Nino’s Tuscany overall score: 68
This place grabbed my attention when I saw the meat in their window as I walked by.
The “Italian Steakhouse” concept has been picking up momentum lately, with places like Costata, Quality Italian and Il Mulino Prime developing lots of buzz. I had to try it. Plus is it just down the street from our apartment.
My steak was a little bit on the bland side unfortunately. It was cooked perfectly, and my compliments to the chef for a wonderful sear, but I think it was under-seasoned and just didn’t have some of the oomph that some other places nearby have. It was served on a hot plate that smelled deliciously of butter.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 6
The cuts in the window looked fantastic, so I will have to be kind in this section, despite my steak being a bit gristled and fatty. I love a good rib eye that has soft, jelly-like fat, but my cut was laced with some of the more tough to eat ribbons of fat. A shame too, because it was indeed cooked so beautifully. They do offer all the basic steak cuts though: porterhouse, strip, filet and rib eye.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions here are just right. Not too much, not too little. You’ll go home full, and the plating is simple and basic, clean, neat, and without pretense.
I felt that the price was a bit high given the fact that my steak was not up to snuff. At $52 I expect near perfection. My wife’s chicken dish was fairly priced, however, as were the rest of the items we ordered. We stayed away from the appetizers though, as they seemed a little steep as well.
This joint has a very cool bar area. With brick arches and columns to split it away from the main dining areas, you feel like you are in a cozy neighborhood spot. There’s also live music near the main entrance and bar area too, so it makes for a nice place to have a drink.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There were no specials read to us, but as far as other meats go, they did offer an ossobuco dish, and various veal, chicken and lamb preparations: a solid showing. My wife had Cornish Hen, which was really nice. Crispy skin, juicy meat all over (even the tits), and a nice rosemary wine flavor pairing. The only down side to her dish was that the broccoli rabe it was served with was not seasoned (needed salt).
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 6
We started with just a single slice of Canadian bacon (aka ham). It was nice, just maybe needed a sauce to pair with it.
We also did a side of sautéed spinach. This was really nice. Smelled really fresh, tasted of garlic and oil, and was generous in size.
For dessert we tried the tiramisu. This was okay. It wasn’t boozy, and it was nice and soft in texture, but the top was covered in what tasted like frozen cool ship cake frosting. That was a little off-putting but otherwise it was enjoyed.
Seafood Selection: 9
There’s lots to choose from here for seafood. They have a ton of nice shellfish on the app menu, along with smoked salmon (which was very tempting). For entrees they offer fresh lobster, lobster tails, salmon, sea bass, tuna, shrimp and even a whole roasted fish of the day. Nice! I can’t, in good conscience, give full points though since I didn’t get a chance to try any of it.
I thought our service was a bit on the slow side for a party of two. To Ninos’ defense, though, the place was really busy, so I can’t fault them for that. I’m happy to see businesses keeping busy and having a full house. Also the manager Benny was really friendly, well-dressed, and had a great table side manner. Everyone was pleasant and nice, and even the table bread was pretty good, served with a bowl of olive oil and olives.
This place has a nice cozy, warm feel to it. A winter’s night was the perfect time for us to come, I think. The musician was playing a mix of Christmas music and Sinatra style favorites, and a few couples had even gotten up to dance for a song or two. Very nice.
117 W. 58th St.
New York, NY 10019