176 St Viateur O. (around Clark); Mile End
Mon-Sun 11am-11pm (hours are variable, so call ahead if you're coming late). Licensed. Accepts major credit cards. Tel.: 278-6066
I had read about Il Piatto Della Nonna (Grandmother's plate) in Cheap Thrills and wanted to try it out. They do a Table d'hôte which includes soup/salad, main course and dessert of espressos and biscotti. There is no menu; it's generally whatever Grandma wants to serve up.
The decor is very casual and rustic. The ceilings are painted silver and have large ventilation pipes on them and relief-work above the pipes. The walls are a nice rustic brown. There are bunches of dried herbs and pictures of old Montreal hanging on them. The tables and chairs are metallic and very simple. The kitchen is an open area to the back of the restaurant, which invites watching Grandma make her dishes. Grandma likes to come out and make sure everything's okay, so you'll probably get a personal visit.
To start with, the vegetable soup was simply prepared and delicious. The green salad was just the right size and classically prepared with romaine lettuce and a balsamic & olive oil dressing. I had some homemade Papardelle pasta with tomato sauce. The noodles were quite wide and perfectly cooked. The sauce was a simple, fresh tomato sauce with a hint of basil. My companion's breacrumb stuffed bellpepper was slightly dry yet moist. The dry and savory breadcrumbs were nicely complimented by the sweet and moist bell pepper. For dessert, we had a small basket of cookies and espressos. All the biscotti were classic Italian cookies, none of which were the hard-dipping kind. The espresso was wonderful. The food at Nonna's is simple and rustic, using fresh ingredients and honest seasonings.
Sample Menu: Homemade Papardelle with Tomato Sauce; Stuffed Bell pepper with pasta; Pasta and Veal Sausage; Veal Liver. Reviewed by Sera Hill