Enoteca Maria: A Culinary Showcase of the World’s NonnasNovember 29, 2023
Wining and dining is delightful, but sometimes, a home-cooked meal from grandma is all you need. Regardless of where you’re from, you’ll find a slice of home at Staten Island’s Enoteca Maria. The concept behind Enoteca Maria is heartwarmingly simple “nonnas around the world.” It brings in grandmothers from around the globe, from Azerbaijan to Palestine to Argentina. The one permanent resident, nonna Maria from Italy, has a set Italian menu. Each night, there’s a new popup menu set by a guest nonna, allowing diners to savor incredible dishes from different regions of the world.
Nonnas at Enoteca Maria are often there for one night only. The logistics involved in rotating both the menu and staff each night are quite impressive. Enoteca Maria’s journey began with a Brooklyn-born-and-raised Joe Scaravella who experienced incredible meals made by his own nonna, Domenica. The idea to bring in Italian grandmothers to share their home-cooked meals with the public in 2007. After the concept’s success, the restaurant began inviting nonnas from anywhere in the world to cook in July 2015.
I visited Enoteca Maria on my own where nonna Carmen from Argentina was cooking beside nonna Maria. I felt like I walked into my grandmother’s house and got the warmest hug from nonna Maria. The lasagna della nonna and rabbit with vegetables were delightful. Nonna Maria’s pride in her dish was very evident. The portions at Enoteca Maria are generous and affordable. The entire experience made me miss my own grandmother.
You can view the eatery’s upcoming nonna calendar on their website. They are open to all nonnas, and hope to represent a grandma from every country in the world. The restaurant is closed Monday through Thursday, and daily seatings are Friday through Sunday at 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Reservations are highly encouraged. Enoteca Maria also offers takeout and accepts cash and Venmo payments only. Check out email@example.com for more hidden dining gem recommendations.