5/01/2013 12:13:00 PM

Turney and Safran to Open Little Nonna’s in Midtown Village

Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney
A new restaurant from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran is a great thing no matter what, but it sounds even better now that we know what’s coming. The pair is turning the former Fish space at 1234 Locust into Little Nonna’s, a casual Italian. Look for “red sauce,” Italian-American classics on the menu, plus an all-Italian wine list and Italian-inspired cocktails.

Turney is teasing housemade mozzarella with pickled pepperoni; “Big Mama’s Meatballs,” ground in-house and served with gravy (or is it sauce?); crabs and spaghetti with San Marzano tomatoes and other small and large plates ranging from $8-$25. The chef is also planning to crowdsource new menu additions, so if you have a suggestion or favorite family recipe, let her know and she might add it to the list.

Terence Lewis is the beverage manager, and he’ll be in charge of the wines as well as the cocktails, served by the glass or in shareable bottles. There’s also a signature negroni, served in a mason jar with a giant ice cube.

Enjoy it all in what’s meant to look like an Italian grandma’s living room circa 1950. Think vintage lace curtains, faux flowers and curio cabinet, surrounding 37 seats in antique chairs and bright red banquettes. Meats and cheeses will hang near the open kitchen, and strings of twinkling lights will bring the Little Italy vibe inside. Plus, there’s a patio with outdoor seating.

Little Nonna's will be the duo's seventh venture, joining Lolita, Jamonera, Barbuzzo, GroceryVerde and Open House in Midtown Village. Lolita will be closing briefly to install a bar for its new liquor license, and we hear its staff will temporarily decamp to the new spot and help with the planned summer opening.

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