Food & Drink

Piedmont Ave Italian cafe and pizzeria

Insistence on quality has its frustrations, like elevated costs, and the blank stares of customers when you try to explain your ridiculous insistence on quality. Proudly pressing on nonetheless, Nonna Mia

Replacing Sweet Devil Moon, Nonna's a modestly sized Italian cafe and pizzeria, divided into a 40-seat, paneless-windowed patio and a smaller, gold-lit interior, serving a menu whose affordability belies a fierce insistence on the best -- imported Italian flour, pricey Escalon ground tomatoes, Grande Cheese, and locally made gelato that's twice as expensive as its closest competitor, and can cure tuberculosis. Everything plays out in antipastos like Italian Salumi Misti (prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, & Fontina) and the spicy, chicken & spinach Divine Portobello; paninis run from classics (Italian Meatball) to the chicken, sun-dried tomato pesto, onion, Fontina, & balsamic aioli Chicken Paradiso -- where valorous cluckers are rewarded with 72 chicks. Heartier fare: pizza (by slice or pie) like the Prima (caramelized onions, goat cheese, Roma tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic sauce), calzones, and pastas like the heavily mozzarella'd Cannelloni Alla Carne; to fully girth out, grab Tiramisu, Cannoli, or Gelato Brioche -- the menu says "Beautiful Italian women" often have it for lunch, another step in your quest to become the next Sophia Loren

While Nonna awaits its liq license (upcoming specials: $6 martinis; 32oz margs for $15), try house-made lattes or Ginger-Mint Lemonade (w/ scoop of lemon ice gelato); or just BYOB, and fearlessly weather your server's blank stare as you explain your own ridiculous lack of insistence on quality.