Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 17


Team of the Month

Posted Feb. 6

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 12:30 p.m., June 23)
Da Nonna Maria Bistro : Intimate, personal and delicious
By Fred Sherwin

Chef 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

For the past 10 years the Outcare Foundation has provided tens of thousands of dollars in financial support to palliative care providers throughout Eastern Ontario.

It’s hard to believe that just 10 years ago, the only Italian restaurant in Orléans was East Side Mario’s. Not exactly fine dining.

Well, we’ve 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 Nonna’s
with my friend and Century 21 Action Power Team broker Pasquale Ricciuti, and let’s just say it was an epicurean experience I won’t soon forget.

Da Nonna Maria Bistro Italiano is co-owned by Chef Luigi Paravan and his wife Jessica.

Paravan spent all of his adult life and most of his youth working in some of Ottawa’s 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 Sapper’s Bridge until he eventually went back into the kitchen, this time to cook.

Using 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.

When 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.

He 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.

The menu at Da Nonna’s 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.

He makes all the pasta on site using his mother’s 50-year-old pasta-maker and he bakes his own bread twice a day so that it’s fresh for both lunch and dinner.

But the best thing about Da Nonna’s is what’s not on the menu. Paravan, is more than happy to take special orders like Veal Marsala and make them from scratch.

He will also make gluten free pasta to order. All you have to do is simply call ahead.

And 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.

During my visit to Da Nonna’s 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.

For dessert I had the homemade Tiramisu served in a chilled glass mug and topped with my choice of liqueur.

I stuck with the Sambuca theme of my meal which was the perfect compliment for the rich and creamy dessert.

The prices at Da Nonna’s 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.

Although they don’t have a web site, they do have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/danonnamaria.

Da Nonna’s 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.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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