RETRO DINING: NINO’S

Nino’s, located at 2817 W. Dallas, has been serving “down-home Italian” food since 1977.

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It’s the anchor of a compound of Italian restaurants owned by the Mandola family that also includes Vincent’s, Grappino di Nino, and the newest addition, La Gelateria.

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The restaurants are grouped around a charming terrace that manages to feel European without being hokey.

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The interior, with its dark wood, terrazzo floors, antique pots and pans, and hanging herbs and garlic braids, is attractive and comfortable — no plastic cheeses and prosciutto hanging from the rafters here.

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Crusty bread flecked with olives, accompanied with garlicky olive oil, arrived quickly after we were seated (and disappeared almost as quickly).

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The service was attentive without being fussy.  We started with an antipasto platter, which had a nice assortment of meats, cheeses, and vegetables — something for everyone.

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Our family ordered four entrees:

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 Pollo Arrosto

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 Veal Vincent, a house favorite

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 Snapper Nino, another house favorite

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 Chicken Scallopini Parmigiano

The entrees were nice, although underseasoned for our tastes.  Although the portions were ample, the restaurant could have been a little more generous with ingredients — the two artichokes on the Veal Vincent, for example, definitely could have used some company.

So what’s the secret to Nino’s longevity?  I think one of the reasons the restaurant remains a favorite for many people is that it has a familiar and safe menu.  Nothing intimidating or too challenging.  A place where you can go on a date, or take your kids, or grandma and grandpa, or a business colleague, and everyone has a good time.  My daughter perfectly described the restaurant as “happy.”

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Nino's on Foodio54

One thought on “RETRO DINING: NINO’S

  1. “no plastic cheeses and prosciutto hanging from the rafters here” Made me laugh!!! Love it, was thinking of an arrangement of plastic cheeses for my bedroom LOL!! Have a good one Nancy!

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