It’s Italian. It’s Asian. It’s DoraNonnie Tapas & Wine Bar @ Bernard's, brainchild of former “Top Chef” contestant Danny Gagnon. You'll find it inside Bernard's Market & Cafe in Glen Head.
Gagnon (whose last gig was at Social Sports Kitchen in Uniondale) named the place in memory of the two grandmothers who taught him to cook. About the oddball hybrid cuisine, Gagnon says, “It's not General Tso’s chicken Parmesan.” And if most of the dishes don't sound particularly grandmotherly, Gagnon maintains that many are actually based on what he ate as a child. The creamy clam cake, Gagnon said, is his grandmother Dora's recipe, to which he added an accompaniment of Thai basil lemon jam. Pork and beef meatball lollipops ($11) are what the same grandmother served at cocktail parties.
To me, some of Gagnon's inventions — like mascarpone teriyaki risotto ($9) — sound like no other combinations I've ever tasted. Gagnon assures me that particular dish will knock my socks off. We’ll have to see.
Also on the menu: ginger poached chicken lettuce cups ($10), baked clam flatbread pizza ($12) and an entree of grilled citrus salmon ($18). Plus another childhood treat: lemon pistachio pound cake ($7).
For those making a meal out of tapas, Gagnon advises two small plates plus dessert.
DoraNonnie Tapas & Wine Bar @ Bernards is at 716 Glen Cove Ave., Glen Head, 516-759-9100.