John Gallagher is the nephew of Nonna Maria’s original owner and has brought the recipe for success with top-notch Italian dishes.

Photos courtesy of Nonna Maria’s Italian Kitchen Facebook

After frequent unsuccessful attempts by others to follow in the footsteps of its original owner, a name change and closer adherence to its creativity by a family member may have been the correct formula for success.

Entering its second year, Nonna Maria’s Italian Kitchen, Walnut Lake Road, between Middlebelt and Inkster roads, West Bloomfield … named after the grandmother of its new owner, John Gallagher, nephew of the late owner of Maria’s, Al Valente, has again been received with many happy open arms … John is the former boss and head chef responsible for the dining success of one-time Little Italy in Northville.

Rather than sit on its original great reputation, John and his staff have added even more delicious offerings to its dinner menu that include items like linguini with clam sauce, short rib ravioli, chicken Parmesan, etc. … They go along with Nonna Maria’s top sellers of Spiedini, veal and lobster piccata, seafood pasta, etc. … American dishes, Scottish salmon and chicken favorites, etc., are also included among the favorites.

There is so much pride that is almost always attached to a family restaurant … Although Nonna Maria’s certainly has it now … Whatever may have been neglected after Al sold to move on has not been seen again … and the menu selections befit a top-class Italian eatery.

Nonna Maria’s hours have remained the same … Closed Monday … Open Tuesday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5-11 p.m., Sunday, 4-9 p.m.

The modern styling accompanying its rustic Old World charm in the limited 55 or so seating gives patrons the feeling that casual goodness in the enjoyment of gracious dining has returned.

Nonna Maria’s second anniversary in return of a casual dining legend is heartily welcomed with wonderful memories of elegant casual neighborhood dining.

A PENNSYLVANIA LAW once said that all restaurants must be equipped with stretchers and wheelchairs … Many people didn’t think the food was that bad.

READER MINI REVIEW… From Dennis Silber, Boca Raton, Fla. … “My wife, Debbie, and I recently discovered Mario’s Osteria on Glades Road, Boca Raton, and were pleasantly surprised. We were impressed, too, with the generous size and upscale ambience amid a most courteous staff. Its large and extensive menu was choice. We began with a variety of appetizers, beginning with its signature dish of eggplant pancake. Our snapper Francese with spinach and penne ala vodka were very tasty, as were the chicken Scarpiello and our Bistecche Arrabiata. We finished with homemade cannoli. And we’ll certainly return.”

OLDIE BUT GOODIE… A small-time vaudeville comic was in a plane crash and awoke to find himself in a strange place.

“Where am I?” he asked a fellow standing beside him.

“You’re in hell,” he was informed.

“That’s my agent for you,” sighed the comic. “He’s never booked me in a good spot yet!”

CONGRATS… To Molly Abraham on her birthday … To Rita Gehringer on her birthday … To Betty Ruskin on her 102nd birthday.

Danny’s email address is


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