Sunday, January 13, 2019

Flatlay Conversations: Four Pizzas for FourScene at Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria

Flatlays and conversations. Dude for Food, The Last Don and exchange thoughts down south as FourScene hits Nuvali for a tasty rendezvous with four unique pizzas and many more sumptuous dishes at Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria...

...and what an afternoon. FourScene, a collaborative group by three friends (for more on FourScene, check out our FB Page at, kicks off the start of the new year with some discussions over pizza at one of the south's iconic names in rustic pizzas and pastas. Not the usual narrative for the run-off-the-mill food review, the engaging banter is both light and humorous even irreverent, yet real and authentic. The short video, the first in a series of flatlay conversations by FourScene, will soon be uploaded on our Facebook Page. In the meantime, here's what we had at Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria...

Conversations at Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria are always bound to be fun, lively and exuberant, specially when you're served with their signature pizzas. There's just a whole lot of good vibes at Nonna's, and great conversations come naturally with Nonna's comforting cuisine.

Long known for their traditional and artisanal approach using only the finest ingredients, Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria has always been a favorite (for more on Nonna's, see my earlier posts, Southbound to Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria on my very first visit and Come Home To Pizza and pasta by Nonna's...Now Open at Robinsons Galleria).

At Nonna's, each pizza and pasta dish is prepared the old world and old-fashioned way just the way your very own nonna would have done it. Made with a lot of love, dining at Nonna's is always special. And it's always a good idea to start with Nonna's Pumpkin Soup (P 180) to warm both the palate and body before the mains...

That rustic ring of charred blisters around the crust is Nonna's trademark, using Italian doppio zero "00" flour and fresh yeast in a tedious 24-hour rising process and finished in their bright red Valoriani ovens. The variety of flavorful pizza options at Nonna's range from classic and traditional to modern and playfully inspired creations. That day, we were served four different pizzas reflecting this dynamic range of flavors. And just like the individual characters that form the core of FourScene, each pizza had its own unique personality. Take the Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza (P 365) with its blend of fresh goat cheese and creamed spinach draped with creamy alfredo sauce, this one isn't shy with flavors. Bold and upfront with intense notes, it's a deceptively simple pizza but the flavor combination is far from simple. 

And it gets better with a generous drizzle of Nonna's homemade Hot Honey and a dash of Chili Flakes for that sweet and salty pairing that coats your palate with its richness followed by the soothing heat from the chili flakes. It's a flavor sensation that lingers long after your first bite and slice, further intensifying with the next bite.

The Parma Ham and Arugula (P 450) combines the sharp yet distinct notes of Parma Ham and garden-fresh arugula in another flavorful pizza creation along with pomodoro, mozzarella and parmesan. The play on these sharp notes complement the other, and it looks good too.

Each slice is covered by a slice of Parma Ham, topped with fresh arugula covered in Italian cheeses. The salty notes of the Parma Ham and the deep, mildly bitter and spicy hints of the arugula are tempered by the cheeses without overwhelming the other. The contrasting layers of flavor weave a seamless blend of rich flavors. But there's more.

The Smoked Salmon and Caviar (P 450) is one classy pizza, with pomodoro, mozzarella, premium smoked salmon, indulgent caviar, homemade ricotta and red onions. It may not be your traditional pizza, but this one works for me just fine. With salmon and caviar, I'm definitely not passing on this one.

The buttery hints of the salmon with its subtle smokiness are kicked up by the intense briny notes of the caviar, followed by the creamy richness of the homemade ricotta (yes, Nonna's makes their own ricotta cheese) for fresh, clean and defined flavors. But there's a classy elegance with the way these flavors come together that's different and special. 

The Lucca (P 325) takes bold flavors from a different route with pomodoro, mozzarella, black olives, eggplant, anchovies and fresh basil. Essentially a vegetarian pizza with its toppings of eggplant, fresh basil and black olives, I didn't quite expect the flavors to punch through like the three other pizzas. But it did. 

The black olives and anchovies deliver that flavorful one-two punch rounded out by a whisper of sweetness from the eggplant and finished perfectly by the mozzarella. Don't be misled by the absence of the usual meat and protein toppings. This pizza can very well stand on its own. And it's probably better for you too.

Which pizza emerged as FourScene's top pick? Personally, each pizza was a winner, and I'd go for any of these on a heartbeat. Choosing just one was not an easy decision to make. I remember meeting a sommelier over dinner one time who described her task of pairing wine for the day's service as a matter of "context". It all depends on an infinite number of variables, including the time of day, your mood and overall disposition. For me, any of these pizzas could very well be my choice for a particular day, following my friend's advise on context. But one pizza did come out as a top pick. You can check FourScene's FB Page here for our first Flatlay Conversations video and final verdict. After a pizza feast, Nonna's kitchen had even more tasty surprises. Nonna's Chicken Fingers (P 180) with tender strips of chicken fillet draped in a delightfully light and crisp batter is a favorite among the restaurant's many young patrons, and the young at heart. And why not? Served with a duo of dips, a tomato and balsamic-based sauce offering distinct flavors, it's easy to see why this is well-loved by Nonna's customers. Deep-fried to perfection, the batter remains light and crisp delivering contrasting textures with each bite.  

Then, there's Nonna's pasta dishes. The vibrant notes from the old country are recreated with Nonna's Pasta all' Arrabiata (P 250), an elegantly simple dish bursting with rich flavors from the sauce made with tart sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and chili...

...draping each soft yet firm spaghetti noodle. The flavors are both real and honest, just the way your loving nonna would have it.

At Nonna's, you'll find tradition and modern inventiveness balanced alongside the other with playful dishes like the Salted Egg Tagliatelle (P 265), not your usual pasta dish infused with comfortingly familiar flavors that becomes refreshingly new and different from the first bite. Like Nonna's signature pizzas, the pastas are all made fresh daily using a proprietary recipe. Made from scratch, sticking to tradition is more than just a tagline at Nonna's. It's an unwritten rule followed to the letter with absolutely no compromises.

Another personal favorite, the Eggplant Parmigiana (P 295) is a delicately layered dish stacked with sweet baked eggplant covered in thick tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese finished off with a slathering of creamy alfredo sauce...

...just perfect. They won't have it any other way at Nonna's. From pizza to pasta and everything in between, Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria never fails to impress and satisfy.

Our collective appetites for more have been satisfied by Nonna's hardworking kitchen, along with our memory cards for stories to be shared across the integrated social media platforms of FourScene.

You can always talk the talk, but at FourScene, you should also walk the walk. We're constantly exploring new ways of delivering the message in a fresh and engaging manner to cut through the clutter in the social media landscape. With different backgrounds and perspectives coming together for one experience, the new year offers a fresh new start for exciting things yet to come.

Authenticity, it seems, is a rarity in today's cluttered social media universe. But you'll be glad to know that you can still find genuine honesty and sincerity in each of the dishes served at Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria. After all, your very own nonna wouldn't settle for anything less.

Nonna's Pasta & Pizzeria is located at the Ground Floor of Building G, Ayala Malls Solenad Nuvali, 3 Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna or call +63 949-889-8959 for inquiries and more information. You can also check out their FB Page at

For more on FourScene, visit our FB Page at

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