Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran to Open Quaint Italian Eatery in the Gayborhood

The queens of Midtown Village say Little Nonna's will be a casual spot for traditional Italian-American fare.

A week ago, I posted about chef Marcie Turney and and her partner Valerie Safran taking over the empty space on the corner of 13th and Locust — you know, the one that in a matter of a few years has been Bump and Q and Rhino and Fish. At the time, they weren’t providing any information about what the space would become other than a temporary locale for Lolita while it goes through renovations, but now they’re ready to talk.

I just got word that the couple will transform the space into Little Nonna’s, a 37-seater casual Italian spot “inspired by the ‘red-sauce’ family-owned ristorantes of Italian immigrants.” The location will be outfitted with accents meant to evoke an Italian grandmother’s living room in the 1950s — with vintage lace curtains, hanging antique copper pots and even faux flowers on the tables. Sounds really adorable. But the question that’s on everyone’s minds … what’s on the menu, ladies?!

Turney says she “immersed myself in the strong family traditions of Italian-American cooking, asking friends and fellow cooks what was on their table growing up, then adding my own style.” The result? Well, the menu isn’t completely nailed down yet, but she says diners can definitely expect things like house-stretched mozzarella with pickled pepperoni and grilled Liscio’s seeded bread; stuffed artichokes with Gaeta olives, parmigiano and capers; and “Big Mama’s Meatballs,” house-ground and served over polenta or with red gravy. Plus, there will be an all-Italian wine list and a cocktail menu inspired by the world’s biggest boot.

No word on when the space will open besides that it’s going to be this summer, but the restaurant already has a Twitter account: @littlenonnas. Stay tuned to G Philly for updates.

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