Nonnina, a neighborhood Italian destination in Chicago’s River North and sister property to Piccolo Sogno, has welcomed a new Executive Chef, John Boudouvas. Having joined the Nonnina team just before the restaurant shutdowns happened in October, John spent the months-long closure revamping Nonnina’s menu to debut this winter.
John brings an extensive, seasoned background to Nonnina, having worked in numerous Italian and Greek restaurants in Chicago including Francesca Restaurant Group, Mia Figlia, Lettuce Entertain You Group, and more. Most recently, John served as the Executive Chef at Avli River North. John received his Culinary degree from Kendall College and is a Chicago native. Chef John aims to redefine Italian cuisine and ensure Nonnina stands out amongst others in the area.
Additionally, Nonnina has brought on Joe Bazzi as General Manager. Joe joined the team this past summer and brings years of experience to Nonnina. Previously, Joe was the manager at True Food Kitchen and Quartino, where he oversaw the bar and wine programs as well. He was with Quartino for 7 years and started his career as a server before working his way up to manager.
Combining his classical training with a unique flair, Boudouvas takes classic dishes a step further by infusing different flavors and acids to reinvent them, without jeopardizing the integrity of the dish itself. John is passionate about including different textures and flavors within his dishes. This is showcased on new items from his menu such as a twist on the classic Caesar Salad, by adding homemade focaccia croutons, crispy pancetta, and shaved brussel sprouts to give the salad more of a texture. Also on the menu, Chef John has added a grilled baby octopus dish featuring roasted peppers, potatoes, and a calabrese pepper marmalade to give the dish a sweeter flavor while also incorporating heat.
Other new dish items include numerous appetizers such as a burrata served with thinly-sliced imported Prosciutto di Parma, Fennel, topped with blood oranges, arugula, and a green goddess dressing. Also on the menu, is a new breaded eggplant dish which is served with local mozzarella, roasted cherry tomatoes, arugula, and topped with balsamic, perfect for those who are vegetarian. On the dinner menu, new items include a Lobster and corn-filled ravioli that comes served in a lobster broth, with leeks, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
Nonnina is located in the heart of River North at 340 N. Clark and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and lunch Monday through Friday. In addition to the heated patio and following all mandated COVID-19 safety precautions, Nonnina offers indoor dining and they have installed Plasma Air’s state-of-the-art air filtration ionizers that use proactive air purification technologies to deactivate airborne viruses safely. Nonnina’s interiors, lush terrace, and authentic Italian cuisine are perfect for special occasions