12:30 p.m., June 23)
Nonna Maria Bistro : Intimate, personal and delicious
By Fred Sherwin
Luigi Paravan prepares an order of Escargots
Flambée table side in his new restaurant,
Da Nonna Maria Bistro Italiano on St. Joseph
Blvd. Fred Sherwin/Photo
the past 10 years the Outcare Foundation has provided
tens of thousands of dollars in financial support to palliative
care providers throughout Eastern Ontario.
hard to believe that just 10 years ago, the only Italian
restaurant in Orléans was East Side Marios.
Not exactly fine dining.
weve come a long way since then. Especially in the
last 12 months with the opening of Cucina De Vito on St.
Joseph Blvd.in October, 2016 and more recently Da Nonna
Maria Bistro Italiano just down the street.
I recently visited Da Nonnas with
my friend and Century 21 Action Power Team broker Pasquale
Ricciuti, and lets just say it was an epicurean
experience I wont soon forget.
Nonna Maria Bistro Italiano is co-owned by Chef Luigi
Paravan and his wife Jessica.
spent all of his adult life and most of his youth working
in some of Ottawas finest Italian eateries. A native
of the Napoli region of Italy, Chef Paravan immigrated
to Canada with his family in the mid-60s. His first job
was as a dishwasher at the House of Caesar on Somerset.
He worked his way up from dishwasher to busboy and later
became a waiter at Sappers Bridge until he eventually
went back into the kitchen, this time to cook.
the knowledge he gained both on the job and growing up
with his grandmother and mother, who he named the bistro
after, Chef Paravan opened his first restaurant on Montreal
Road., called Antica Italia, in 1992. After that he opened
Forno Antico, a wood-burning pizza parlour, on Bronson
Avenue near Carling.
a fire destroyed the pizzeria in October 2016, Paravan
began looking for a space in his native Orléans
where he lives with his wife and their four children.
settled on a vacant space in a strip mall at 2208 St.
Joseph Blvd., beside the Orléans Child Care Centre,
and opened for business in November.
menu at Da Nonnas is very simple, but traditional,
with familiar dishes like Chicken Parmigiana, Pasta Primavera,
Lasagna, Mussels in Tomato Sauce with Garlic and White
Wine, and Pasta with Italian Sausage and Olives.
makes all the pasta on site using his mothers 50-year-old
pasta-maker and he bakes his own bread twice a day so
that its fresh for both lunch and dinner.
the best thing about Da Nonnas is whats not
on the menu. Paravan, is more than happy to take special
orders like Veal Marsala and make them from scratch.
will also make gluten free pasta to order. All you have
to do is simply call ahead.
then there is the Escargots Flambée, which is also
not on the menu, but is arguably their most popular item.
Paravan serves the buttery tender escargot with a Sambuca
cream sauce that's to die for and will have you asking
for another basket of fresh bread.
my visit to Da Nonnas I had the Veal Involintini
which is veal scallopini stuffed with spinach and cheese,
baked with a breaded crust, and served with a black peppercorn
brandy cream sauce.
dessert I had the homemade Tiramisu served in a chilled
glass mug and topped with my choice of liqueur.
stuck with the Sambuca theme of my meal which was the
perfect compliment for the rich and creamy dessert.
prices at Da Nonnas are very reasonable, especially
considering the quality of the ingredients and the final
product. The main courses range from $16.95 to $23.95,
and the appetizers are from $6.95 for the Brandy Bruschetta,
to $12.95 for the Fried Calamari, or the Mussels.
they dont have a web site, they do have a Facebook
page at www.facebook.com/danonnamaria.
Nonnas serves lunch from Monday to Saturday and
dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Monday evenings are reserved
for large groups. To make a reservation simple call 613-841-3000
and ask for Luigi or Jessica.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page