Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mama Nina Foccacheria

This week, I finally had the chance to meet Mama Nina (546 Main Street, Bethlehem). She greeted my friend and me at the door, with kisses and hugs, and the two of us settled in for a big meal and a few precious moments of time together.

Bethlehem doesn't lack for Italian restaurants, even good Italian restaurants. Metromix lists 220 in the Lehigh Valley. There's a clear difference between Sal's on the Southside and Melt in the Promenade Shops. MN falls in between, with the homey feel of a relative's dining room, friendly and sincere service, and the flavors and presentation of a sophisticated chef. If you haven't visited yet, you might want to order your complimentary garlic bread with the garlic on the side, so you can "control" the amount of garlic intake. Also, you should know that the restaurant is BYOB. If you forget to bring a bottle, they'll offer you a complimentary glass of house wine, or you can scoot across the street to Franklin Hill to pick up a bottle of local vino.

We shared crab-stuffed-mushrooms, which were tasty, as was the salad underneath the mushrooms, and I had a salad. I ordered the Tour of Mama Nina, and the eggplant rollatini was to die for. I'm a sucker for ricotta in general, but the preparation was sublime. My friend also loved the Mama Nina's Angel Hair pasta with seafood and gorgonzola. Our bill came to $70.00 including tip. (His entree made up more than 1/3 of the bill.)

A few tables out on the sidewalk are always in demand this time of year. The restaurant doesn't take reservations except for large groups, so plan ahead. (And don't forget the mints - you'll need them after the garlic bread.)

1 comment:

  1. It is 9:30am my time and I could dig into their Key West pasta (and finish it. again.) at this very moment.