4 out of 5 stars
The food at Nina’s is delicious, enough so to outweigh the excitement of seeing Steven Seagal sitting at a neighboring table. Ok so it wasn’t really him, but it was someone dressed in a suit and sporting an extremely long rat tail accompanied by slicked back hair. Seeing that was exciting, like spotting a rare egret in the wild. However, it also makes me wonder about the fashion sense I may or may not have inherited from my Italian ancestors.
The waiter brought us bread with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil combination to dip it in. It also had garlic and cracked pepper and some red onion in it. The simple ingredients had just the right tang, and tasted incredibly fresh. For our started we ordered calamari, which was perfectly flash fried (light and crispy) with the most flavorful marinara to dip it in. Each element of the sauce came through, the red pepper, bold tomato, garlic and seasonings. It was perfect. We finished it all.
My mother’s entree was the clear winner. It was the homemade canneloni with a cheesy ricotta, spinach, prosciutto and mozzarella filling, topped with a tomato meat sauce. Luckily she and I like to share so I got to have half of her entree. I ordered the penna alla vodka, and it had a rich pink sauce and tender chicken slices on top. However it didn’t exceed expectations. Glen’s baked salmon turned out well but he didn’t seem bowled over. We finished up the night with horribly bitter coffee and a killer (good) slice of cheesecake.
There is no question whether I’d go back – I look forward to learning which items on the menu are the true stars. No matter what you order, the preparation won’t disappoint. I can’t wait to have another bite of that amazing red sauce.Nina’s Ristorante 8801 Lead Mine Rd Raleigh, NC 27615