Cathy Whims drew inspiration from her own experiences as a vagabond abroad for this airy, bustling, mod-rustic take on the roadside eateries along Italy’s autostrade. Market-driven fluctuations make for a menu that can change considerably from week to week, never mind season to season: red-wine braised octopus one day, gnocchi in sunchoke cream the next, Dungeness crab pizza with paprika butter the one after that. (A few dishes are forever, though, including the wood-fired bistecca alla Fiorentina and the fettuccine in tomato butter sauce á la Marcella Hazan, of whom the North Carolina-born Whims was a student.) And Nostrana’s wine list furthers the adventure: there aren’t many places in the U.S. that dare to pour the likes of Barolo, Brunello and Amarone by the glass while stocking such uncommon enophile’s darlings as Sforzato di Valtellina and Corsican Sciaccarellu.
1401 SE Morrison St
|Opening hours:||11:30AM to 10:00PM Mon, 11:30AM to 10:00PM Tue, 11:30AM to 10:00PM Wed, 11:30AM to 10:00PM Thu, 11:30AM to 11:00PM Fri, 5:00PM to 11:00PM Sat, 5:00PM to 10:00PM Sun|