Good Taste: Nonna's good-night kiss
Should you be so inclined after your macaroni, weighty questions remain to be pondered beneath the lights strung over the open-air courtyard at the new Little Nonna's. Among them are these: What took so long for an updated, nostalgic, South Philly-style, red-gravy joint to surface just east of Broad and north of South? Why aren't there more comfy spots like this (even in South Philly) where you can get an honest platter of spaghetti and meatballs for $14? Could the smoky marinara be a tad sweeter, the pasta lighter? What would grandma think?
At Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's latest hit, the post-meal "milk and cookies, Italiano" plate can nicely assist all that deep thinking. The cranberry-pecan biscotti, rustic almond fingers, and our favorite, chewy, dark chocolate-cherry thumbprint cookies, are a homey touch. And in a clever wink at tradition, the cookies are served with a fizzy, gently biting twist on New York's iconic egg cream. This version mixes house-made (70 percent Valrhona) chocolate milk with - instead of seltzer - a bottled soda from the Big Apple called Manhattan Special Espresso. A sweet little smooch to end the evening, or the recently added lunch.
Milk and Cookies Italiano, $8, Little Nonna's, 1234 Locust St., 215-546-2100, littlenonnas.com.