If you don’t know about Nona Mia Italian Kitchen in West Asheville, you should. Owners say they serve “Italian-American Soul Food”. I like to think of it as comfort food that’s good for the soul. To find Nona Mia, look for a mural of restaurant images bordering patio seating at 1050 Haywood Rd. Off-street parking is available on site.
As soon as you step inside, you’ll see plenty of table and booth seating, and a bustling open kitchen on the far side of the room.
Just to your left is a friendly bar accented by a local artist’s take on lighting. I like the piece every time I look at it, but can’t help thinking about whale skeletons.
A spacious deck with heaters is out back.
Plates of fresh House Breads ($4.25), including strips of crunchy flat bread, and herbed dipping oil started off dinner for our group of nine.
Cream of Mushroom Soup ($7) was a must try on this night’s Specials Menu. Roasted wild mushrooms had been blended with garlic and a variety of herbs, then finished with cream and topped with croutons and local micro greens. Let’s just say licking of the bowl is not done in public. But in the privacy of my own home . . . See that glass of hearty red wine? Thanks go out to dinner companions who were nice enough to share their bottle.
Knowing that some would be going home with me, I ordered one of Nona Mia’s Neopolitian pizzas, the Margherita ($13). This classic is made simply with tomato sauce, Mozzarella, a little extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. I’m sorry to say, it was a disappointment. Perhaps adding fresh tomatoes or adding the basil leaves after the pie is cooked would help?
Between us, we tried four different pizzas, ranging in price from $13 to $18. They tasted as delicious as they look. And if you’re a crust-lover like me, you will not be disappointed. Light and airy inside – crunchy out. See pizza menu here.
Specials are always good at Nona Mia. This night, two of us chose specials: Braised Pork Shoulder ($23) made with all natural Beulah Farms Pork Shoulder braised in a white wine and pork stock jus, garlic herb gnocchi, and roasted broccoli.
Chicken Scarpiello ($18), made with all natural pan-seared chicken breast with fennel sausage, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, caramelized onion, Kalamata olives, and capers, served in a tomato broth.
Nona Mia – good for families, friends, or couples leaning in over hearty Italian.