Curious Epicurean

Your next favorite lunch spot in Downtown Pleasanton

Posted on: April 5, 2011

Downtown Pleasanton certainly doesn’t have a lack of quality outdoor dining options. Perfect for people watching during a busy weekday lunch or lounging on a warm summer evening, sidewalk cafes are much of the charm of the historic downtown. One of the newest additions, Nonni’s Bistro, opened in late-summer 2010 and happens to be one of my favorites.  

Nonni's Bistro in Pleasanton, CA. (Photo credit: Nonni's Bistro)

The latest venture of Chef  Jon Magnusson, who also launched Carmel’s Bistro 211, offers an inventive menu with distinctive European flair. Much of the charm of Nonni’s Bistro is in the details. The lunch menu and daily specials are delicately assembled with seasonal produce. Dainty vases of fresh flower cheerily greet diners. Water carafes are accented with slices of citrus and mint, and the fresh warm rolls are too tempting to pass up.

Onion Soup at Nonni's Bistro in Pleasanton, CA. (Photo credit: Yelp)

The decor inside Nonni’s is inviting, yet unassuming. Remarkably refreshing, and honestly lacking in many area restaurants, is that Chef Jon always greets diners and checks on tables throughout the meal. He is friendly and always quick to strike up conversation. Nonni’s Bistro is a perfect example of how an involved and visible chef can enhance the dining experience.

I’ve been to Nonni’s Bistro three times so far. I recommend the french onion soup ($5.95),  flat bread topped with red bell peppers, olive tapenade and fontina cheese, which comes with a house salad ($10) and the petit grilled chicken sandwich, served with white bean and chicken soup ($12).

The wine list at Nonni’s Bistro includes many labels from the neighboring Livermore Valley Wine Country, including Wente Vineyards and Darcie Kent. Nonni’s Bistro is also open for brunch and dinner. I’m looking forward to coming back during the Saturday morning Pleasanton Farmers Market or after enjoying Pleasanton Downtown’s seasonal 1st Wednesday Street Parties.

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