Nauna’s Puts the Cream in Cannoli

Nauna’s Bella Casa
148 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ
973-744-3232
http://www.naunas.com

Nauna’s is a Montclaur establishment and over the years it has become essential to the debate of best pizza in town.  You can be pro or con in the argument but there is no debate that Nauna’s is part of the discussion.

The line out the door on Friday nights points to the earery’s expertise with pizza but somewhat overlooked is the fact that Nauna’s also serves some fine Italian dishes as well. We dropped by Nauna’s this pastNauna’s dining room Saturday for a quick, casual dinner and we were’nt disappointed.

We sat in the eatery part of the restaurant which can get a bit on the cold side but once a table cleared away from the door we moved and everything was fine. We’ve actually never eaten in the dining room, called the Piazza, not being fussy but it looks just dandy if that’s what you’re into. No we came for the food and Nauna’s came through.

We ordered brushchetta as an appetizer and it was good but not great. Bruschetta is fairly basic so it’s tough to go wrong. C went all healthy on me and had the seafood salad. This can be dangerous in a place like Naunas but the seafood proved to be fresh and the salad was quite good.

One of two highlights of the night was the Farfalle Special, bow tie pasta with crumbled sausage, roasted eggplant and fresh mozzarella in a plum tomatoe sauce. It’s traditional dishes like this where Naunas shines. The pasta was a crisp al dente and the mozzarella melted in my mouth. Yum.

The second highlight and a Jerseycool recommendation was the cannoli, which we splurged on for dessert. Nauna’s fills their own and this was a highlight we had never tried before. So good we licked the bottom of our plates.

Nauna’s can be a fun night out in part  because it’s fairly easy to overhear conversations, in fact it’s darn near impossible not to. We were treated on Saturday to the people in front of us planning to buy every piece of Murano glass on their next trip to Italy. I also heard one woman tell a friend that Nauna’s was the place to be in Montclair.

We won’t go that far but for fast, fun and hearty Italian fare Nauna’s is always a filling choice.

JC

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3 Responses to “Nauna’s Puts the Cream in Cannoli”

  1. Melanie Says:

    I agree, Nauna’s is one of our favorite stops in Montclair. The pasta is always fresh and the blackboard specials are great! We have never been dissapointed.

  2. Sal Says:

    I give Nauna’s an overall grade of a B-. This is only because they are rather unpredictable. One night a meal is great, another the same meal is okay. Some of the specials have been fantastic. The eggplant parm sand. is fantastic always.

    However, if you are ordering for delivery plan on having something go wrong about 25% of the time. I’m not sure if the it’s the person taking the order or the cook. For example, recent orders was a Bacon Ch. Burger. and I get a cheeseburger, I order Diet Cokes and get regular Cokes, I order one sandwich but they deliver and charge me for two and when I call to complain they come back and get the second sandwich, which I thought was insulting and unprofessional. Shouldn’t they have just “compt’d” the whole order. I mean what the heck are they gonna do with the sandwich that they came back for?
    Also, if you get a salad that gets balsamic vinegar dressing plan on getting ONLY balsamic vinager in the containter. My main complaint about Nauna’s is that when one calls to discuss the messed-up order they are not too receptive. I’ve often gotten a “what-do-you-want-me-to-do-about-it?” attitude. One manager actually said, “well, we’re VERY busy here” meaning the complaint was essentially nullified given the popularity of the place, or that because of the volume of service things are going to go wrong sometimes so deal with it.
    Also, there is one delivery guy who NEVER says thank you or good bye, it’s just nada. Gives your stuff and the change and walks away. This is with giving tips that are consistently 3 & 4 dollars so it’s not like he hates that he gets 50 cents for a tip. Gets his tip, turns and leaves. I wanna run after him and get the money back.

    The prices seem to regularly go up as well. Pretty soon it’s gonna be $10 for a sub, and $20 for a chix dinner.

    I’ll close with some good things: Broch Rabe is phenomenal and the Cajun Style chix is great.

  3. Jenn Says:

    I have been a Nauna’s customer for about 8 years and really love the place. I have tried all of the other local Italian/pizza places and would definately give Nauna’s the highest marks. Their blackboard specials are as good as any place around, even the high end places like Giotto and Facino, both of which I love also. Nauna’s is more of a family casual place but with warm service and very reasonable prices. Delivery is usually quick and the food is always hot when it arrives. I highly recommend Nauna’s to anyone looking for a good food & service whether it be at the restaurant or for take out.

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