Nonna Tata is Fort Worth’s worst kept secret. If you haven’t heard of this place, I imagine you probably don’t get out much. It is one of the best restaurants in the city. Don’t believe me? Just drive down Magnolia at around 5:15PM and ask one of the 15-20 people waiting outside for the joint to open every day. The food is amazing, and you can go for that reason alone, but Nonna Tata is not like other restaurants. There are a number of things that make this place special, and that’s what I want to write about today. I’ve compiled a list of tips/suggestions/advice for maximizing your Nonna Tata experience. If you’ve been there before, you know the drill. I’ve included pictures for your enjoyment!
1. If you don’t want to wait a long time, get there early. The place is open from Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner. That’s it. They only have enough tables to seat about 30 people at any given time. That number is cut in half if the patio isn’t open. If you miss the first seating around 5:30, there will be a wait. BUT – waiting can be fun (I’ll explain).
2. Nonna Tata is BYOB and BYOG. Wine and Italian food are a match made in heaven, so bring your own wine. BYOG means it’s also Bring Your Own Glass. The restaurant is tiny, and there’s no room to store a wine selection OR a bunch of wine glasses. They do have a few glasses on hand if you forget to bring your own, but you will be charged $$$ for them. Kind of like a cork fee. So, remember to bring your own wine, glasses, and corkscrew. This is great for several reasons. First – you don’t have to pay those ridiculous restaurant prices for wine. Second, if you are waiting for a table, you can pop the cork and have a glass while you wait! Thirdly, BYOB means Nonna Tata doesn’t have to pay for a liquor license, which ultimately means you get to spend less money to go out and have a fabulous meal.
3. Waiting for a table can be part of the fun! Like I mentioned earlier – go ahead and break out the wine! Strike up a conversation with the other waiting guests! If you’d rather save the wine for dinner, you can give Nonna Tata your phone number and mosey on over to one of the many bars on Magnolia for a pre-dinner cocktail. They’ll call you when your table is ready. I would recommend The Usual – its right next door.
4. Please don’t go to Nonna Tata if you are in a hurry. In Europe (especially Italy and Spain), your dining experience is supposed to be slow and relaxed. Food, wine, conversation, and atmosphere are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. A typical dinner here can easily last 2 hours – and it’s wonderful! Learn to enjoy it, otherwise, consider yourself warned.
5. If the wait at Nonna Tata is too long, you can go over to The Usual (right next door) and order your food from there. They will bring it over when it’s ready.
6. Nonna Tata accepts cash and checks only!!!
7. This is not the place to bring a large group, however I believe you can rent out the entire restaurant if you wish. The tables are small. Inside, there are only 3 tables that can seat 4 people. The rest are 2 seat tables. If you must bring a bunch of people, you will probably have more luck on the patio, but I still wouldn’t suggest a group larger than 6.
8. The last thing I want to talk about is the food (I know, right?). Order the home made pastas whenever possible. I know they can be pricey compared to the rest of the menu, but it is worth it. I don’t know how many people make fresh pasta at home, but I certainly don’t. Nonna Tata’s home made pasta is a revelation. Trust me.
We are incredibly lucky to have such a special place here in Fort Worth!
Nonna Tata is located at:
1400 West Magnolia Avenue Fort Worth, TX 76104