Tag Archives: Italian

best things in life are FREE

I claim that today is eat all the carbs you want day!!!! This should be a national holiday πŸ˜‰ It is so nice to know the owner of your favorite restaurant. I was craving the bread service at Nonna’s Italian Cafe downtown Springfield, Missouri so I called the Owner/Chef Shawn Kraft and asked if he was around. It was 8:30am on a Monday, he cheerfully answers β€œOf course I am here, the front door is open, let yourself in!” (As I hear pots and pans banging around in the background) So I respond that I am on my way. 

Daddy Daughter Date with my 17 mo old Lilly
Daddy Daughter Date in Full Effect

A huge smile on his face and a great big bear hug are salutations as the Italian music 🎢 is playing loudly in the kitchen area. Chef Shawn is cleaning up 🧹from a tornado πŸŒͺ that happened the night before. (We live in Missouri, literally a tornado πŸŒͺ came through the previous evening and knocked off his sky vent)

Shawn at a pop up dinner hosted by Chef Drake Tillman
Shawn Kraft at pop up dinner hosted by Chef Drake Tillman

I come in with Lilly Pad (my 17 month old daughter) and he calls her by name and says buongiorno!!! I tell him I am craving his famous bread service, so he pulls out some freshly baked bread, chops some fresh garlic, grates the Parmesan Cheese πŸ§€ and drizzles Extra Virgin Olive oil on the top. I kindly add to his amazing concoction some salt πŸ§‚ and cracked pepper.

Some of the best things in life are free
Some of the Best Things in Life are Free

He then fills a shot glass of pressed olive juice and downs it, saying β€œGood for the soul.” Shawn Kraft is a die hard fan of Italy and even though he lives in the states, in his mind he is always on the coast of Napoli. (He also runs a travel site that does tours through Italy and shows you the ins and outs and you eat 🍽 and drink 🍷 your way across Italy) Website: siitalia.wine

Mr and Mrs Kraft off the coast of Italy giving a tour with Si Italia
Mr and Mrs Kraft off the Coast of Italy giving a tour for their travel company “Si Italia”

I asked him why, and he says I get a free trip to Italy and at the end of the day I make a couple of bucks. What an awesome way to have an entrepreneurial spirit and take life into your own hands. Like the Frank Sinatra song, β€œI Do It My Way!” 

Prosecco is his favorite
Prosecco is a favorite in this family

I take my first bite and it is like heaven, the raw garlic, the quality parmigiano reggiano from the home land, the acidic and spicy Extra Virgin Olive Oil coats the back of your throat and is just like a symphony is playing inside my taste buds. Ahhhhhhh, I have been craving this experience, and no better way than to discuss culinary politics and kitchen drama with the owner while my 17 month old baby girl wanders through the dining room floor. Occasionally she will return like a little bird returning for her nibble of freshly dipped bread in the sauce of the Gods.

My little Lilly roaming the restaurant

Some things in life are simple and extravagant at the same time. It is how we source our ingredients, the surroundings (like the Italian music in the background) and the company you hold.

Lilly approved this meal! So did Daddy

This was one of my favorite breakfasts in Springfield Missouri and I will always cherish this moment. After some time of catching up he nicely starts to back away slowly into his kitchen where he will spend most of his day and I release him to his office of culinary adventures. He hugs me again and kindly brushes the cheek of my baby girl and just like that we are released back into the real world πŸ—Ί.

Location: Downtown Springfield Missouri