Restaurant Spotlight: Osteria I Nonni

A Minnesota spot for seasonal, Roman-inspired dishes and world-class wine

Restaurant Spotlight: Osteria I Nonni
Now with heaters to keep guests comfortable during winter, Osteria I Nonni's outdoor-dining space is back open. (Courtesy of Osteria I Nonni)
Jan 14, 2021

Just outside of St. Paul in Lilydale, Minn., Osteria I Nonni serves authentic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine program. The restaurant was opened in 2002 by the Marchionda family; now under the leadership of owner Bill Miller, it’s held Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence since 2019.

Supported by a partnership with local wine store, Sunfish Cellars, the wine list is managed by wine director Hoyt Hill and stands at 1,200 selections. Excelling in Italian wine, the list represents most of the country’s winegrowing regions, rounded out by selections from California and France. Masseto, Gaja and Fontodi are just a few of the big-name producers represented in the program. Chef Gerson Gerold matches the wine with seasonal dishes inspired by Rome such as cappellacci with kabocha squash, grilled pork shanks with balsamic agrodolce and an assortment of pizzas.

When Osteria I Nonni was forced to close its doors in March 2020, the team kept the community engaged by organizing a series of weekly virtual tastings with top winemakers such as Peter Mondavi and Christian Moreau. They even joined forces with famed chef Thomas Keller for a Zinfandel tasting. As of this month, however, the restaurant is back open for dine-in, in addition to curbside pickup and takeout.

Restaurants Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists

8 Piping-Hot Pizza Places with Terrific Wine Lists

These restaurants win no matter how you slice it

Jan 31, 2019
Restaurant Spotlight: Caputo Trattoria

Restaurant Spotlight: Caputo Trattoria

This eatery inside a Connecticut casino serves dishes that draw from Italy’s coastal …

Feb 25, 2021
Let the Good Wines Roll: 9 Top New Orleans Restaurants

Let the Good Wines Roll: 9 Top New Orleans Restaurants

These Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners have wine programs as bold as their flavors

Mar 1, 2018
Restaurant Spotlight: Top Cut Steak House

Restaurant Spotlight: Top Cut Steak House

A throwback to the glamorous steak houses of the 1940s, with a wine list that exceeds …

Feb 11, 2021
8 Latin American Restaurants with Strong Wine Lists

8 Latin American Restaurants with Strong Wine Lists

These U.S. Restaurant Award winners pair superior wine with a range of vibrant cuisines …

Jan 28, 2021
Restaurant Spotlight: Berta’s Chateau

Restaurant Spotlight: Berta’s Chateau

What started as a summertime getaway for two Italian immigrants living in New York City is …

Jan 28, 2021