Nino’s 208

Nino’s 208

208 E. 58th St.
Dining Style: Casual Elegant
Cuisine: Italian
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Cross Street: Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
Entree Price: $21 to $34 (Pasta from $16)
Phone: (212) 750-7766
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:45am – 4:00pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:30pm, Friday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm – 12:00am, Sunday: 4:00pm – 9:30pm
Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
Public Transit: N, R, W, 4, 5, & 6 trains to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue.
Parking: No

Review by Nancy Walman

Chef Merlin Tlapa (Centolire) oversees the kitchen at Nino Selimaj’s (Nino’s Tuscany, Osso Bucco) seventh Italian eatery

In the former premises of Ada, the fancified Indian nouvelle restaurant, Nino’s 208 brings the stamp of this excellent restaurant group to East 58th Street at affordable prices. The bi-level design is easy on the eye with its black and white color scheme, which extends to double cloths on the comfortable tables, banquettes and booths. A dramatic winding staircase leads to the second level, which is ideal for private parties.

Service is solicitous and excellent. The host is a seasoned pro, who will guide you through the menu and a vast array of specials. There is an excellent bar and the wine list is well chosen and priced with 16 wines by the glass, starting at just $8 and bottles beginning at $19. The ever dependable Antinori “Santa Cristina” is bargain priced at $24.

In the food department, there is a value oriented $35 prix fixe dinner, including appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee. A la carte is also easy on the pocket and the food fresh, light and carefully prepared. A good beginning is a shared Buffalo Mozzarella, Wrapped In Bresaola with sliced beefsteak tomatoes, roasted yellow sweet beets and arugula pesto. Another option is Sea Bass Carpaccio on potato blini, accompanied by asparagus, horseradish and sour cream.

Pasta is al dente and well sauced: Two unusual selections offer Pappardelle with braised short ribs of beef bolognese and Spaghetti with lamb meatballs, mint pesto, tuscan kale and alio olio. Entree suggestions include Grilled Organic Salmon, braised greens, white beans and garlic confit or Braised Pork Osso Buco, barley risotto, exotic mushrooms, rosemary and lemon zest. We chose a Porterhouse Special for 2, which arrived cut and sizzling as it finished cooking on the platter. The meat was first rate and the grilling superb. Don’t miss the terrific roasted Brussels Sprouts.

All desserts are stylish, including a puckery lemon tart and the best homemade cookies imaginable. Nino’s 208 is waiting to be discovered. Go soon and you can be the lucky winner. That’s A Major on The Walman Report.

Copyright 2009 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved.

Sample Dinner Menu

Chef’s Soup Of The Day 9.00
Autumn Salad mizuna greens, pecorino cheese, walnuts, pears and roasted butternut squash 11.00
Bianco Salad hearts of palm, baby artichokes, belgium endive, pecorino cheese, white mushrooms and truffle oil 13.00
Crispy Roman Artichokes polenta crouton, chicken liver paté and shaved parmesan cheese 14.00
Classic Caesar Salad prepared table side for two 22.00
N.Y. Strip Steak Salad sliced n.y. sirloin, baby arugula, endive, lemon olive oil and sliced parmesan cheese 16.00
Chicken Meatballs ricotta cheese, rosemary, tomato cream sauce and zucchini salad 12.00
Buffalo Mozzarella Wrapped In Bresaola sliced beefsteak tomatoes, roasted yellow sweet beets and arugula pesto 15.00
Sea Bass Carpaccio potato blini, asparagus, horseradish- sour cream 14.00

Pappardelle braised short ribs of beef bolognese 17.00
Paglia E Fieno maine lobster, roasted grape tomatoes, lobster cream sauce 28.00
Tagliatelle Ragu braciola stuffed with pine nuts, pecorino cheese, raisins and filetto di pomodoro sauce 16.00
Spaghetti lamb meatballs, mint pesto, tuscan kale, alio olio 19.00
Linguini White Clam Sauce cockles, broccoli rabe, spicy flakes, 19.00
Paccheri italian sausage, peas, light tomato cream sauce 16.00
Ricotta Gnocchi shrimp, sautéed cauliflower, oven dried tomato sauce & italian bread crumbs 24.00

Main Course
Crispy Striped Bass asparagus, shallots, peas, herb caper oil 24.00
Grilled Organic Salmon braised greens, white beans, garlic confit 23.00
Poached Halibut lobster cream, chervil, baby carrots and potato puree 29.00
Grilled Filet Mignon butternut squash-risotto, short rib of beef sauce 34.00
Braised Pork Osso Buco barley risotto, exotic mushrooms, rosemary and lemon zest 25.00
Seared Duck Breast sweet potato mashed, dried cranberries, vin santo reduction 32.00
Pan Roasted Chicken Breast wilted spinach, garlic potato purée, oxtail sauce 21.00
Roasted Veal Tenderloin sautéed swiss chard, parsnip puree, sweet onion sauce 29.00
Porchetta Romana roasted tender pork filled with fennel seeds, mustard, rosemary and sautéed brussels sprouts

Side Dishes
Broccoli Di Rape with roasted grape tomatoes and garlic confit 10.00
Steamed String Beans with swiss chard and shallots 8.00
Roasted Brussels Sprouts 8.00
Baby Spinach sautéed in garlic and light oil 7.00
Garlic Mashed Potato 7.00