In true Milanese style, Nomad Girl is an all-day café and ristorante in the heart of the NoMad neighborhood, which has become known as a hotbed of luxury condos anchored by an increasing number of posh hotels.
Nomad Girl sits in the heart of NoMad’s new piazza and joins the neighborhood’s concentration of trendy bars, lounges and restaurants, set to be a destination to connect with friends and linger over classic Italian specialties. The restaurant was conceived by hospitality veterans Alex Cesaria and Rich Simeone who met in Aspen, Colorado.
Alex Cesaria was born in Milan, Italy before traveling the globe and landing in New York City several years ago. First venturing into the art world, Cesaria owned and operated UniXart Gallery in Miami and New York. He opened his first restaurant, Il Piccolo Ristoro in Chelsea in 2017, attracting a well-heeled crowd until it was forced to close due to the pandemic. Rich Simeone, who began his career as an attorney, has been in the industry for over 25 years with a portfolio of more than 30 casual and upscale restaurants throughout Florida, California, Colorado and New York. This partnership combines their expertise—Cesaria’s creativity and Simone’s ambition for discipline and scalability. Both demand quality and consistency as a part of their new brand.
The duo’s creative take on Nomad Girl is unfussy Italian cuisine that gives attention to high-quality organic ingredients. Several of its authentic Italian menu items were created through a collaboration with Chef Fernando Baez (formerly of Bottega del Vino).
The experience begins in the morning with small-batch Dell’Aria Coffee, the first Italian coffee roaster in New York City, pulled through an Astoria Tempesta—the official espresso machine of the World Barista Championship. With Nomad Girl’s three separate grinders, the Tempesta allows for incredible customization of every drink with adjustable pre-infusion, pressure and temperature controls for flawless coffee extraction. The espresso is the perfect match for Nomad Girl’s freshly made croissant and beignet selections. Other breakfast items include Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon, Eggs Benedict, Pancakes and Two Eggs Any Style, served with truffle potatoes and toast.
Nomad Girl’s lunch menu includes Italian sandwiches, salads and a small selection of pasta. One of its signature lunch items is the Piadina, a rustic sandwich made on flatbread flown directly from Italy. Piadina options include the Wicked V, filled with eggplant, avocado, corn, tomato and mixed greens; and the Il Siciliano Incazzato, made with spicy Soppressata, eggplant, smoked mozzarella and salsa rosa—a homemade pink sauce that includes a hint of brandy.
Also available midday is a small selection of pasta, handmade for Nomad Girl. These include Tagliatelle Bolognese, fresh Tagliatelle pasta in a Bolognese sauce made using only veal and beef and Ravioli Spinach and Ricotta in a creamy tomato sauce.
Other lunch options are toasted Paninis, such as the Tentazine, shrimp, smoked mozzarella, arugula, 24-month aged prosciutto and salsa rosa; the Hamiltun, tuna with marinated artichoke hearts; and the Il Forzuto, organic chicken breast, mozzarella, tomato and pesto sauce. A selection of salads includes the NoMad, mixed greens topped with hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, corn, olives and cucumber; and the Farro, red beets, Feta cheese and house dressing over farro.
As night falls, Nomad Girl transitions into her evening wear as the lights dim, the soft music becomes livelier and the Negronis flow.
The dinner menu is classically Italian, offering antipasto such as Prosciutto e Mozzarella, beautifully marbled 24-month aged Prosciutto di Parma served with Buffalo mozzarella and Wagyu Carpaccio, served with arugula salad, shaved parmesan served with a mustard sauce.
Highlights of the evening’s handmade pasta are Gnocchi Ciccio Bello, gnocchi stuffed with tomato and mozzarella served in a pesto and tomato sauce, and Trofie Pesto e Burrata, short spirals of pasta served in basil pesto with cherry tomatoes, topped with creamy burrata.
Also available for dinner are USDA Prime Organic-certified Skirt Steak and Pollo Milanese, both served with arugula salad and shaved Parmigiano; Sesame-Crusted Tuna served with a mixed green salad with onions, avocado and cherry tomatoes; and Grilled Organic Salmon accompanied by sauteed mixed vegetables.
The dinner menu will be complemented by seasonal weekly specials, such as Branzino sauteed in a lemon butter sauce served with fresh, seasonal vegetables.
For dessert, Nomad Girl offers Tiramisu and a Nutella Piadina, along with other rotating desserts.
On Saturday and Sunday, Nomad Girl serves brunch with sweet selections like Waffles & Hugs, homemade waffles with Nutella; and French Toast served with berries and maple syrup; complimented by savory dishes such as Good Morning Little Piggy, fried eggs with Prosciutto di Parma and toast; Crab Benedict, lump crab meat topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, served with mixed greens; and Avocado No Breaks, avocado and poached eggs on multigrain toast; along with panini, pasta and salads from the lunch menu.
Noad Girl’s international and well-balanced wine program is a curated selection of new and old-world wines. Pinot Noirs from Oregon to Washington State and beautiful whites from Italy, Greece, Austria and France. Its cocktail bar serves classics, with specialties such as a Negroni, an Italian cocktail that will make you feel like you are in Milan and an Espresso Martini made using Dell’Aria espresso. Nomad Girl is set in a modern and stylishly designed space with gray-washed walls. A chic, steel front bar is met with warm brown tones backlit with soft lighting. The overall interior uses hues of nudes and cappuccino browns, alongside wooden furniture, hanging plants and art from Alex’s UniX gallery to give the restaurant a relaxed feel.
To view the full menu, visit nomadgirl.nyc