I Nonni

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981 Sibley Memorial Hwy Lilydale, MN 55118


I Nonni is Italian for "the grandfathers," but this restaurant doesn't give you nickels for ice cream or regale you with stories of dating "before the Internet." Instead, it serves Roman-inspired cuisine that changes seasonally and is made from scratch by the restaurant's acclaimed chefs—even the meat butchering and ham curing is done in-house, though thankfully not tableside. A recent menu, for example, offered antipasti such as calamari dashed with Sicilian sea salt ($12) and crudo ($9), an Italian variation on the Japanese delicacy sashimi. First courses, or primi piatti, included gnocchetti—a potato gnocchi adorned with bacon-like pancetta ham, pecorino cheese made from ewe's milk, and a forest-mushroom ragu sauce—and risotto made with braised beef cheeks and underscored by saffron and balsamic vinegar. The secondi piatti selection featured the traditional dish osso buco ($29), a braised veal shank seasoned with gremolata and supplemented with risotto, and pan-seared sea scallops ($27) awash in a sweet vermouth wine accompanied by arugula and forest mushrooms.

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