The maxim that you should never a judge a book by its cover holds just as true for dining out as it does for literature.
Chesterfield’s acclaimed Italian restaurant on Chatsworth Road looks fairly anonymous from the kerbside.
But step inside Nonsolovino and you’re transported to the glories of the Mediterranean and dishes that are simply divine.
Calling in one lunchtime, we opted for their Bocconini menu. Translated as ‘small bites’ it gave us the perfect opportunity to sample a wide range of dishes and share in each other’s food and company - just as they do in Italy.
There were simply too many flavours and dishes to describe fully here, but highlights included pan roasted chilli sausage with sauteed new potatoes and red mullet with braised chorizo and borlotti beans.
The wild mushroom risotto was as good as any I’ve ever eaten and the crisp courgette tempura with aioli proved a big hit with the kids.
With meat dishes priced at £4, seafood £4.50 and vegetarian from £3 each, this offered first-class Italian food at very reasonable prices.
The restaurant suggests 3-5 bocconici for a light lunch and 5-7 for a substantial meal.
We certainly felt we got our more than our money’s worth, but couldn’t resist dessert which included fine-dining ‘Snickers’: peanut butter parfait, salted caramel sauce, chocolate jelly, roasted peanut brittle and milk chocolate ice cream which seemed to evaporate from the plate, it disappeared so quickly.
And I’ve not even mentioned the wine list - something unforgivable when Nonsolovino is also a specialist wine shop.
It’s no wonder that Nonsolovino is one of the few local restaurants mentioned in the Michelin Guide and scored in the Good Food Guide.
Anonymous it may appear, but Nonsolovino is definitely a name to remember.
Rating: five stars