Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nini's House of Tapas

I'm getting ready to head out to Salute's for Karim's birthday dinner. But before I go here's my restaurant review of  Nini's House of Tapas, located at 40 Orange Street, in downtown New Haven.

This past Wednesday, I was busy at work and stopping to eat lunch wasn't a priority. Before I knew it, it was 2 p.m. and I still had not had lunch. I was hungry. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful fall day, I felt the need to take advantage of it. I walked by Nini's quite a few times but never dropped in. Back in the summer, there was a Nini's restaurant takeout menu hanging in the Casey lunch room and I remembered that they offered $9.95 pasta and pizza lunch specials that come with a house' salad and beverage. I said to myself, "Today is the day, I try Nini's. Jessica, one of my department colleagues also worked through her lunch and decided to join me. It would be two for lunch.

House salad that comes with lunch.
Nini's serves lunch from 11:30 to 3:30, Monday through Friday. When I sat down I learned their entire dine-in lunch menu is $9.95 or you can take it out for $8.95. They offer an array of personal brick-oven pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, and pasta dishes that they coin pastabilities. When you order pastabilities you get to pick your 1) Choice of Pasta: fettuccine, penne, rotini, or cheese tortellini; 2) Choice of Sauce: Alfredo, marinara, mushroom cream, pesto, garlic extra-virgin olive oil (EVO) sauce; and 3) Choice of three items to add to your pasta and sauce which includes an array of different meats and vegetables.

My cheese tortellini. Yummy!
I decided on pasta and went with a cheese tortellini with artichokes, white beans, and broccoli in the garlic EVO sauce. Jessica ordered the rotini pasta with meatballs on the side, bacon in pesto sauce. Before our pasta dishes arrived we received a house salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The salad was a good warm-up and it hit the spot. I was ready for the main dish. When it arrived I went to town. My pasta dish was light and flavorful. I really enjoyed the white beans because it is something I only get when I eat out. Lunch was good and I felt re-energized and was ready to face the rest of my work back at the office.

Nini's House of Tapas lunch won me over. The restaurant ambiance creates a relaxing and comfortable setting. As I was leaving with my left-overs I thought to myself I'm gonna have to come back for their dinner menu and try their international tapas. Something to look forward to and I can't wait.

Here are my final ratings based on a scale from one to five:

Food: 4
Price: 4
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 4.5
Overall dining experience: 4