Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eating in Nonna's Kitchen! A wonderful Sunday feast



Maria(Nonna) and I
My hubby planned this dinner after meeting Maria (Nonna) several months ago at the Columbus Day Parade in Bloomfield, PA.. Maria has a beautiful Italian Gift Shop called Merante Gifts and when we were walking on Liberty Ave in Bloomfield (Little Italy) we came across her gift shop and decided to browse while the parade was warming up.   Italian Bowls and dishes, anything and everything Italian Maria has displayed beautifully in this very Italian gift shop.  While I was browsing, my hubby was asking lots of questions (Maria even runs trips to Italy). She told him she serves dinner upstairs by reservations and would email him with the menu so we could check it out..  What a menu from soup to nuts!!!! Once we decided who would be coming with us to experience this Italian culinary experience we were into planning our meal..

Artichoke drizzled with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Italian Wedding Soup


There would be a total of 8 of us, all good friends who enjoy eating as much as we do, fine food to be sure.  Maria (Nonna) does this with ease and perfection, homemade wedding soup, with tiny meatballs,greens, small tortellini swimming in a savory chicken broth(some chicken pieces too)and piping hot!! They way I like it..Oh I must mention we sat at a large dining room table that seated 8 comfortably..Maria was right before us cooking and we were able to see everything she did.. Clean, cozy kitchen with all the normalizes of your own home kitchen and we all felt extremely comfortable...

Gnocchi with Bolognaise

Pollo Nastro Azzurro

Zucchini al Forno with Pancetta


After our soup came Ricotta gnocchi in a delicate Bolognaise sauce..Seasoned perfectly, soft and tender little pillows served  hot and right off the stove..Maria moved easily and effortlessly..not a bit of stress, as though she were cooking for her own family...We felt at home!

On to the main course which was Pollo Nastro Azzurro...Thinly sliced chicken rolled with prosciutto, asiago cheese and delicately cooked. Absolutely wonderful!  Our side was Zucchini Al Forno with Pancetta (Zucchini baked with onions and pancetta with light soft bread crumbs as a topping.. Something new for my tastebuds and I loved it and so did our friends...

Layered with prosciutto and asiago cheese

Made from scratch Italian Rum cake


A classic Italian salad and served after dinner with a lemon and olive oil dressing with a hint of mint. Refreshing and delicious to say the least..

A small taste of Lemoncello for a after dinner drink and yes Rum cake and Expresso!  Both being perfect! Nothing more can I say but Maria  is one heck of a cook!  Word of mouth says Lidia paid her a visit and she may be on one of the local channels in a review soon..  Can't wait to see it!!  We made reservations for the same day next year..   A great Christmas Tradition.

A Christmas Toast


Thank you Maria...I don't give many A+'s but you get one for sure!!!

If you are interested in dining with Nonna or cooking classes you may want to checkout Maria's website
www.merante-gifts.com

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