And what's better than a simple home cooked meal that you don't have to cook yourself? Nothing (especially as it means you don't' have to wash up). Enter Nonna Maria's Place in Parramatta - a family style Italian restaurant that dishes up delicious home cooking in a no-frills restaurant setting.
There's not many places these days that give you a free drink...other than tap water, but at Nonna Maria's good old Italian hospitality prevails and each table is given a jug (or two) of refreshing homemade lemonade.
The bread is on the house too, soft, white fluffy bread that is served warm...but don't eat too much as you don't want to spoil your dinner.
I find it hard to eat pasta without a virtuous salad to accompany it. I guess I think the carbs and creamy sauces are negated by a healthy dose of greens. The Italian Salad at Nonna Maria's was a very generous serving for just $5.00 - another simple, but tasty dish.
We all ordered our own mains but in the true spirit of dining with friends we happily offered up samples of our own meal and were rewarded with tasty morsles of all the other dishes.
I chose the All'Arrabbiata with Spaghetti ($12). All the pasta dishes are a "mix and match" affair - choose your sauce and
The Chicken Schnitzel Lemon ($16.00) is exactly what it says on the menu - two pieces of tender chicken fillets, crumbed, pan-fried and served with a wedge or two of lemon. It's good to order the Italian Salad to eat along side of this. The pesto is so good that it holds it own when adoring a bowl of simple penne pasta ($12.00). Another winning dish, that I will definitely be ordered when I revisit is the Spaghetti Bolognese ($12.00). Why does my bolognese sauce never taste this good when I make it at home? There must be an Italian Nonna's trick to it that I just don't know about.
I'm not normally a fan of Tiramisu ($10.00) at all, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the offering at Nonna Maria's. It was less "wet" and creamy than other Tiramasu's I've have - the sponge still had the texture of sponge cake rather than something soft and mushy that always makes me question what I have in my mouth. I also found the espresso/liquor flavour were quite mild which I liked - the flavours were balanced. It was perfect. Nonna Maria's is perfect. Perfectly simple and perfectly great! Go!
Nonna Maria's Place is at 56 Phillip Street, Parramatta. Phone them on 9689 1112.