This is the magic bruschetta at Trattoria Nonna Lina. We are not sure what is in it, but it is dope.
Chef Simone is from a seaport town in Tuscany, and has named this lovely restaurant after his grandmother Lina. The food is good, and we loved the comfortable atmosphere. It is like being in someone else’s home, what with Simone’s voice trailing over from the kitchen, music blasting, and family members coming and going. A friend who was there previously described Simone as bubbly, and I think we agree. That night we were there, the chef’s brother was the one serving us, and he was charmingly shy and appropriately attentive. Not sure if he is still too new to the restaurant because at one point, we thought Mamma Patrizia was scolding him in the kitchen. Maybe it was not scolding but some Italian family thing going on?
As for the food, we loved the variety in the starter selection. But before we could even get there, the chef brought us his magic bruschetta.
We then had the raw beef starter, and I love how the cheese, beef and the vegetable mix together in my mouth. There was extra cheese for me, since Siew doesn’t like cheese.
For our mains, we were not confident of our ability to properly stomach two courses (and weren’t sure of how the food would be portioned out) and hence ordered the crab meat pasta and the veal for the two of us. Our charming chef very graciously served the first course first, and provided us with plates for sharing. We didn’t have to ask!
This was one portion of the veal, and we thought it was very generous of the kitchen. The chef split the dish into two for us. To show our support, we ordered our desserts (but asked for takeaway).
Italian restaurants have been part of Singapore’s culinary scene for some time now, but not everyone has heart and warmth. Obviously, some restaurants are trying for a fine dining experience, and hence do things differently. Whatever it is, the attraction for us is that Trattoria Nonna Lina recreates that feel of a homey restaurant in Italy and in that sense, its casualness and its comfortable setting beats the class and edge that finer restaurants possess.
PS: I love the description on the restaurant’s about page:
Life is simple.
At Trattoria Nonna Lina, the same rustic and comfortable dining atmosphere is re-created. Expect nothing but the best of traditional Tuscan cuisine, during lunch, aperitif and dinner hours. After all, food is not just about filling the stomach, or even satisfying the tastebuds. In typical Italian style, it’s also about getting together, having fun and enjoying life with friends and loved ones.