One of my favorite things about being in the North East is having delicious Italian food. One of the most popular places everyone at Lehigh talks about is Mama Nina. I had never been and was looking to try out a new restaurant, so me and Lindsay decided to go there one Friday night.
Once we walked in, the place was packed – obviously a good sign. Apparently they’re first come, first serve and don’t take reservations. We were lucky enough to get a table in the back and not have to wait. We looked around us to see what everyone else was eating and the food looked amazing. We also noticed that the portions were huge, so after seeing the high prices, we knew we’d be getting our money’s worth.
To start, they gave us garlic rolls, which came out warm and delicious. Once we finished the basket – oops – they brought out more for us. For me, you can judge how good an Italian restaurant is based off their bread. Their rolls were good, so I knew we had to be off to a good start.
I decided on the veal piccata because that’s always been one of my favorite Italian dishes. It was veal sautéed with roasted peppers, capers, white wine and lemon in an herb sauce. It came with pasta, so I ordered it with linguine. The veal was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was absolutely delicious. I really enjoyed how the pepper were cut large, and they added a great flavor to the dish. The linguine was also tasty, although there was a lot of sauce at the bottom so the dish had a hard time soaking up the cheese I sprinkled on top. All in all, it was everything I had hoped for.
Lindsay ordered a specialty dish that was blackened salmon, shrimp, scallops, and onions in a spicy tomato sauce. It also came with pasta, so she ordered it with angel hair. I took a bite of her meal and it was scrumptious. I really enjoyed the variety of fish in it because it allowed for contrasting flavors. She was smart to get a thinner pasta to go with all of the various and thick fish in her dish. The sauce wasn’t overly spicy in my opinion, although I do have a high spice tolerance. Lindsay loved it and couldn’t stop raving about how delicious it was.
We weren’t able to finish our meals so we asked for to-go boxes. Once my meal was placed in the box, you would have thought I didn’t even touch it because there was so much food left over. I was happy that the portions were so huge because the bill ended up being expensive – with tip, it was about $26 for my meal. It wasn’t overly expensive, considering I got veal and a large portion, but I’m in college and tend to try to eat cheap.
The service was overall great, and the waitress was very friendly. The restaurant was adorned in fun and bright colors, and had a bit of an outlandish and silly decor to it. My only complaint is that since it is such a small restaurant, it did get loud in there. Overall though, it was a great experience and I can see why so many people love eating there.
Mama Nina Foccacheria
546 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Sun-Thur 11:00am – 10:00pm; Fri-Sat 11:00am – 11:00pm