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“Best Italian Restaurant in the Lehigh Valley”
Review of Mama Nina's

Mama Nina's
Ranked #21 of 348 Restaurants in Bethlehem
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Lehigh Valley,Pa
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Italian Restaurant in the Lehigh Valley”
Reviewed February 13, 2010

Highly recommended! Owned and operated by a dedicated family with an attentive staff. Everything from hand-tossed, wood fired pizzas to attentively prepared pasta dishes. Garlic knots, complementary wine, B.Y.O.B, and fabulous tasting, huge portions. Large menu with great specials. Place is small though, and usually exceptionally busy, and can be loud and crowded. One taste though, and it becomes understandable, this place, (and Mama Nina herself) is a gem! Worth any wait. No reservations. Sidewalk seating during warmer months.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1 Thank Justanopinion1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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444 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Italian!”
Reviewed February 8, 2010

My son and I love it! Wonderful food and great service. But please dont rush me out because you want to turn your tables faster...

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    • Atmosphere
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Thank foodcritique75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“We can't wait to go again! Mangia!”
Reviewed December 28, 2009

We're new to the area and have been missing the true Italian restaurant that was near our old house. We've been hearing great things about Mama Nina's and decided to give it a try. FABULOUS! The food was phenomenal, the service was friendly and timely, the surroundings were a little cramped but it was just enough to be charming, and, did I mention that the food was phenomenal?
My only advice from here: do not expect to speak to someone in close-range, for at least 3 days, without seeing them frown and turn away. The garlic will be seeping from your pores for at least that long! Yummy!

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Thank wineloverPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boonton, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“A gem in Bethlehem”
Reviewed December 7, 2009

In Bethlehem late on a Sunday afternoon, we were headed back to our car when the smell of cooking garlic drew our attention to Mama Nina's.

We checked the 4 page menu and signed the sheet left on the front table at the door by the owner. Because the restaurant has limited seating, you wait on the sidewalk. Usually a problem in winter, but, this restaurateur has taken the effort and expense of setting up space heaters on his sidewalk and delivering free nibbles of his appetizers to clients while they wait. Only the start of his very attentive efforts to make his clients happy and comfortable.

We got there at the height of his Sunday rush, about 6:30, were seated by 6:45, had our Cokes in 5 minutes and could have ordered immediately if we were familiar with the menu.

For the bread accompaniment we were offered with or without garlic. We chose "with" and the plentiful rolls arrived drenched in olive oil with large pieces of chopped raw garlic which could have been a feast in themselves. The garlic was easily removed if necessary.

Our entrees, ordered from the regular menu despite a long list of specials, were absolutely delicious. They arrived in ten minutes absolutely scorching hot from the saute. The cream sauces were rich without hanging on the palette, and the white wine sauce was light enough for our 14 year old. The cost was well justified by both the flavor and quantity of this outstanding meal. For those of you familiar with Carmine's in NYC, that is the level of quality here.

Put this restaurant on your "must" list in the Bethlehem area. We are considering driving the 70 miles back there from NJ just to get some more of this wonderful gem.

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Thank bdib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great food, great experience”
Reviewed November 16, 2009

We were looking for a local restaurant to have a nice dinner in, and Mama Nina's was recommended by a shop owner (unsolicited recommendation) who said that was where he was ordering his dinner from. When we asked our hotel front desk for a suggestion, this was at the top of their personal list of good restaurants - so off we went! What a delightful evening we had at this cozy, popular place. We walked from our hotel, but could spot our destination a block away because of a small crowd on the sidewalk. The restaurant was filled with tables and diners, and there is no room inside to wait, so you wait outside where there were tables and heaters for the crowd (it was a cool evening, but comfy by the heaters). There also was complimentary wine and appetizers brought out hot from the kitchen to keep those waiting happy - and it worked well for us. It was fun watching the comings and goings of the maitre d', the chatter about who was really next on the list, the mingling of the local 30-somethings, and our peers (parents of local college students in town for parent's weekend). When we finally got our turn to enter the restaurant (@ 45 minute wait - but again, a very entertaining wait), we were escorted to a small table where a plate of warm garlic and oil drenched rolls graced the center. We hesitated to munch on bread since we had already had calamari and pizza on the sidewalk, but it was too hard to resist and quite delicious. We chose a crab stuffed ravioli dish to share, and it was amazing. Scallops and shrimp were heavy in the creamy, herbed sauce and the pasta was perfectly cooked. We also enjoyed our salads prior to the entree. All in all, we not only enjoyed the delicious food at Mama Nina's, but the whole experience was really delightful the evening we were there. We will definitely head back to this popular restaurant the next time we are in Bethlehem.

Thank Tubamom3319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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