The Lo Down: Nonna’s

Nonna's Chicago

Hi hi! So good food news to report – there’s a new sandwich shop in town! And by “in town” I mean the West Loop (specifically the corner of Randolph and Sangamon) and by “new sandwich shop” I mean Nonna’s. Attached to the recently-opened Formento’s Italian restaurant, Nonna’s is the fancy little sidecar. It took me a minute to realize where the entrance actually was because I think I was expecting something with more seating, so on first glance I thought it was a separate carry-out area. But after Max figured it out, we were in.  The bright and modest space was accentuated with white marble countertops. Bottles of marinara sauce, balsamic vinegar and red wine stacked up all of the walls. The tiling on the floors was beautiful, and perfect for the space and vibe.

Nonna's Tile Floor

Bottles on Bottles on Bottles

Nonna's Chicago

Nonna's Chicago

Nonna's Branding

With a relatively small menu (ten sandwiches and a few sides and salads), it was easy to get a bit of info on all the sandwiches from the two helpful ladies working the counter. I went with the Mozzarella in Carrozza, which was sort of like a margarita grilled cheese? It’s basil pesto, tomato and mozzarella…deep fried. Whoops, did I leave that part out? Yeah. It’s deep fried. It was like biting into a crispy mozzarella stick the entire sandwich. Which also reminded me that I was eating something incredibly unhealthy…the entire time. I’ll just pretend it didn’t happen. I do think it could have used a little bit more salt (and I’m not really one to put salt on much, either). But overall I was pretty happy with my choice, though I’m 100% going to branch out and try something new next time because there are a couple others I was torn between.

Nonna's Mozzarella in

Max went with the Chicken Parm and absolutely devoured it. I decided that it was about time I gave this whole “chicken parm thing” the benefit of the doubt, and let me tell you, I’m damn glad that I did. I have a terrible aversion to soggy foods (like what sauce would do to bread), but this didn’t bother me at all. The ciabatta that it comes on is the perfect bread, holding up to the sauce but still sopping up the flavor. The cheese was a melty delicious, too. The only thing I’d change was that the chicken was a little bit tough for my liking, but I took about six additional bites if that tells you anything. Max was less than impressed every time I asked for just a little bit more, but shared like a great boyfriend anyway!

Nonna's Chicken Parm

Nonna's Chicken Parm

Nonna’s is only open from 11-3pm (bummer, I know!), so unless you work over in the West Loop, the only time you’ll likely be able to grub is on the weekend. When we walked in there were two men waiting on sandwiches, taking up two of the four stools provided for dining there. We’d originally planned on eating there, but when we realized it wasn’t really a sit-down situation, we took it to-go.

Nonna's dessert

They’ve also got some treats at the counter that are pretty well priced (anything under $1 is a winner in my book) but the sweet girl give them to us on the house, so definitely some extra points added there. Overall, I know we’ll be back again, it just sucks it’ll only be on weekends. But weekends tend to be the time I eat the most things that I know I shouldn’t eat, so I guess it works out!  UPDATE: Nonna’s commented on my Instagram after the original post to let me know that starting 1/28 they’ll be open until 10/11pm pending the day. So rejoice, sandwiches for dinner! Enjoy the rest of your Monday and let me know if you’ve tried any new spots in Chicago that I should check out!

L