Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nina's, Middletown, NY

I'd heard some good things about Nina's and when we took our son out for a birthday dinner we decided to see if what I'd heard was true so we headed there one Monday evening. 

Nina's is on West Main in Middletown in an old store front. It has old distressed wood floors, brick walls and high ceilings covered in tin. The lighting is low, but adequate, the tables are black and the wait staff dresses in black as well. Very nice ambiance and a welcoming atmosphere. 

Penne Amalfi
We were seated and given menus and as we looked them over our waitress told us of the day's specials. The list she rattled off was quite long and I stopped paying attention about a third of the way through her recitation. A list that long should be printed so the customers can look closer and think about the choices.

That left the regular menu items and after looking it over I eliminated about half of the choices as they had some type of mushroom incorporated in the dish. I'm really not a fan of mushrooms. The duck confit lasagna appetizer looked interesting, except for the mushrooms. I decided on the Penne Amalfi which consisted of penne pasta with shrimp, prosciutto, red peppers and grape tomatoes in a pesto sauce for $29.00. No mushrooms.

While we waited we were given a water refill and some Italian bread with melted butter, like it was sitting around for a bit. The bread was okay.

When my food arrived it was in a funky bowl with a tilt to it which I presume was designed to give a better visual as you eat, but I did lean the fork on it and the fork went straight into my lap. A bit awkward to say the least, but it looked pretty. As for the taste, it was okay. The pasta was a tad undercooked for my taste and the shrimp didn't quite seem to be fresh from the sea, unless the name of the restaurant's freezer is sea. The prosciutto was almost non-existant. The pesto was quite tasty. For a fourteen dollar dish this would have been good, but for a twenty-nine dollar dish I found it to be a bit disappointing.
Teresa got the Recceitelle which was orreciette pasta with sausage broccolini, grilled parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes for $19.00. I tasted it and it was pretty good, but nothing special. Teresa said that she wasn't impressed. It also came in a funky dish.

Osco Busco
Mark ordered the Osco Busco which was a slow Braised Veal Shank with Carrots, Tomatoes, and Herbs, over Basil Pesto Rissotto for $29.00. I tasted his and it was good. Flavorful and tender and on a square plate that sat flush with the table. 

We passed on desserts and I paid the check. My overall impressions? Nice atmosphere and good service but overpriced and overrated food. A couple of doors down is The Olde Erie and I think the food is better there. Better still, take a ride out to Wallkill and eat at the New-Cavu. You can get similar dishes at a better price.

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