At Nonna Dora’s, there are no dubious claims about bolognese being sourced from a grandma that only exists in a black-and-white stock photo on the wall. Nonna Dora is a real 85-year-old woman who comes into her namesake restaurant to make fresh pasta every morning, after 30-something years of doing the same with her son at the now-closed I Trulli. And we can see why she’d want the credit this time.
Unless you completely turn off your peripheral vision, it’s impossible to choose what to order. Everything looks amazing, and everyone is always claiming that their particular bowl of pillowy carbohydrates is to die for. (We’ve never seen more sharing at a non-family-style restaurant.) Though there’s a long list of worthy small plates like fave e cicoria and melanzana, you’ll see many people order an extra pasta dish to share instead. This is a perfectly reasonable move, and we suggest getting the slab of Dora’s lasagna to split. The tissue paper layers of pasta are delicate enough for you to save room for the squid ink special or silky beet-filled casoncelli.
Strangers at the bar might offer you one of their small toasts with a rich, buttery anchovy on it or insist that you dig into their order of Nonna’s spumoni, just so you can both gush at how wonderful it is. We get it. By the time you come in for dinner, Nonna probably won’t be there, but you’ll feel the need to make sure she gets the credit.