Having a partner turns bouncing a ball into a tennis match, a monologue into a conversation, and a bear attack into a slightly longer bear attack. Experience the power of pairing with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get a wine tasting for two ($10 value per person) with appetizers at Nonno’s Italian Café in Los Gatos. Wine tastings are held on Saturdays from 3–7 p.m.
Nonno’s Italian Café's passionate staff pairs wood-fired pizzas and pastas with a medley of wines from Californian and worldwide cellars. At Saturday wine-tasting afternoons, duos of diners sip 2-ounce samplings of six varying vintages, ranging from albariños to zinfandels. Between quaffs, nibble bubbling slices from the outdoor wood pizza oven and snatch smoked salmon, olives, mushrooms, and cheeses off finger-food platters like a hummingbird snatching gumdrops out of the hand of a child. An outdoor garden invites cozy postmeal strolls serenaded by the gentle volleying of lobbed bocce balls on the restaurant's two courts.
Nonno's Italian Cafe
As a child living at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ralph DiTullio spent his Sunday afternoons brewing hearty sauces side by side with his grandfather in preparation for the family dinner. As the smell of tomatoes filled the kitchen, his mother and grandmother cut and boiled fresh pastas. On other occasions, he found himself in the cool darkness of the garage, where his grandfather smashed and fermented his own grapes to make wine. Today, nearly all the recipes at Nonno's Italian Cafe build on the hearty Italian dishes Ralph’s mother and grandmother used to make. In the small mountaintop cafe, Ralph cultivates this same sense of familial bonding with new patrons and usual crowds alike, proffering updates on current weather and traffic to callers from the valley below.
While Ralph begins each day crafting potato-filled breakfast burritos and freshly baked turnovers, his lunch and dinner menus transition into traditional Italian fare, such as pastas stuffed with cheese or topped with artichokes and meatballs. He and his culinary crew fire pizzas outside in a wood oven, stacking each with Mediterranean vegetables and barbecued meats with greater care than an artist painting a still-life jenga tower. Every Friday and Saturday, the staff fires up the barbecue for sizzling steaks and sausages. To complement both hearty and light fare, the culinary crew keeps a cellar of nearly 2,000 wine labels and up to 70 beers, replenishing their stock with selections from mostly small international vintners and brewers. They present a changing roster of these wines at weekly tastings to suit different themes and keep the wines from becoming codependent with the house crystal. While all sampling services are kept at small sizes indoors, they can spill outside to bocce-ball courts with courtside seating for up to 150.
21433 Broadway Rd.
Los Gatos, California 95033Get Directions