. It was a delight.
Overall, I have to say that the good service, exceptional food and truly brilliant value means that not only would I recommend Nonnas but would fully implore you to go here if you find yourselves in Sheffield.
One final note is that for any coeliacs out there, or even vegetarians, the range and accessibility of dishes for you is very good but sadly I can’t comment on the quality of the gluten free pasta as I haven’t tried it.
Nonnas, all being well, we will be back!
Categories: Restaurant reviews