Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse
Address: 117 West 58th Street
(Between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue)
Owner: Nino Selimaj
General Manager Tony Lala
Excellent Selection and Well Priced Bottles As Well As Food Friendly Wines By The Glass:
Cocktails: Well Made & Generous
3 Course Prix Fixe Lunch: $24: 3 Course Prix Fixe Dinner (Including Coffee): $35.
Credit Cards: All major
One of the most prolific and successful restaurateurs in New York City, Nino Selimaj has re-launched Nino’s Tuscany as an Italian Steakhouse. (His three other restaurants are the original Nino’s (1354 First Avenue), its sister restaurant Nino’s Positano (890 Second Ave.), plus The Excellent Latin Inspired Scarpina Bar & Grill (88 University Place).
Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse, as suggested by its name, retains a decidedly Tuscan menu and décor, and adds the full steak, grilled meat and seafood options on a separate menu insert, . (Alas, the façade gives little insight to the pleasures that await).
Once inside, the warm lighting, created by silk-shaded chandeliers and attractive design are evident. There are three charming dining areas, comfortable banquettes and well spaced tables, oodles of murals and a mirror decked out in the trompe l’oiel style. The first area, opposite the bar, is our favorite with its mosaic-inlaid columns and red brick walls, supporting stone planters filled with wheat. The floors have been redone and murals enhanced.
Service, a hallmark of Mr. Selimaj’s restaurants is warm, efficient and professional thanks to General Manager Tony Lala.Many dishes are done tableside (check out the Caesar Salad) and customers receive a welcoming reception and treatment, even on the first visit.
Mr. Selimaj was wise to snag the chef from one of Manhattan’s big name steakhouses and the resulting food is equal to some of the best steakhouses in the city. We selected dishes from the new menu and were delighted with appetizers that included a terrific fresh seafood platter and jumbo crab, lobster, and shrimp cocktail, as well as little neck clams on the half shell.
Recommended entrée choices offer a fabulous 16 ounce grilled rack of veal, a succulent 26 ounce prime aged rib eye, cooked à point, prime aged porterhouse for two, lamb chops, filet mignon and a marvelous 4 pound pound lobster (brought to the table from a large tank for inspection. Other options offer pan seared yellowfin tuna or grilled wild salmon. Don’t miss the Italian-style hash browns with sweet peppers and onions and the superb polenta. The grissini breadsticks and rustic country loaf are a big improvement on the standard steak house bread assortment.
The affordable wine list offers plenty of bottles from topflight Italian producers at fair markups.The decanting process is executed beautifully on wines that require breathing. After inquiring about my wine preference (Super Tuscan) Tony selected an Olpaio DOC Val di Cornia Suvereto, 2003, (Olpaio comes from "Olpe", a clay jug decorated with friezes usually fine, which the Etruscans used as a container for wine. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot( 51% 49%). It probably won’t be available for long, but serious wine buffs will be delighted with excellent choices from the Reserve List.
Desserts, not only look pretty, but are wonderful, whether you go for a classic taramisu, a light panna cotta or splurge and allow Tony to prepare an expert rendition of bananas flambé, simmering bananas, strawberries, sugar, butter, hazelnut liqueur and brandy into a flaming extravaganza, just waiting to be poured over vanilla ice cream. The iced cappuccino is masterful.
In addition to a la carte dining, Nino’s Tuscany offers a Prix Fixe Lunch from 12:00 – 3:00 pm for $24.00 and a Three Course Prix Fixe Dinner at $35.00 per person. There is also lovely piano music, Tuesday through Sunday, 7 to 10 PM, thanks to Irving Field and a celebrity clientele. Tony Bennett was sitting at the next table on one of our visits.
Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse not only offers quality and stylish product, it delivers an atmospheric and romantic setting that is rare to encounter these days and we can safely label it one of midtown’s best bets for a terrific dining experience
Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved